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Content marketing: What it really is and just why marketers should care

Its been said, ad nauseam, that content is king. But nowadays, a far more accurate statement is most likely: customer experience is king. And, inside our hyper-connected world where many people are fighting for attention, good content is what drives good experiences.

Businesses use content marketing ways of generate brand awareness, educate prospects and customers and establish credibility. Increasingly, delivering an excellent customer experience means delivering relevant, personalized content to customers in a manner that works for them. Providing this content customers need when theyre ready for this ultimately results in better outcomes for marketers.

Which means scaling content so its always fresh, relevant and personalized over the many touchpoints consumers use when getting together with businesses.

How important is personalization in content marketing? About 71% of consumers expect businesses to provide personalized interactions, in accordance with recent McKinsey data. Nearly three-quarters of individuals can look elsewhere for whatever item or service they want when this expectation isnt met.

In this article, well cover:

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

What’s content marketing?

Content marketing is really a marketing approach or discipline that depends on developing various content types and assets centered on getting visitors to act (e.g., join a newsletter, place an order, require more info, etc.)

Unlike pay for traffic, content marketing primarily uses organic methods to attract and engage customers. Content, in this context, includes written or visual assets (e.g., guides, articles, blogs, graphics, videos, social posts, etc.) But paid content promotion sometimes factors into content marketing for instance, sponsored content on publications or gated content that will require a fee to gain access to.

Content marketing is closely associated with inbound marketing along with other customer experience-based approaches. Its often used as a top-of-the-funnel tactic to attract prospects and turn them into leads or customers. Still, it is also used to nurture existing relationships and convert leads into customers.

THIS CONTENT Marketing Institutes (CMI) official definition of content marketing is:

A strategic marketing approach centered on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and, ultimately, to operate a vehicle profitable customer action.

You can find three forms of content marketing models such as:

  • Paid: Content sits behind a paywall or requires some kind of purchase to gain access to.
  • Owned: Content is made by a small business and published alone channels (e.g., website, blog, social media marketing).
  • Earned: Content is published by someone apart from the business (e.g., user-generated content, influencer content, media coverage, etc.).

No matter where your articles lives or lands, you can find two unifying features define an excellent content online marketing strategy relevancy and quality.

Why marketers should value content marketing

The buyer buying cycle can be an increasingly self-serve process scattered across multiple touchpoints. To adjust to consumer expectations and match competitors, marketers must develop a large level of high-quality content which can be effectively shared across a variety of channels.

Standing out in this cluttered content ecosystem requires producing personalized content at scale. Content automation tools and platforms allow companies to create, manage, share and amplify content while facilitating scalability. In a nutshell, you will need content to compete in todays customer experience-driven landscape and technology to create content at the volumes necessary to make a direct effect.

How effective is content marketing?

About 91% of companies said they achieved some degree of success with content marketing in 2021, in accordance with Semrushs 2022 State of Content Marketing Report. Most respondents said they planned to improve content budgets and hire more content talent in 2022.

Currently, content marketers measure success by considering traffic, search engine rankings and leads. But that is changing. Content marketers are increasingly centered on other measures like engagement, conversions and ROI. Needless to say, you can find tech tools that help with this particular.

For instance, customer journey analytics tools, such as for example Qualtrics, monitor every customer interaction with an organization and analyze how each little bit of the journey plays a part in action, such as a sale, conversion, or obtain information.

Journey analytics evaluates every little bit of content a person interacts with over the entire buying cycle and assesses how it impacts a measurable outcome (e.g., a sale, new customer, conversion, etc.)

Who uses or works together with content marketing tools?

The most typical teams that use content marketing tools are the ones that cope with driving web site traffic, engagement, leads and sales. This consists of:

  • Marketing: Content can be used to attract prospects and turn them into leads near the top of the funnel.
  • Sales: Content can be used to accelerate the sales process by giving prospects with the info they have to create a purchase.
  • Customer experience: Content helps reduce customer churn and drive upsells/cross-sells by keeping customers engaged post-purchase.
  • Support and service teams: Content helps decrease the amount of inbound support requests by proactively addressing common customer questions and issues.

