This article was originally posted on Demand Gen Report’s Industry Topics.
Content marketing is a hot topic. More organizations have made content creation and distribution a priority for 2013, and have allocated a higher percentage of their budgets to prove it. But what’s all the fuss about? Why content marketing, and why now?
The buyer’s journey has changed. Once, before we could access massive amounts of information at the click of “Google Search,” buyers had to interact directly with vendors to gather the information they needed to make a purchase. No longer is this the case. Nowadays, buyers do the majority of their research online, entirely independent of sales. In fact, SiriusDecisions estimates that the buyer’s journey is 70% complete by the time a sales person is contacted.
With sales blocked from impacting purchase decisions early in the buyer’s journey, marketing has taken over the top half of the purchase funnel. Now, marketers are just as responsible for generating revenue as their sales counterparts. But with buyers more resistant than ever to brands pushing their products and interrupting their regular online research, how can marketers move buyers toward purchase without overwhelming them–or making them angry and losing a customer for good?
Enter content marketing.
Buyers are constantly online reading about industry trends and ways to tackle the problems they face every day. They’re looking for trusted resources and expert advice. They want strategies that will make them more efficient and effective at their jobs. By creating those tutorials, videos, infographics, blog posts, and eBooks that speak directly to a buyer’s concerns, marketers can regain the power to impact purchase decisions and build trust with their target audience.
But content doesn’t only build trust and attract target buyers. It also fuels your social media outreach and marketing automation campaigns, fills your editorial calendar, and gives your sales team what they need to be seen as thought leaders. As Joe Chernov, VP of Marketing at Kinvey says, content marketing “lifts multiple ships. It doesn’t do just one thing well.”
And, most importantly, it delivers results. According to Blair Lyon, VP of Marketing at Monetate, they’ve tripled their revenue since deploying their content marketing strategy and increased marketing qualified leads by 800% in the last year. Todd Wheatland, VP and Head of Thought Leadership and Marketing at Kelly OCG, has seen an over 300% increase in both traffic and lead gen. At DocuSign, Dustin Grosse, VP and Chief Marketing Officer, reports that their sales cycle time has been cut by at least 50%.
Content marketing is more than the newest hot topic. It’s what modern marketers are implementing to impact revenue and fuel entire marketing strategies.
Still not sure? Watch the short video below to hear content marketing experts, including Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute and Talia Wise of Cengage Learning, share why and how content marketing works in their organizations. You can also download the full comic book (yes, comic book) and eBook, Content: The Force That Moves the Buyer Down the Funnel, to dig even deeper into implementing a content marketing strategy.