Marketers consider that Content Marketing is one of the two most important trends impacting the future of marketing, according to a 2017 study by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Centre for Public Relations. That’s the case in the US, but it’s also equally true down our way.
So why is Content Marketing so important?
There are plenty of reasons why, but here are five of the most significant:
1 More and More Ads Are Being Blocked
Thanks to decades of interruption marketing, of mad men standing up and shouting at consumers, advertisers have well and truly worn out their welcome. As a result, consumers have retreated inside their shells. Their mailboxes are plastered with “no junk mail” signs, they MySky their way quickly through seemingly-endless TV commercial breaks, they loudly tweet their displeasure at Hyundai ads placed between hakas and live rugby and they hand out fake email addresses and erect filter fortresses to protect their real email inboxes.
Oh, and then there’s banner blindness, where consumers don’t even notice most online display advertising.
Now, AdBlocking is becoming a fact of life. Even Google is getting in on the act, adding an ad blocker to its Chrome browser in early 2018. The Independent notes:
“It’s far too common that people encounter annoying, intrusive ads on the web – like the kind that blare music unexpectedly, or force you to wait 10 seconds before you can see the content on the page,” wrote Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s senior vice president of ads and commerce, in a blog post.
“These frustrating experiences can lead some people to block all ads – taking a big toll on the content creators, journalists, web developers and videographers who depend on ads to fund their content creation.”
Google’s answer is to provide adblocking technology to screen out the unworthy ads.
Our answer is even simpler: content marketing. As Business2Community notes:
People want to block ads because most digital ads are useless, annoying or both. The promise of content marketing is to create helpful, audience-focused content that your audience actually wants to consume.
Content marketing is such a clear antidote to this battle between branded customer. Rather than continuing to give your customers something they’ve quite clearly stated they don’t want, give them something they do want. Help them. Extend the olive branch.
Create and distribute great content and you’ll never have to worry about ad blockers ever again.
2 SEO and Content Marketing are Converging
The truth is, SEO and Content Marketing have always been two sides of the same coin. If you’re using Google or Bing to search for something, the search engines will always be looking for content that meets those search parameters. If you are writing content, you will only be effective — i.e. be found — if you use keywords and phrases that consumers are looking for.
What has changed, or rather has evolved, is the phraseology. Nowadays, consumers using voice search on mobile devices are far more conversational in their choices of search keywords. They tend to be less structured in their searching, confident that Google Assistant and Siri and Cortana (and Samsung’s new Bixby) are smart enough to understand what they actually mean.
In turn, marketers need to ensure that their content includes both formal and conversational keywords and phrases, to cater to the differing searches conducted across both desktop and mobile devices.
Oh yeah — and you also need to be aware that more and more of Google’s searches are being powered by RankBrain machine learning software, so you need to ask yourself “what would an artificial intelligence make of this sentence?” Do try to avoid the types of linguistic contortions that would trouble non-native speakers. No pressure.
3 Catering to Micro-Moments
The ubiquitous smart phone continue to change the game. Where once longform content was king, now snackable snippets — served up in answer to queries like “restaurant near me” — have become the new currency.
As you may have heard, today’s consumers have an even lower attention span than that of a goldfish. At least some of that can be attributed to the endless flow of data that we all must wade through in these difficult times. 140-character limitations on previous generation text messaging and Twitter can take their share of the blame, along with 6-second blipverts on YouTube and a constantly refreshing newsfeed on Facebook.
Whatever the cause, we now have to deal with the consequences. Can you sum up the essence of your content in one single sentence (or image)? That may be all to which your prospective audience is exposed, before they swipe their way to their next fix.
4 Whoever Rules Google Becomes the Authority
The traditional method of gaining pre-eminence in your industry tended to involve acquiring external qualifications, sitting on industry bodies and generally gaining acknowledgement through your peers.
So twentieth century! Nowadays, you can have as much authority as Google says you have. Provide content that meets the needs of prospects and customers as they proceed through the buying journey and Google will anoint you accordingly.
5 If You Can’t Be Seen, You Won’t Be Heard
How do people know you exist?
