Content Marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.
If you’re interested in marketing your business online you can’t escape hearing about content marketing. It’s everywhere you look, or listen.
You’ve most likely heard the term content marketing thrown around industry events, your favourite trade magazine or maybe even a few of your close business associates have referenced content marketing as a tool for growing their own business.
But the most important question is: Does content marketing work?
We all know the story of HubSpot, the Boston-based marketing software company that practically invented content marketing. They generate about 50,000 leads per month for their business by developing and distributing e-books, infographics, blog posts and other pieces of content marketing designed to drive new leads to their website.
But driving a lead to a website is one thing. Actually converting that lead into a customer is another.
The horrible answer is, it depends.
Content marketing done right, works everytime.
Content marketing could either be the best thing ever or just a waste of time. It all starts with great content followed up by a well-planned and well-executed marketing plan.
Sebastian Johnsson – Creator of Smartlend.se, Sweden’s leading comparison website for smslån and snabblån.
In a recent study done by the Content Marketing Institute, 42% of B2B companies consider their content marketing efforts effective, up from 36% the year prior.
The “publish and pray” method implemented by businesses attending to DIY content marketing, does not work. At least it does not work well enough to produce any time of positive ROI. Truthfully, it’s not the companies fault, its the “just hit publish” advice spread throughout the Internet by hack content marketing consultants.
Our friends at Atlanta-based advertising agency and digital marketing firm MLT Creative have answered that question in the infographic below. The data was gathered at the HubSpot Inbound Marketing Conference and compiled by the good folks at MLT.
Here are just some of the facts and figures about content marketing and inbound marketing that you’ll find in the infographic:
- Growth: Marketers using inbound marketing have grown from 60% of those surveyed in 2013 to 80% of those surveyed in 2014.
- Cost Per Lead: The average cost per lead for B2B companies using inbound marketing was typically less than half of what the cost per lead was for those not using inbound marketing.
- Improved ROI: 37% of those surveyed reported improved ROI for their inbound marketing programs vs. the previous year.
- Prioritization: Marketers prioritizing inbound marketing are 13 times more likely to enjoy positive ROI than those not prioritizing inbound marketing.
The most successful Content Marketing campaigns always originate from within. This is called, “Insourcing.” You know your business, your customers, the questions they ask and the problems your company solves better than any outside source.
But if your business is going to be successful, everyone must believe in content marketing. When entire organizations embrace the content marketing culture there is a stream of content, which consistently converts visitors in leads, and leads in sales.