C-Level Briefing On Content Marketing
It Helps Achieve Desired Business Outcomes At Minimal Risk
I've been pressured by quite a few CEOs to prove the worth of content marketing. My answer is to ask them if they can prove the worth of their television campaigns or, in B2B businesses, if they know what their lead-to-close ratio is.
Almost to a "T", the information isn't available. Content marketing in combination with marketing automation software is a measureable activity, and can supply that answer - easily.
It's The Words That Capture An Audience
Is content marketing worth it? Yes. It's your content Google indexes. It's your content that shows up in search results. And it's your content which begins the process of informing and inspiring readers to become actively involved with your website.
Content marketing does work, and it's not going to go away. 92% of marketers agree content is crucial to SEO and getting found by searchers. Hubspot, a marketing automation software firm, has researched content effectiveness, measuring the activity of their 4,500 strong customer database.
- content marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional 'push' marketing
- content marketing generates both leads & revenue
- 3 out of 4 content marketing tactics are cheaper than any traditional tactic
- 46% of daily searches are for info on products/services
- 70% of the links search users click on are organic, not paid
- 75% of searchers never scroll past the 1st page of search results
- content provides keywords for Google to love
- businesses that blog have 434% more indexed pages
- businesses that blog have 97% more inbound links
- 63% of businesses say social media has increased marketing effectiveness
- ... and a whole lot more
Hubspot Quick Stats
Get The Hubspot Reports
The true worth of content marketing is that it gets you found and helps create and build relationships with your customers, leads and prospects. However, that's a warm & fuzzy answer.
Beyond this "fuzzy" accomplishment (which none of your other strategic or operational activities accomplish); content marketing is a focused, dynamic, systematic process that treats all your online (and offline sometimes) business messaging (including Marketing & Sales) with the same rigor your accountant's apply to collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps.
Here's What It Looks Like
When controlled through a Customer 1st Content Marketing Strategy, content campaigns (your marketing pipeline) can be designed to focus on specific subsets of your segmented target audience, and be measured against baseline marketing metrics. In short, content marketing is adaptable to achieving various business objectives and goals.
There are a limited number of business outcomes at the strategic high—level. Creating customers being priority #1.
- increase revenue or profitability (margins)
- faster time to market
- decreased costs
- enhancing customer loyalty
- increasing market share
- improve customer retention levels (loyalty)
- increase competitive differentiation
- faster response times
- increased sales per customer
- reduced cost of goods sold
- minimized risk
- increased market share
- improved (shorter) lead-to-close
- reduced customer defections
- faster sales cycles
Strategic Business Outcomes Needed
that content marketing can help with
Content marketing strategies and campaigns present minimal exposure during preparation and execution compared to tradititional advertising and marketing. Investment is less and recovery from poor campaign results quicker and less expensive. There is less risk of incremental sunk costs. And the entire focus is on creating high-value customers.
Content marketing presents measureable results across campaigns, up to lead-to-close ratio and time-to-sale metrics. Because it's a process. It's systematic.
Content Marketing Takes Time
Don't expect instant results. It just isn't going to happen. Content marketing is a process, not a bandage.
Achieving business outcomes through content marketing takes consistent, planned effort over time. It isn't going to create a sustainable spike in a matter of weeks. Content accrues over time, expanding your digital footprint and feeding search engines more and more indexable material.
Systematic, Repeatable Process
Content marketing is a systematic process; it's adaptable and agile - responding to competitive attack and brand smears. A Competitor's attack and the changes in their tactical behaviour can be softened and sometimes re-directed by contingency content marketing strategies and pre-planned campaigns while Marketing & Sales develop new strategies to counter the competitive change in market dynamics.
Content marketing as a process is testable on many levels from gross traffic down to a granular level such as a campaign 5th email subject line - if you need that sort of thing.
It Won't Save A Drowning Man
As multi-functional as content marketing is — it won't make you dinner, do the laundry, tuck you into bed, or save an operational and strategic disaster. What it can do is support all your business activities and present multiple opportunities to improve performance across divisions, departments and brands.
