Alli Sands

Demystifying Content Marketing

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Widespread misconceptions that marketing strategies for the online realm are quick, easy, and require minimal effort abound in the business world. While the Internet has made access to almost any kind of content practically instantaneous, the strategy and process of making that information available takes time and effort. With that in mind, more and more companies are starting to show interest in exploring content marketing but are hesitant to invest in it due to a variety of misapprehensions.

There is always a list of reasons not to do something, and implementing a content marketing strategy is no different. Paul Pruneau at Social Media Today discusses barriers businesses encounter when implementing a content marketing plan, and goes on to point out, “Content Marketing is the essential fuel that drives successful search engine optimization, inbound lead generation and social media marketing.” The statistics speak for themselves so Pruneau supports his point with the following data:

  • 46% of daily Internet searches are user initiated for research on products or services.
  • Site visitors are three to five times less likely to click on the paid links returned in search results.
  • B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those that don’t.
  • Companies that blog (just by doing it) have 97% more inbound links than those that don’t.

Yes, content marketing requires a company to make a substantial investment of resources. However, the ROI is undeniable. For example, American Express launched its OPEN Forum content marketing program in 2007. In 2008, OPEN Forum received 425,000 page views. Two short years later, OPEN Forum’s page views had increased to 10 million. Additionally, Content Lab reports that 80% of OPEN Forum’s in-bound traffic comes from earned media.

Going forward, the expectations for a company’s website are only going to increase. Five years ago, it was enough that a company had a functioning website. Today a rich, well-developed online presence is crucial if a company wants to attract and engage new prospects. A strong content marketing plan can help convert website traffic into qualified leads that will ultimately generate more revenue for a company.

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