When Tom Dickson, CEO of Blendtec, engineered a revolutionary blender, he thought that people would be in awe at its amazing power and come running to buy them. You can imagine what actually went down.
Tom was passionate about his invention and would go to extremes to ensure high quality in the product. He would blend things like wood, marbles and golf balls using his blender to test its capabilities. However, as a company full of engineers, Blendtec did not have a strong social media presence.
When their newly recruited marketer saw Tom’s crazy experiments, he knew he had hit the marketing gold. He suggested Tom create videos of his experiments and put them online. They started the ‘Will it blend?’ series on Youtube and it exploded. They hit 6 million views within 5 days of posting. Not only did their brand awareness increase, the sales of their products shot upto 1000%. Today they have more than 150 million views on their videos and is the first name that comes to mind for many people when they think of blenders.
This is a classic example of what digital content marketing looks like. Whether it is a B2B or B2C brand, content marketing is one of the crucial elements of marketing today. So, what exactly is content marketing?
According to Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
In other words, content marketing is a long term strategy to build strong customer relationships by consistently providing them valuable information that solves their problems.
There are approximately 400 million SMEs globally (as per National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights) and roughly 543,000 new businesses get started each month. Amidst the plethora of businesses, it can be more than challenging for any brand and business to stand out and attract user attention and time. More than setting yourself apart, content marketing plays a key role in connecting with your target audience and increasing your brand presence.
Here are a few reasons why content marketing is important for brands to succeed.
Customers hate Ads
An old adage “People love to buy but hate to be sold” is one of the golden mantras of marketing. Consumers are tired of in-your-face advertisements as they seem ingenuine and lack connection. According to the 2015 Ad Blocking Report, more than 200 million internet users around the world today use ad blockers. And, these numbers are only expected to increase by approximately 41% year on year.
Any current or prospective customer is not interested in your product or service but rather in solving a problem and challenge that they are facing. Content marketing helps to provide users with helpful insights and relevant information that pave the way to solving their challenges. Instead of blocking the content, customers actively seek them out to get informed, entertained and/or find solutions to their problems.
Customers like to make informed decision
Both B2B and B2C audiences have embraced content as a key element of their consumer journey. A Roper Survey of business decision makers shared that 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. 70% of consumers said content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company (Roper Survey). A survey by Demand Metrics shared that 60% of people are inspired to seek a product after reading content about it.
The articles, blogs, videos, infographics, case studies, etc. that your brand shares on the various online platforms help showcase your expertise and add credibility to your product and services.
Customers will actually buy from you
According to Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional paid advertising and generates 3 times more leads. According to ABG Essentials, content marketing provides conversion rates about 6 times higher than other digital marketing methods. It is hence one of the most cost effective marketing strategies in the pocket of small and medium sized businesses.
Zomato through their witty messages on their social media platforms help create a fun experience for the customers that help build brand awareness and lead to more sales. Similarly, when Pepe Jeans improved their social post frequency and started creating more localised content for specific geographical areas, they saw a 48% increase in consumer engagements and their fan base grew to more than 2 million followers. Content helps you build a loyal customer base which if not today, one day will surely convert and bring in revenue.
Consumers are attracted to brands that are genuine, transparent and provide them value. Be it B2B, B2C, small, medium or large business, content marketing helps you to meet customer expectations and amplify your brand identity.