Did you find this web page on your own?
If you did, congratulations. What I think is more likely is you've had this page sent to you by an employee, or maybe a peer, or a friend in a mastermind or networking group. And they sent it to you because they believe it will appeal to you.
It's up to you to make strategic decisions about the growth of a brand, a product, and the business in general. Growing revenues. You may or may not believe your website is the center of your business effort. Not just the marketing center. Your web site is the hub of all your business activity that has to do with growth and profitabilty.
The business lives or dies based on customers, and the true job of the business is to find the least expensive, least risky ways to create the most customers.
The more exciting and innovative your customer creation efforts are - the bigger your business and healthier your profitability.
At the center of all this is the website. Built for many purposes and under different directives, the website is now the single most important tool your business has to ensure the business survives. Not thrive, that comes next. First, the business has to survive the current competition that's forcing change in your industry.
If you're going to green light content marketing activities, you'll want to know more about the Agency doing the work. In this case, more about Busywriter.
We believe a few fundamental things, which haven't changed since humans started trading, and were possibly best expressed in the earlier part of the 20th century:
- selling is good
- making money in business is not bad
- honesty will win you more friends than lying
- getting the word out really does wonders
- being understood counts for more than being witty and clever
- consistent work, day by day, will build great things just as the acorn grows
- elbow grease trumps talk
- elbow grease without a plan is wasted effort
- if you don't have a website - you don't exist
- if you can't be found on the web - you don't exist
- on the web you have under 3 seconds to make an impression
- on the web your digital footprint matters
- on the web What you say is less important than How you say it
The time-tested (old) realities
The New Realities
Have you noticed a fundamental truth about business today?
On the web, business is starting to look very much the same as business was 100 or even 50 years ago. Trust matters. Honesty is rewarded. Integrity and doing the right thing gains fans and builds loyalty. On the web, the virtues of yesteryear shine out as the virtues of today - and lead to success.
Have you seen why this is happening? It's very simple and straightforward.
On the web you're talking to one person at a time, in a virtual face-to-face. You're creating a relationship with that individual - actually, your site, and the words on your site are creating a relationship with those people.
Honest. Ethical. Transparent
We believe in creating honest, helpful relationships on your behalf. We're here to foster credibility and trust.
We're here to inspire an ethical, transparent and honest relationship with your public, in order to promote the goods and services you sell. To act in any other way would be doing your business (and you too) a diservice.
On the web, it's up close and personal, and the winner is the business with the most personable site and transparent manner. Positioning helps tremendously, and so does intelligent branding. But the greatest factor on the web is language and how it's used. The tone of voice, the content, the spirit of the message ultimately determines whether your prospective customers are going to bother listening to you or not.
Your Agencies and marketing firms create the bits and pieces of your messages - the material your customers use to measure whether they're going to do business with you or not. From a strategic point of view, it looks a bit like this.
Have/Does your Agency respect the fragile nature of the communication? Do they respect the bond between what they say and what real people out in the world see and understand?
Online marketing is about creating messages that bring your prospects and your business closer together for those prospects to see the value to them in your business.
Get Content Working For You
Explore the busywriter website to get a feel for what can be achieved online. You can build a stable stream of new customers and keep current customers pleased enough to become loyal fans and repeat purchasers. Online campaigns have the power to unseat your competition and put your business in the lead.
Ultimately, your business needs to be pursuing a strategically planned online marketing effort, or suffer sales losses to the point of extinction. Managing your online language and content is essential to building a lasting, customer focused, successful business.
Has it been a while since you considered the importance of positioning? Download the Busywriter Competitive Positioning Toolkit, which is a guided process for auditing and creating/refreshing your strategic positioning.
Call us today to get your Busywriter "Customer 1st Content Marketing Strategy" for shorter sales cycles and reduced marketing investment risk. We'll get you started. You'll see results.
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