Content Marketing As An Alternative To Traditional Advertising
Most internet companies spend a large part of their online marketing budget on advertising today. However there has been a gradual shift towards the use of content marketing for online promotion and companies are trying to experiment with different options to check their effectiveness.
How Content Marketing Helps
Most online advertising only tries to sell a product or service. In contrast content marketing seeks to build trust by providing the information that is needed to take the correct decision, reducing the risk involved both on personal and organizational level. Since search engines rank websites based on content, content can be used to drive traffic to the website and also capture leads by using forms. The quality of the lead can be evaluated based on how the lead interacts with the content on the website.
Content Marketing Techniques
The most popular content marketing techniques used by a majority of companies are social media, article posting, conducting in person events, sending out enewsletters, preparing case studies and developing blogs. White papers, webinars/webcasts, videos, microsites, podcasts, research reports, virtual conferences and ebooks are other online marketing tools. However, offline media is not neglected and companies continue to spend some money to traditional media, magazines and newsletters.
The number of marketing channels used often depends on the company size in terms of employees. Surveys have indicated that large companies with more than 1000 employees on an average use 9 content marketing techniques while smaller companies with less than 10 employees use about 6 content marketing channels.
Twitter is most popular website used by content marketers for promotion, closely followed by Facebook and Linkedin , which are also used by more than 50% of online marketers. Youtube is another popular online marketing channel for content. The usage of other marketing channels may vary depending on the nature of the business.
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The biggest challenge for content marketers today is to produce engaging content for readers. However, 21% find it difficult to produce enough content, 20% lack the budget to produce content and 9% have difficulty generating a variety of content. More than half the companies surveyed plan to increase their content marketing budget over the next one year.
45% of the content marketers produce the content inhouse only, but a combination of outsourcing and inhouse development is used by 52% of content marketing companies. Smaller companies with less than 10 employees spend more than a third of their marketing budget on content marketing compared to larger companies which have more marketing options available. The cost of content creation is significantly lower than the expenses involved in distributing the content , especially for larger companies with huge marketing budgets. Reports indicate that large companies with more than 1000 employees may spend over one million dollars on content marketing while smaller firms typically have budgets of less than sixty thousand annually.