Content Marketing: a Panacea for Thought Leadership and SEO
30 Nov 2018
Content marketing is a digital marketing branch fast gaining in popularity across every sector. The marketing strategy comprises the creation, publication and distribution of suitable and valuable content to attract, inform and engage target audiences. In order of performance, content is created in the form of blogs, videos, infographics, case studies, e-books, white papers, and illustrations. Videos (59%), research/white papers (50%) and webinars/online events (50%) are considered to be the most difficult formats.
The worldwide content marketing revenue in 2017 was an estimated $32.1 billion with 90% of B2C organizations and 88% of B2B marketers committed to content marketing.,, In addition, according to a Content Marketing Institute 2017 report, the most successful B2B marketers spend 40% of their total marketing budget on this medium. The numbers invariably prove that content marketing is catapulting in today’s digital market.
Content marketing is irrefutably the ideal pathway to make a brand’s voice effectively audible. Valuable content has the power to generate impactful messages that can influence audiences. This in turn strengthens relationships between brands and their consumers.
Another crucial asset of this mode of marketing is that it stirs thought leadership in an industry. Such content is sought after by numerous companies in order to fashion impressionable brand images. According to a research conducted by Edelman in collaboration with LinkedIn, about 49% of B2B buyers revealed that their opinion of a company had decreased after reading poor quality content, and a third had removed a company from consideration based on its thought leadership output.
Apart from providing prospective buyers the answers to their problems thereby creating brand awareness, content marketing enables the medium to share industry insights. According to the Demand Gen Report 2017, about 87% of buyers give more credence when content is shared by an industry influencer.
However, before acquiring valuable content, immense analytical research goes into understanding consumer problems and providing the necessary solutions. The process requires critical thought induced research regarding the challenges of an industry within a set framework – SEO or ad words, word limits, language style, relevancy and trustworthy data, etc.
For instance, leading hospital chains like Columbia Asia, Apollo and Fortis have effectively used content marketing to raise brand awareness and recognition among audiences. Their research-oriented and articulate articles, blogs, posts and thought leadership pieces on healthcare efficiently engage audiences. They are drafted by writers and doctors alike spanning numerous topics including physiotherapy, sleep, diabetes, elderly care, and pregnancy to name a few.
Social media has been the primary vehicle for content marketing campaigns. The number of social media users worldwide crossed the two-billion mark in 2015 with projections that the three-billion mark would be breached by 2021. Considering that the possibilities of brand reach are simply phenomenal, content marketing has come to the fore to engage audiences and capture their attention. Content marketers are like lucky farmers who are able to sow various seeds of content on endless land, where the scope for fresh harvest is inevitable.
Along with the advancements in technology like AI and analytical tools, the understanding of consumer behaviour patterns has further sharpened several folds. This has upped the ante in terms of digital marketing strategies and particularly content creation. The use of adwords and engagement in platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest has stirred revolutionary target audience reach and recognition.
Content marketing is invariably on the rise in terms of both demand and supply. This will require a constant web of creativity and critical thought on the part of content creating teams because of increasing competition and the constant challenge of delivering high- quality content. The indefinite demand for content will further lead to an improvement and growth in content marketing strategies. It has thus become an unavoidable reality for brands today and a mandatory requirement for brand awareness and recognition. It is safe to say then that those who are yet to dip their toes in the popular waters are missing out on substantial gains.
Priyan Dc is the CEO of Star Squared PR, a fast growing boutique PR consultancy based in India. Star Squared PR is a strong advocate of Content Marketing and has championed several campaigns that have delivered strong SEO and thought leadership for brands and individuals alike. The company believes that effective Content creation and delivery is a science and should be approached accordingly.