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The Relevance of Content Marketing
The rise in power and influence of content marketing

Have you noticed your competitors are sending out more email newsletters and publishing more white papers online? At the same time they're increasing their investment in blogs and social media. It's the rise in power and influence of content marketing. According to a study from HiveFire, 82% of B2B marketers now employee content marketing strategies. This is more than those using SEM (search engine marketing) (70%), event marketing (68%), and public relations (64%).

What exactly is content marketing?
 
It's the practice of using rich content like newsletters, white papers, video portals, and blogs to engage customers or prospects. The idea is that timely, relevant information will engage the target audience, develop or reinforce brand awareness, and maintain client loyalty. In a world of web templates and stock imagery that, on the surface, creates an environment in which all brands can look the same, content marketing can capture mindshare and create a real competitive difference.

According to HiveFire, the primary motivators for marketers is to engage prospects and drive sales, traffic and online visibility both directly and indirectly by educating the marketplace. They are also using it to increase web traffic.

Poll Reponses: How Are You Using Content Marketing?

Engage prospects 82%
Drive sales 55%
Educate the market 44%
Increase web traffic 43%
Stay up-to-date on competitors 29%
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 19%
Thought leadership 2%

Source: HiveFire's B2B Marketing Trends 2011 Report based on a survey of 365 B2B marketers

Content marketing can be profitable as well. When one provider of security incident and events management (SIEM) products and services wanted to improve its lead generation, for example, it used content marketing to build brand awareness during the early research stage of the buying cycle. It created a library of vendor-neutral information, then used that content to attract potential prospects. The company used the information to identify who is interested in which content. Then it used a scoring methodology to determine when prospects were most likely to be ready to buy. The company improved its qualified lead generation process and boosted revenues by 38%.

Combining social media is an important and effective vehicle for a content marketing strategy. Social Media or SoMe is a powerful tool for engaging clients and prospects in real time and drive traffic to your updated and timely content. Content marketing without social media is still effective for SEM and to build customer loyalty, but content marketing in conjunction with social media creates interest and visitors much faster.

If you are looking for ways to use content to educate your customer base, build brand awareness, and stay "top of mind", please click here to contact us.
 
 
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