Content marketing is the most important trend in our media usage survey, and it's not even a media channel. It's a strategy that leverages several digital channels and marketing tactics, and it has become even more popular in 2014 than it was last year: 89 percent of our respondents engage in content marketing, and 65 percent are budgeting more for it.
"So what?" you may say. "B-to-B marketers have been using whitepapers and e-books for years. Why is this a big deal?"
Because of the Internet, social media and Google.
On the Internet of 2014, content does way more than what B-to-B marketers have traditionally used it for. It's become the key to Web traffic and online sales for brands in just about every market.
Last month, I said how easy it was for pop culture to make marketers the bad guys. Content is the first step to convincing consumers you're one of the good guys. And if it does that well, they'll share it with other potential customers on social media.
Perhaps most importantly, Google is weighting search results to favor pages that will most satisfy the searcher. Delivering the content they're looking for, content that honestly delights them, is one of the most important keys to that.
Last month, we held a webinar to delve into these issues. Martin Laetsch, director of online marketing for Act-On Software and a founding member of the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), explained why content has become so essential to being found online. Check out the full webinar for more (including insights from SEO expert Kevin Lee, CEO of DidIt).
Content marketing is a big deal in 2014—not because it's a buzzword, but because it's central to the way online marketing works today and the way it will work in the future.