Content marketing in 2018

Does content marketing work? Absolutely…

As a content and copywriting agency, naturally we would say yes. And it seems we’re backed up with facts too. A recent US survey claims to have found that 67% of website visitors value the content businesses and brands produce, with 86% claiming to have been persuaded to buy a product or service after consuming the content that brand has produced.

Does content marketing work? Absolutely…

It’s a fantastic endorsement for an industry that continues to grow at an astonishing 16% every year. By 2021 the whole industry could be worth a mind-boggling $412.88bn. That’s big enough to buy half of Apple, build your own Deathstar or shut Elon Musk up forever.


Content marketing is effective because it offers the customer something of value. It also empowers them to make the decision.

To recycle an old aphorism coined to describe the media, content marketing doesn’t tell people what to think, but what to think about.

Millenial tension

The traditional tactics adopted by the persuasive industries is meeting resistance from Millenials. In fact, 84% of that disparate group born in the mid 80s – 90s dislike conventional advertising.

Where content marketing scores highly is that the sell isn’t hard. In many cases, there isn’t a sell at all.

Modern consumers are sophisticated and recognise when they’re being explicitly marketed too (or manipulated).

Content marketing is s gentle nudge, whereas traditional advertising can be seen as a crude shove. Where content marketing scores highly is that it encourages potential customer to build the positive associations and perceptions of your brand.

These positive associations can be amplified if brands connect with influencers, gaining exposure for the brand as well as important validation. The use of influencers isn’t without its critics or concerns, but we’ll save that for another post.

Millenials are true digital natives, spending up to 9 hours a day online consuming – and importantly, sharing – content. If you’re not producing content, you’re already missing out.

The challenge of measurement

Traditional marketing and advertising metrics were rough and ready, but if sales are increasing, then who cares?

Brands do, that’s who. Marketing, branding and advertising has shifted from creating a simple, single proposition for a market into developing a tailored journey for each consumer.

Essentially, brands are using the data we willingly provide our digital overlords to develop sophisticated, targeted and highly personalised campaigns. The available data allows brands to create their own person-level journeys.

Perhaps the best exponent of this is Amazon, who has built its entire business model on its personalised offer for each consumer.

“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”– Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO, Amazon.

Content marketing is an investment by brands and businesses into this relationship. It’s all about value.

Oh, and if you need a stat to back it up, a US study found that only 51% of teens watch TV regularly, with the majority preferring to browse on connected devices instead.

What’s the pay off?

So how do you get it right?

The content you create needs to have a value for the reader. The investment you make (in time, or in cold hard cash) will be reflected in how targeted, accurate and effective your content is.

It’s true that Google values content for SEO. Good quality, relevant and well-written content will score highly with its algorithms. But that shouldn’t be the sole focus for its creation. It’s more a happy by product.

Overall, the Google algorithm is focused on the user journey, and you should be too.

Producing content for SEO is a laborious job that won’t get you the results you want. Keyword dense, but nonsensically produced content may get you a temporary boost in the rankings, but over time you’ll be found out.

Our advice: Produce content for the right reasons.

And the right reason is that you have something to say.

We’ve worked on content projects for businesses and brands that have very little commercial relevance, and no particular SEO focus. They’ve created it because they want to, and it’s worked.

We’ve written previously about how to structure your output, create blogs and produce content. The content journey you take will be as unique as those taken by your clients.

If you would like to chat about how we can help you with your content, then contact us today.

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