Between social media, blogs, videos, and technology in general, the digital world is constantly changing. And, just as the digital world is evolving, so is the marketing world. In fact, the term ‘content marketing’ is continuing to grow in popularity and importance. Here’s a screenshot from Google Trends demonstrating how the term ‘content marketing’ has skyrocketed over the years.
This graph shows that over the past decade, the term ‘content marketing’ has been searched, and continues to be searched, at an escalating rate.
Okay, let me start off by explaining what content marketing is.
The best definition of content marketing comes from Content Marketing Institute:
“Content Marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
The content used to create this high-value for businesses can take the form of blogs, emails, web content, videos, infographics, and more. Content development takes a lot of strategy, time, and effort, but it’s essential for companies to market themselves in the best way possible.
Social media began in 1997, and it’s been evolving ever since. Fun fact: It’s a common assumption that the first social media platform was MySpace but in fact, it was actually a platform called Six Degrees. Did anyone ever use that though?
When social media changes, content marketing often changes as well. This is because social media has an ever-changing landscape which requires content developers to constantly change and adapt their strategy.
For instance, certain companies should market themselves through social media platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter, but another company might be better off utilizing Pinterest. It all depends on the company, their business goals, target audiences, and available social media platforms.
Now more than ever, consumers want high-quality and reliable information delivered to them as quickly as possible. This comes with the advancement of technology and search engines. But how do search engines have this information to provide its users? Website content. Your website content, if strategic and optimized, can result in top rankings within search engines when users search for specific keywords. The most well-known search engines are Google, Bing, and Yahoo. However, search engines and their algorithms are constantly evolving-- for instance, have you ever heard of the search engine, DuckDuckGo? Well, it's in the works, and perhaps you'll be using it in the future.
There is also the major development of AI (artificial intelligence) which allows search engines to use algorithms to predict what consumers are thinking. For instance, if someone searches “Halloween Costumes,” the search engine will probably also suggest nearby pumpkin patches, DIY Halloween decoration ideas, or other special Halloween deals/coupons. Therefore, it’s a smart idea for Halloween stores to use content to help share this information—because that’s how customers will find the best store for them to shop at.
When it comes to search engines, most people don’t even bother to look at the second page of results when researching. This creates a huge demand for companies to have their website listed on the first page. Because of the amount of competition to be on the top of the first page, content marketing is needed.
Search engine optimization is the process of getting more views for your content on search engines. This is crucial for any content marketing strategy because it’s another great source for people to see content from a company.
Not only do consumers want quick and reliable information, but they’re also tired of feeling like they are getting sucked into some “slimy sales scheme.” This is where content marketing comes into play. Content marketing is not about shoving information at people who don’t want it, and it isn’t about providing a bunch of fake information in order to get attention. Content Marketing is the way for companies to improve their image by showcasing the expert knowledge that they already have.
In other words, content marketing is about showcasing a company in a credible and appealing way, in order for people to want to use their product or service more than their competitors. There’s no evil scheme, and there’s no catch-- it’s just about putting the company into the limelight it deserves. That’s what makes content marketing so important now, and why it will continue to develop the future of marketing.
Content marketing is more popular now than ever because of the evolution of social media, search engines, and us as people. Social media and search engines are continually improving, changing, and evolving to make consumers want better, faster, and newer information every day. And, since there’s so much information online, consumers want to make sure that they’re learning and sharing the most factual and high-quality information. So, what does this mean for business? Businesses must market themselves through content like blogs, pictures, infographics, videos, and more, in order to be on top.