Why Content Marketing Matters To Me And Should To You

Last week, Joe Pulizzi and his merry band of content strategists at Junta42 released new metrics, ranking the top content marketing blogs in the world. And guess what? The very blog that you’re reading came out #1.

Thank you to everyone who reads Convince & Convert. Your feedback, comments, and support are what keep me doing this. Second, huge thanks to Joe and his team for the honor. To be on the same list (much less on top) with bloggers for whom I have tremendous respect and admiration (Valeria Maltoni, Lee Odden, David Meerman Scott, and many others) is a real affirmation for what I’m trying to do.

So let’s talk more about that.

Sure, I pay attention to where I’m ranked in the AdAge Power 150 (a broader ranking of all marketing blogs), and I look at my search rankings, etc.  But I am incredibly delighted to top the list of content marketing blogs, because for me content marketing is becoming fundamental to business success at every level.

We have entered an era where every business needs to consider themselves a TV station and a magazine, and the quicker you figure out your strategic content marketing plan, the faster you can use content to drive meaningful business results.

Is Your Company in the Content Marketing Industry?

What formerly was the sole bastion of the media, is now also a company bailiwick. Consider a company like Kodak. Previously, content about Kodak products would have been created by the media. Photography magazines. CNET.com. Gizmodo and other tech blogs.

Now, Kodak is creating their own content that looks and feels quite similar. Reviews. Specs. Comparisons with other products in the category. Kodak (and thousands of other companies) are writing blogs, taking photos, uploading videos, making presentations and creating all sorts of other content. Why? Because content is the most efficient form of marketing available.

Content marketing is perhaps alone in its ability to be a successful endeavor at every phase of the customer lifecycle:

  • When a potential customer is using Google to research new digital cameras, what is going to get them to a Kodak site? Smart, optimized content.
  • When a potential customer has narrowed the options and wants to compare one camera to another, with an emphasis on image stabilization, what is going to get them to understand Kodak’s comparative merits? Smart, optimized content.
  • When a current customer wants to stay engaged with the brand, to learn about new products on the horizon and other updates, what’s going to turn them from a customer to an advocate? Smart, optimized content.

Content Marketing Doesn’t Go Stale

Further, unlike almost every other marketing tactic every devised, content marketing continues to pay dividends forever. Smart content creation doesn’t have an expiration date. It generates Web traffic (via search and social media linkages) and helps remove purchase impediments every day of every month. It’s an information annuity that can’t be replicated elsewhere. If you purchase a magazine ad to promote your company, that ad might generate a lot of new customers. But, when the next issue is printed, unless you advertise again, the flow of new customers stops. Content marketing is the exact opposite.

Your potential customers have questions about your company, your products, your services, your competitors. Creating and propagating smart, optimized content that succinctly answers those questions is the most direct line to sales and loyalty.

Of course, content alone is not the answer. Content without community, without approachability, without humanization and kinship is ineffective. Just as content that is focused on selling, rather than helping, is doomed to fail.

But, I’m excited about content marketing, as more and more companies recognize its potential. That’s why I write so many posts about content creation and efficiencies, likeBuilding a Social Content Ladder.

That’s why being named #1 for content marketing means so much to me. I think we’re just scratching the surface of what content marketing can and will become in terms of its importance to corporate marketers.

What do you think?

(photo by AMagill)

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