Editor's note: This article was originally posted n 8/18/16 and has been updated with the latest trends and statistics from this year's B2C survey results.
There’s no denying—content marketing is here to stay! A recent update to the annual survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs generated 480 responses from B2C marketers from multiple industries around the globe. Of these respondents, only 40% said they have a documented content marketing strategy.
These marketers know their audience and what will get them to read online content—blogs, web pages, social messages, etc., all optimized for search engines using key words that trigger the search. Their ultimate goal? To generate new business by creating content the reader actually wants to consume when he wants to consume it, as opposed to interrupting the consumer as ads, emails or cold-calling often do.
They are attracting readers with interesting articles, helpful tools and relevant information. The result? Readers are “following” them online. Soon after, they become leads. And ultimately, new customers. This steady traffic makes fresh, active content on their websites not only good, but critical.
Active content speaks for itself. It’s new stuff—recently added, changed, fresh. And why is this so important to the success of your business? If you keep your audience coming back to your website for more educational and inspiring content, they can learn more about you and what you offer.
“Content has been one of the most important reasons we have traffic to our website. Our content works hard for us, thanks to VistaComm.”
Richard Stinson, Communications & Media Manager
Active website content is critical to your business because:
1. It helps drive traffic to your website.
Every time you post something new, it’s one more cue to search engines like Google that your site is active. In addition, the SHARE option grows your audience and traffic, too.
Fact: 53% of US companies surveyed by HubSpot listed blog content creation as one of their top priorities for growing their inbound marketing efforts.
2. It helps you generate more leads for your business.
A reader finds your site through a great blog you’ve posted. You propose more help or expertise through a free offer. They click, fill out a form, send it and receive a free gift. Now YOU have their contact information! Once you have that information make sure you are engaging with them through a mix of marketing channels to stay top of mind when they are ready for a purchase.
Interesting: 89% of B2C marketers use Facebook to distribute content which is tied with email for the top spot (Content Marketing Institute).
3.You will be considered an expert authority.
Many customers will search online before coming into a store. If they’re finding answers to their questions, they’ll think of you first. They’ve come to know and trust you online. According to Google 81% of shoppers conduct online research prior to a purchase. And when a sales opportunity arises, you’ve have laid the groundwork for great opening conversation.
Good to know: Usage of visual infographics as a tactic is on the increase: 51% in 2014 to 67% in 2016 (Content Marketing Institute).
4. Your content has a long-term effect.
You post a blog or a new piece of informational material one day and it lives—in fact, it builds, gathering more and more potential customers for you. According to HubSpot 1 in 10 blog posts are compounding, meaning organic search increases their traffic over time. What’s more, when you write something, you own it and can repurpose it in several ways for your own use accross multiple marketing channels.
Food for thought: For print ads and billboards, you’re merely renting the space.
5.You can post product releases and event information.
Once you’ve built up traffic to your site, post product announcements, valuable promotions and event information, too. After all, this constitutes new information and it stands a far better chance of getting seen where the traffic is. If you have been capturing customer information along the way, this allows you to target specific customer groups with products and promotions that are most relevant to them.
Who knew: Americans are launching social apps an average of 17 times a day—or at least once every waking hour.
You know why you need to keep your website content current. Now, where do you turn to get the content? One great resource might be already-written information from your print or e-newsletter publication. Simply post these articles to your website's blog or news section as new and relevant content. Here are some great topic ideas that not only work for newsletters, but your website, as well. If you still find yourself stuck or in need of help request a consultation, from one of our marketing experts to get you started!