Some job roles that use content marketing tools include:

  • CMO: Guides content strategy and works together with other C-level executives to determine content goals.
  • Content manager: Oversees article marketing and distribution.
  • Content planner: Executes content strategy and plans content calendar.
  • Content writer: Creates content.
  • Editor: Reviews and approves content.
  • Designer: Creates visuals to accompany content.
  • Marketing analyst: Tracks and reports content marketing performance metrics.
  • Sales manager or agent: Uses content to aid the sales process.
  • Customer success manager or agent: Uses content to help keep customers engaged.

What forms of tools or software enable content marketing?

An array of tools and platforms exist to greatly help businesses create, distribute, target and gauge the content they create. They include:

  • Content management systems (CMS) like HubSpot and Joomla let companies create, store and manage website content (e.g., webpages, blogs, e-commerce product pages, etc.).
  • Digital experience platforms (DXPs) like Sitecore and Adobe Experience Manager provide robust content orchestration features including digital asset management, customer data management, personalization and testing and marketing automation.
  • SEO software like Moz Pro and Semrush provides tools for key word research, content optimization, link constructing and SEO rank monitoring.
  • Social media marketing suites like Sprout Social and Brandwatch (formerly include features like social publishing, campaign optimization and social engagement to boost the reach and impact of posts.
  • Content intelligence platforms like Ceralytics and help companies track content performance across multiple channels and touchpoints.
  • Content planning and team collaboration tools like Asana and Trello help content teams manage projects and workflows, share files, create editorial calendars and assign tasks/to-do lists.

How content marketing might help marketers succeed

Gartner notes that companies demonstrating success with growth, margin and profitability typically prioritize customer experience. These businesses are nearly 30% more prone to have higher CX budgets and concentrate on the complete customer journey, including what goes on following a prospect becomes a person.

Content is important in every stage of the client journey from attracting prospects to building relationships with customers. The payoff is high for businesses focused on delivering personalized interactions driven by high-quality, relevant content.

Fast-growing companies drive 40% more of these revenue from personalization versus their competitors, a recently available McKinsey report revealed.

Consumers react to this approach. That’s, they need personalized, relevant content from businesses. Per McKinsey, nearly 80% of consumers said personalized content was an integral element in their decision to get or repurchase from the brand.

Setting it up right means creating content at scale. Content powered by AI is a key driver of personalization. Brands which have fully committed to content marketing are actually embracing AI to generate more personalized content experiences for his or her customers.

Whats next for content marketing

Globally, this content marketing industry is projected to attain 9.6 billion by 2023. The industrys dominant players include Oracle, HubSpot, Adobe and Salesforce, but content marketing encompasses various kinds of software and services including marketing agencies, resellers and the technology vendors themselves.

Because the demand for high-quality, personalized content continues, content marketing and the tech had a need to facilitate it’ll become increasingly needed for companies of most sizes. The proliferation of touchpoints and devices: the how and where of the client journey: can be a key element in the growth of content marketing.

Artificial intelligence and content technology can help marketers match the demand for personalized content, automating most of the tasks inherent in article marketing and planning. But human ingenuity and creativity remains an important element of effective article marketing and strategy. As companies continue refining and improving the client experience, content marketing will continue steadily to take center stage.

Additional reading

Here are a few resources to greatly help level up your articles marketing efforts:

Opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest author rather than necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


Jacqueline Dooley is really a freelance B2B content writer and journalist covering martech industry news and trends. Since 2018, shes caused B2B-focused agencies, publications, and direct clients to generate articles, blogs, whitepapers, and eBooks. Ahead of that, Dooley founded Twelve Thousand, LLC where she caused clients to generate, manage, and optimize paid search and social campaigns.

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