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Stop Wasting Your Money in Content Marketing

An estimated 27,000,000 million pieces of content are shared each day (1) and the typical consumer’s media consumption is expected to average 15.5 hours a day in 2015. (5)

Incredible figures like these have led to speculation and predictions online over recent years that the glut of content marketing will outpace demand and implode on itself. The good news, Content Marketing and the Internet are alive and well, but the pace of content generation demands re-evaluating the efficacy of this strategy.

Mark Shaefer, in his {Grow} blog, reports that by 2020 the amount of information on the Internet is expected to increase by 500%. (2) This forecast begs the question: who’s going to read/view all this content? Audiences today aren’t looking for more. Instead, they’re looking for a higher caliber of content that is relevant to them or their business. 

Running a strategy of quantity over quality in order to drive traffic to your website not only runs contrary to what content marketing is about, but is can also be an enormous misuse of money. SiriusDecisions has estimated that 60 to 70 percent of content churned out by b-to-b marketing departments today sits unused. (3)

Consumers are thirsty for new, intriguing, and insightful information. In a study done by Northwestern University (4), instead of feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content available, participants were found to be enthusiastic and excited about the new media environment of today. An important note to the study however, mentions that the participants did feel frustrated with the quality of some of the information available, feeling that much of it was trivial and repetitive. 

Undaunted by the vastness of the Internet, users today are becoming increasingly savvy finding what they need through their mastery of social media filters and navigating search engine results. Similar to how we process visual information in real life, the content on the Internet has been likened to that of a magazine stand.

From a distance it seems like a jumble of indiscernible content, but by stepping closer, one can gradually make out the various sections including sports, autos, health, etc. Coming even closer to the magazine stand (or using filters in web terms), one can even further segment the content until they hone in to exactly the brand or magazine they’re looking for. Spoiled for choice and armed with the knowledge they can afford to be selective, consumers are becoming voracious viewers of content, but are focusing on a narrow niche that aligns with their interests.

The bottom line is that in order to break through the clutter, not waste money on articles that will not be read, and ultimately achieve marketing success, quality content is a non-negotiable. In order to foster relationships with your customers, it’s critical to establish trust through content that can provide real value to them. However, even the most superb content won’t provide the engagement boost you’re looking for if it’s buried and sitting idly on your website. Remember, Google doesn’t like links you “build,” but instead links that you earn editorially. Here are three methods of earning links through relationships:

  1. Partner with another company/blog for cross promotion and relationship building.
  2. Build momentum of “shares” and “likes” through sponsored content. Buying links directly isn’t effective, but gaining exposure through sponsored posts to a specifically targeted audience is. Relevant and unique content is likely to be shared organically.
  3. Use content to drive editorial links. If your content includes positive mentions regarding other companies or brands, bring it to their attention. Often they will appreciate the shout-out and point their followers to your blog or website.

Content marketing may have reached new heights in 2014, but 2015 should be the year your company takes strides to promote and spread its collection of top quality content to its current and potential customers.

http://www.slideshare.net/duckofdoom/aol-nielsen-content-sharing-study (1)

http://www.businessesgrow.com/2015/01/04/content-ignition/ (2)

https://www.siriusdecisions.com/Blog/2013/May/Summit-2013-Highlights-Inciting-a-BtoB-Content-Revolution.aspx (3)

http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2012/08/hargittai-info-overload.html (4)

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030111316.htm (5)

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