The days of traditional marketing have passed. Today, roughly 86 percent of all businesses utilize content marketing when pursuing potential consumers. And 93 percent use content marketing in their B2B efforts. No longer are cold calls, direct mail, print ads, and television effective marketing efforts—even for content distribution. Digital marketing has replaced traditional marketing. And content marketing has become the focus in the digital age.
With the internet and social media came new content distribution opportunities for all. Media companies no longer control content outlets. As a result, businesses are more able to leverage their own content to enhance their brand and generate revenues. At the same time, consumers gained greater influence in the process, demanding higher quality content relevant to their needs. Plus according to some experts in the field, this evolution in content marketing and content distribution is still in tremendous flux.
Understanding Content Marketing Today
For businesses today, content has become a centerpiece for a variety of activities. Content is naturally used to create a brand image in content marketing. But at the same time, content also informs consumers, builds relationships and provokes thought. Also, for a number of businesses, content now serves as its own revenue stream in addition to products and services. As content distribution has expanded exponentially, opportunities to leverage content have gone far beyond content marketing.
Regarding content marketing today, however, it is no longer about posting a blog every day to create large content volumes. It is also not about “hitting” a certain number of SEO terms and links to achieve high search rankings. Instead, effective content marketing requires high-quality content that is relevant, engaging and informative. And increasingly, businesses must ensure content distribution reaches the right audience at the right time. Failing to achieve this objective can be the difference in success and failure for today’s chief marketing officers.
The Importance of Convergence in Content Distribution and Marketing
Business today seeks to provide high-quality content for targeted consumers in an effort to “pull” them to their sites. But content marketing involves much more than simply using the content as bait. Businesses today must create consistency in content experiences among multiple areas. The convergence of a unified content marketing message must be present on a website, social media, digital publications and emails. In doing so, brands gain the opportunity to create real relationships with consumers, which is essential for marketing today.
It is noteworthy, however, that open content distribution has dramatically increased competition. Not only do consumers now have many options to see content marketing messages, but also, in the process, attention spans are still declining. That means successful businesses must not only have a unified content distribution message. They must also provide content value for consumers relevant to their needs. This case might be achieved by targeting a niche area. Or it may involve a broad content marketing strategy with owned, earned and paid content distribution. But in both cases, it is the content that is the most powerful key for business success in a specific marketplace.
The Future for Content Distribution and Content Marketing
To be successful in content marketing today, several of the strategies described can go a long way. But changes are imminent, and content marketing for the future will require staying abreast of changes. For example, consumers will increasingly gain more control over their attention spans. Some companies are already striving to provide this enhanced control. Jim McKelvey, the founder of Invisibly, has launched a company that provides content creators and consumers a digital currency system. This currency is used not only to enhance content quality but also to drive it to the right audiences. These types of innovations will continue to promote change in content marketing and content distribution.
In addition, content marketing will require increasing levels of creativity in the future. Part of these efforts will involve leveraging technologies to create the best content and the best ROI. Three-quarters of us are visual learners, and video content marketing and video content distribution strategies will be essential. Some companies, such as Creative Drive, are already offering these services to businesses. In addition to highly creative and quality content, Creative Drive strives to make human connections through all content distribution channels. These types of strategies will similarly become more commonplace in the near future.
Is Your Content Marketing Strategy Working?
Notably, changes in content distribution and content marketing are still occurring. Adopting a dynamic approach to content marketing is therefore important. But regardless of how a business leverages marketing technologies and creative content, results ultimately matter. Not only will content marketing continue to be more refined, but it will also be more readily measured and tracked.
Artificial intelligence, data analytics, and machine learning will also play an increasing role in content marketing decisions. Companies that boldly embrace these changes will be better positioned to reach their intended consumers with precisely the right message. After all, at the heart of it, that is what marketing is all about.