No, it’s not a metaphysical question but rather a commercial one. If you operate a retail business, with a desirable storefront location, then you will at least be visible to those who walk past.
Otherwise, your existence depends on your visibility to prospective and actual customers. They might hear of you through radio, television, magazine or newspaper advertising — but, more and more (as consumers spend around half their media time online) your visibility depends upon your online presence.
That, in turn, derives from the content you post to the Web, whether on your own website, on your social media channels, through other peoples’ websites or through online advertising.
By the way, if the content you are creating is irrelevant to prospective customers’ needs, either they will ignore you or Google will.
So are you creating content worth talking about?
IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE WITH YOUR CONTENT MARKETING
(A) We can help (we handle content marketing on behalf of a select group of clients). Email michael (at) netmarketingservices.co.nz or phone 021 1493 403.
(B) We can review your content marketing needs, develop a content marketing programme and even train you and/or your team. Again, email michael (at) netmarketingservices.co.nz or phone 021 1493 403.
(C) To upskill yourself, grab our Content Marketing Trends presentation (details below)
SPECIAL CONTENT MARKETING PRESENTATION FOR KIWI BUSINESSES
To meet the demand for information about Content Marketing, we have just released the presentation NZ Content Marketing 2017. This is the newest presentation in our New Zealand Marketing Insights series, which began in May with our NZ Consumer Trends 2017 presentation.
We just wanted to let you know a little more about it.
The presentation looks ahead at what marketers should expect and plan for in 2017 and 2018 — based on local and global trends you may not yet have had the opportunity to examine — turning those forecasts into a comprehensive report & slide deck in PowerPoint format (with accompanying notes) – information that you can easily present to your team and your clients, bringing everyone up to speed on the latest New Zealand Marketing Insights as we accelerate through what remains of 2017. All presentations are unbranded, so you can add your own branding and comments.
All of our presentations in this Marketing Insights series consist of at least 150 slides, dealing with as many key insights.
INSIDE “CONTENT MARKETING 2017”
Here’s a little taste of what the presentation covers:
- The three types of content regarded as most important for effective content optimisation in 2017
- The convergence of SEO and Content Marketing and what that means for marketing and communications professionals
- Search intents across mobile and desktop, how and why they are different and the implications
- The surprising new importance of voice search (and what marketers are doing about it)
- What marketers think about artificial intelligence and its importance for the future of content marketing
Content Marketing as Defensive Mechanism
So many people are talking — not always positively — about brands and companies online, and organisations don’t always get the chance to present their own point of view as part of that conversation. As a result, many are turning to Content Marketing as a means to get their message out there.
Talking to Your Own
Content marketing has also seen itself become an internal PR tool, used to communicate in a planned and more effective manner with staff, dealers and suppliers. How are you ensuring that your own people know what they should about your organisation?
Overcoming “Content Shock”
Even when marketers do invest in Content Marketing, there are challenges. One of the biggest challenge: getting heard out there, amongst the ever-increasing cacophony of social media posts, blogs, video and all. It’s been dubbed “Content Shock” — and we look at how to deal with it.
Content Will Get useful or Get Ignored
Smart marketers will begin to invest in bigger content projects such as creating free and robust online tools, writing the go-to books in their industries, and creating environments where their customers can build a community to share knowledge
content marketers will be held accountable not just for how much content they create, but what it does for the business (much like demand generation teams).
Other topics that will feature in this presentation include:
- Data-driven Insights
- Interactive Experiences
- Face-to-face Opportunities & Live Events
- challenges of developing engaging visual content
- the talent shortage
- Algorithm-driven content distribution
- Live video
- compelling content experiences
- the emergence of AI journalism
- Immersive Content Formats
- Science-based content marketing
- The rise of the Content Librarian
- The continuing rise of paid promotion and the decline of organic reach
Each Marketing Insights presentation is available to purchase and reuse, for $597 plus GST (with volume discounts available for purchases of multiple presentations).
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If you would prefer to pay by bank deposit or require an invoice before making payment, please send an email to [email protected] with details of your request. (The service provider will be shown as Netmarketing Services Limited in your transaction and on your credit card statement).
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
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