If you ask me what the biggest marketing trend in 2013 is, I would say it is all about content marketing. It has been everywhere. Google the term “content marketing” and you’ll see 744 million results. But, content marketing is more than just changing how your create content for customers. The “c” in content marketing stands for change.
The term content marketing gets thrown around a lot. Marketers, including myself, do not do it justice with our overused words of content pieces like blogs, infographics, whitepapers, webinars, and the list goes on. For marketers, these words are common language, for non-marketers these words mean little. Our stakeholders want to know how we plan to update the website, our collateral, marketing plans. When we say we need to update our content first, they baulk at the idea that we need the content first. “Can’t we just send out the email?” your internal client says. But, I always ask, “with what? And for who? And why would your clients care?”
Content marketing is not just about creating and curating relevant and valuable content, it about changing our organization’s way of performing marketing.
It’s not about you, it’s about the client.
Marketing’s job is to be the steward for the client who doesn’t always get a seat at your company’s table. By implementing content marketing programs, you are finally placing the customer first.
That’s a big change for some organizations. Some folks still believe if they send out an email about what ZYX firm is doing that the customer will care. Well they won’t which is evident in declining open rates and subscribes. Almost all industries see a decline in click-to-open rates. In a March report, Epsilon reveals that click-to-open rates (CTORs) fell by more than 5% year-over-year in all but 2 segments (financial services general and retail specialty).
So, what is a company to do?
Change your marketing. Start thinking in terms of what the customer wants to hear, not what you want to push. Or how great you are.
The “c” in content marketing is about change. Change the conversation. Change how you communicate. Change how you deliver your information.
You will be met with resistance, believe me. Your C-Suite may think content marketing is a fad. But, the change is already occurring in your market. 57 percent of consumers are researching your products and services BEFORE contact you according to Corporate Executive Board. According to Google’s Zero Moment of Truth, the average person digests at least 10 pieces of online information before making a purchasing decision.
The question is, will that piece of information be yours or your competitions? Your competition already gets that good content, not just your same old whitepaper, will get you business.
But do you?
Rachel DiCaro Metscher has worked with many organizations to build their communications and marketing programs, including Fannie Mae, American Psychological Association, and The Princeton Review. She is currently working in the DC metro area building content marketing programs from the ground up.