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Picture: SUPPLIED/DIGITAL SCHOOL OF MARKETING
Picture: SUPPLIED/DIGITAL SCHOOL OF MARKETING

The statistics are unanimous: in 2019, companies globally will be spending a good portion of their budgets on content marketing:

  • In the US, 84.5% of companies who employ more than 100 employees will make use of content marketing.
  • When surveyed, 55% of digital marketers say that generating blogs for their websites is a predominant feature of their inbound leads strategy.
  • Long-form content, or content that is typically between 700 to 1,000 words in length, is favoured above all other lengths of copy.

In this age of the proliferation of digital platforms, content marketing is the one form of digital marketing that closely resembles the “old” form of marketing via articles in magazines and newspapers. However, where content marketing has an edge over the traditional forms of marketing is that you can measure your results directly and see the effect on your bottom line.

However, as previously indicated, digital marketing takes many forms. But what makes content marketing the preferred go-to-marketing source rather than any other format? Why are so many digital marketing executives ramping up their content marketing spend?

Is the banner ad dead?

In the early days of the internet, advertising was restricted, with options limited to flashing banner adverts with little text. As things started to get more sophisticated, and advertising mediums on the web started to diversify, click-through rates on banner advertisements started to decline.

Says Lisa Schneider, managing director of the Digital School of Marketing: “According to statistics released in August 2018, the click-through rate for display and banner-type advertisements was 0.05%. The reason for this is that people started to mistrust the advertisers who put out the advertisements, as their calls to action were too good to be true. People began to shy away from clicking on the adverts, as they were afraid of what malicious viruses and the like would be downloaded onto their computers when they did so.”

Picture: SUPPLIED/DIGITAL SCHOOL OF MARKETING
Picture: SUPPLIED/DIGITAL SCHOOL OF MARKETING

Content marketing is trusted

People have started to become wary of all sorts of advertisements, consciously avoiding pieces that blatantly try to sell the consumer on a particular product. This means that advertisers have had to look for different ways of advertising their products, where people do not realise that they are being advertised to. Native advertising does this well by creating adverts in the form of editorial, which blends seamlessly into the user’s experience on platforms such as social media.

Content marketing is another successful attempt by advertisers and marketers to advertise products and services without hard-selling the consumer on anything. Through all forms of content - such as articles, press releases, thought-leadership pieces, videos and infographics - the digital marketer takes the consumer on a journey through the company, letting them view their processes and products as well as their business philosophy.

Digital marketers engage their audiences, making them fall in love with their brands, and so ensure that they convert the customer to a loyal consumer and, ultimately, a brand advocate. Consumers begin to trust the company because they get to know everything about that particular company. And once they begin to do this, they will start to accept them and what they offer.

Google likes content marketing

Google’s algorithm puts a lot of emphasis on content and, more importantly, relevant content. If it sees that a website has a depth of relevant and interesting content, it will be more inclined to rank a website highly for the search terms identified by the digital marketer.

“The most important point for Google is that users find the content of the website relevant and keep going back to it,” says Schneider.

“If they do this, this is a sign to Google that the users like the content. Thus Google will rank the site as popular. Content marketing fits in nicely with this imperative set by Google, as the rich depth of content that is produced through this marketing effort responds well to Google’s constant hunt for new content.”

Picture: SUPPLIED/DIGITAL SCHOOL OF MARKETING
Picture: SUPPLIED/DIGITAL SCHOOL OF MARKETING

Tangible return on investment

With content marketing, you get a precise picture of what pieces of content are bringing what traffic to your site. With analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, you are able to pinpoint which content is the most popular and how you acquired this traffic. This is vital information for you to have because if you know to which content your readers are responding positively, you can expand on such content to keep your audience engaged.

For example, if people are responding well to a blog post on your site, an idea for reusing the content is to create an audio version or a SlideShare presentation of the post so that readers who enjoy consuming content in different forms can have access to it in the format they prefer.

Content marketing is here to stay and will only grow and develop in the coming years. This makes content marketing and digital copywriting a great career option for copywriters, as demand for these skills is continuously growing. The Digital School of Marketing is an online provider of accredited content marketing, digital copywriting and digital marketing education.

To find out more, visit The Digital School of Marketing website on www.digitalschoolofmarketing.co.za or call on 0861 428 710 or email: info@digitalschoolofmarketing.co.za. Join the conversation on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter.

This article was paid for by the Digital Marketing School.