Image from Luca Sartoni
You have heard them whispering about it through the walls. The last marketing conference you went to dedicated hours of workshops and talks to it. Yet, you’re still a doubter. After all, the way you have been marketing is completely fine!
You are convinced it’s a fad, but you just keep hearing more and more about this mysterious new force until you’re forced to ask: “What’s so special about content marketing anyway? Why would I risk what already works for me?”.
We are here to answer that question and to tell you why you may be taking your brand to new heights, or be too busy playing catch-up in a few years.
It’s not “new”
Irna Phillips recording P&G’s first radio soap opera “Painted Dreams”
Image from Wikipedia
There’s always some level of apprehension associated with trying out something new. But the fact is, content marketing has been around since the printing press was invented! In the 1920s, popular household product manufacturer – Procter & Gamble started producing daytime television programmes targeted at housewives as they were cleaning. The move gave rise to the genre of “soap operas” which remains prevalent today.
The modern digital landscape and its ability to easily and affordably distribute content is the reason why content marketing is experiencing a surge in popularity of late. In the past you’d require physical catalogues, distributors and publishers. The barrier to entry was just too high back then.
Today, all you need is a blog and a Facebook page to potentially reach millions of people all across the world. It has also become much more affordable to produce content.
You will be left in the dust
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Statistics show that 88% of B2B marketers in the United States now use content marketing in their overall strategy. While the numbers in Asia aren’t as substantial, it presents the perfect opportunity for forward thinkers to claim their stake of the land.
The reason why content marketing is popular is because the benefits of good content by brands are clear and substantial. An authoritative and well-loved brand that customers can trust is just about every marketer’s dream – and content is the ticket there.
Content marketing will catch on locally as soon as more people start doing it and a comfortable paradigm has been established. The fact is that many companies here are still debating its relevance and it may cost them dearly for not moving quickly.
Question is – Will you be a trailblazer? Or will you be playing catch up?
It will take your brand to new heights
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You know what makes a good brand? Loyalty, recognition and trust. All of which you can establish through content. Sure, testimonials and a solid corporate portfolio will help – but a weekly article on how to excel in your business or sharing some tools you use can do more.
Through relevant and value added content, your audiences can make more educated buying decisions. You’ll also establish your brand as an authority in the industry leading to more trust and loyalty from your audiences.
It has long-term returns
Image from Steven Lilley
Traditional advertising revolves around timed campaigns like running TV ads. TV ad campaigns last only as long as you pay for. Even on Youtube, audiences find pre-roll ads an annoyance. Disruptive advertising has given rise to a prevalent ad-blocking industry causing publishers billions of dollars every year.
The message from the audience is clear: They don’t like to be forced to consume content they don’t want. In fact, your brand might suffer because the negative emotions of consumers are now associated with your ad. Case in point, since Expedia‘s ad launched on YouTube, it has garnered a total of 115 downvotes, versus 47 upvotes, as of March 15, 2016.
Content marketing, on the other hand, aims to educate and add value to the lives of your audience. Producing a guide or informative article on your business and posting it on a blog gives information to audiences seeking it anytime they want.
In fact, as long as the content remains relevant and of good quality, you will have readers coming back months or even years after you have posted it. Instead of forcing messages down the throats of consumers, produce content. Give them a reason to come to you instead.
You will build a fanbase and be your own media
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One of the greatest benefits you can draw from great content is a loyal following. With good content and distribution working hand-in-hand, you will be able to establish a good following. One full room of people who are interested in your product and willing to listen and interact with you.
Every PR guy will know what it’s like to send out a million press releases and praying to be deemed worthy enough by a handful of publications to be written about. Content marketing allows you to tap onto your own fan base and spread the message that way. Sure, publishers still play a role in your strategy, but they’ll no longer be the only option.
Secondly, the content you produce will be hosted on your site instead of a publisher’s. That means your audiences will more likely look at your other content and engage with your brand.
Why invest in content marketing? Why not?
The benefits of content marketing are clear to see. It’s important to note that while it isn’t going to be an easy process; especially at the start, the long-term pay-offs will be worth it.
Content marketing isn’t a fad, like it or not, it’s an eventuality. And that’s why content marketing deserves more of your attention.
Excel in Content Marketing
Bolt is a content marketing platform that connects writers to brands looking for quality written content. For more articles for marketers, click here. You can also sign up for our beta here: