Content marketing isn’t a fad or a trend. It’s a movement, a shift in how brands connect with consumers. It’s more than an email blast or a blog post, it’s an ongoing commitment to creating and sharing engaging, purposeful content that converts. You’re probably here because you know what content marketing is and that it’s important, but you’re having a hard time convincing your boss, the rest of your team, or your overworked, stretched too thin, ‘can’t add another thing to their to-do list’ marketing team that you need a content marketing strategy.
We get it.
We’re here to help, by giving you the resources you need to convince anyone + everyone that content marketing is a must-have for housewares brands. Ready? Let’s go! First things first — some stats for the data-loving number crunchers in your office.
Content Marketing Stats (2019)
- By 2021, the term ‘content marketing’ will be defunct as all marketing content rises to high-quality expectations of attention-limited audiences. (Gartner 2018 Magic Quadrant for Content Marketing Platforms)
- In 2019, 84.5% of U.S. companies with at least 100 employees will utilize digital content marketing strategies. (eMarketer)
- More than 50% of marketers expected to increase their content marketing budget last year. (CMI & MarketingProfs)
- Approximately 45% of content creation is done on an ad-hoc basis. (IMN Inc)
- In 2018, only 39% of content marketers had a documented content marketing strategy. That number, however, jumped to 65% among top performing organizations. (CMI & MarketingProfs)
- 71% of buyers/readers said they are turned off by content that seems like a sales pitch. (Economist Group’s “Missing the Mark”)
- For every $92 spent acquiring customers, only $1 is spent converting them. (Econsultancy)
- 55% of marketers said blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. (Hubspot)
- B2C content marketers have increased their use of audio/visual content, written content, and images vs. one year ago. (CMI and MarketingProfs)
- The top 3 types of content used by B2B marketers in the last 12 months are long-form content (in-depth articles, guides), video snippets, and social media stories. (CMI)
- 71% of B2B buyers said they consumed blog content during their buyer’s journey. That’s up from 66% in 2017. (Demand Gen Report 2018 Content Preferences Survey Report)
- Only about 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates. (Econsultancy)
- 90% of the most successful B2B content marketers prioritize their audience’s informational needs over their own sales/promotional message. (CMI & MarketingProfs)
- 70% of marketers are using paid distribution on social media; 64% are using PPC or search engine advertising. (CMI & MarketingProfs)
Most marketers are still playing catch up when it comes to content marketing. Most are doing something in terms of content creation, but are lacking a plan, resources, or reporting to really take things to the next level. There are a lot of opportunities for brands to make an impact with purposeful, engaging content + there’s really no turning back. Consumers + buyers expect great content. As attention spans dwindle, the need for high-quality, well-planned content is only getting more important.
Alright, now that you’ve shared some stats, you’ve got your team’s attention, right? They see that your brand is falling behind + that content marketing is not some magical buzzword you made up. So what’s next? Creating a shared understanding. Give content marketing a tangible definition that works for your brand. My favorite definition of content marketing comes from the 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. (Content Marketing Institute)
Such a great overview of content marketing, in my opinion. But let’s take things a step farther for you. Here are some must-have components to work into your shared understanding of content marketing for your brand:
- You’re building relationships. That piece about a clearly defined audience is KEY in CMI’s definition
(👋 buyer persona development guide here, don’t miss it!). The first step to successful content marketing is understanding your audience. From there, your content should fit seamlessly into their lives + research process so they feel empowered, inspired + in love with your brand. Your content builds a relationship between you + them, so ultimately it’s your products they add to their Amazon cart or reach for on a store shelf.
- It’s a long-term commitment. It takes time to start generating results + it takes even longer to build out really well-executed campaigns that engage + move people through the buying cycle. Well thought out, engaging content builds trust in your brand + generates more visibility online. Establishing that authenticity only happens when you’re thoughtful + consistent.
- Content pieces should work together. You should have a clear enough understanding of your buyer’s journey to know what information is going to bring them to your site, what they need to fall in love with your products + how to drive them to a sales channel. A single piece of content is not typically enough to do all that, so be sure everyone is prepared to look at the bigger picture + how content pieces work together.
- Storytelling is about more than selling products. We’ve talked recently about how brands need to sell lifestyles, not products. Your content should be doing that for you every step of the way. A gorgeous mortar + pestle set is great, but giving dimensions, color/material information + price isn’t enough. Give shoppers a life-changing guacamole recipe. Nerd-out on them + show ’em the science behind the perfect way to release the flavor of their ingredients. Show off some stunning lifestyle photos so they start picturing your product in their kitchen. Round up all the best reviews so they’re engaging with others who love what you’ve got to offer. Give them more than just a simple mortar + pestle set — show them how much better life will be with YOUR mortar + pestle set.
The key to getting everyone on the same page is making the definition personal to your brand. What are those “profitable customer actions” you’re looking for? Onsite sales? Trade show traffic? New wholesale opportunities? When you’re creating common ground with your stakeholders, make sure you’re relating the benefits of content marketing to your brand specifically.
Give ’em an Example
Alright, you’re all on the same page with what you mean when you say content marketing + you’re fairly certain they understand all that it entails for your brand specifically. Next step, show them an example. I’m going to assume you’re already doing some type of content development + can map out how it should have been done for better results. For instance, you wrote a blog post. Maybe you even posted it on your Facebook or Twitter account. Did the work stop there? Did you get much in terms of results? Let’s assume the dirty work of persona development, buyers journey mapping + editorial planning are done, to just focus on the blog post at hand, OK?
Seems like a lot, right? That’s because it is. If you’re going through the trouble of writing really great, engaging, purposeful content, you have to make the most of it. You can’t just write a post + call it a day. The above video example should help you really communicate that point with your stakeholders. At this point, talk up the need for strategic distribution + integration of your content marketing work.
Talk Up the Benefits
Once you’ve shown them how much work goes into a great content marketing strategy, you better follow things up with the benefits. No one wants to stare down a workload like that without a crystal-clear understanding of what it’s going to get them, right? Based on your business goals, make sure to personalize these general content marketing benefits to really relate to your brand.
- Take control of the conversation. Create the content your target audience is searching for — before customers ask you for it. Be the top search result when someone asks why thread count matters or which cleaning products are best for hardwood floors. Know why your products are better than the competition’s and write about that in new + engaging ways until you’ve answered every question, overcome every pain point + given every benefit statement about your products. Give shoppers everything they could possibly need to know when they’re deciding what to buy + they’ll decide to buy from you, time + time again.
- Give your brand a lift. As your content library grows, your online presence will get more diverse. You’ll generate more + better backlinks for improved referral traffic + brand awareness, influencers + social users will be sharing your links + their own experiences with your products + brand. You’ll start ranking for more variations of your target key phrases. There are so many benefits to your overall brand awareness with content marketing!
- Increase your organic search visibility. It’s no secret Google loves great content. As the search engines work harder + harder to provide the most relevant, practical search results for users, they rely on your content to drive their search results. Give them really great content to index + they’ll be more likely to award you with better search positions for the key phrases you write about.
- Establish authenticity + credibility. No one knows your products or brands better than your team does. Content marketing offers you so many opportunities to establish yourself as an industry leader + lifestyle influencer. Show off all the goods, be totally transparent + let the world know who you are, what you stand for + why you’re the right choice for their next housewares purchase.
- Give your ads team a little something extra to work with. Optimizing Amazon ads + developing new product banners is important, no doubt about it. But if you give your ads team some truly engaging, Instagram-worthy content, they’re going to have a field day! It’s hard to cut through the noise with another product listing, it’s a lot easier to target the right people at the right time with content mapped to specific personas at a specific point in the buying cycle. Digital advertising isn’t magic, but if you give your team some great content they’ll be able to do some amazing things.
- Help your retailers, sales + customer service team out. When you have a database of really strategic, purposeful content, your retailers, sales + customer service teams have a whole new library of the materials they need to close more sales + keep customers happy. Use their insight + feedback in your strategic planning to make sure you’re educating your audiences in more meaningful ways. Encourage them to share links + help you update content regularly to be sure you’re as proactive as possible with your content.
- Improve your conversion rate optimization. More traffic is great, but meaningless if those visitors don’t convert. Content marketing lets you fine-tune your messaging, buyer’s journey mapping + sales funnel to move them through the buying stages until it’s your brand they buy.
- Be less annoying. When was the last time to bought something from a telemarketer or even paid attention to all of the commercials running during a TV show? I’m not saying traditional advertising isn’t useful, I’m saying it can be annoying (+ oftentimes ignored). Content marketing is all about those relationships though, right? So from the start, you’re trying to add value to consumers’ lives, not interrupt their day in an annoying, aggressive way.
- Your results will keep compounding. Organic search visibility doesn’t get awarded overnight, it takes time for Google to index + reward your website with top search positions. The longer your content is online (as long as it stays relevant), the more opportunities you have for better search visibility + increased traffic. Keep analyzing, optimizing + redistributing your content + the sky is the limit when it comes to results.
Take a Good, Hard Look at Your Team
Start looking at what it’s going to take to strategize + implement a successful content marketing plan for your brand. Do you have copywriters on hand with the time + capacity to write regularly? What kind of ad budget can you set aside for promoting your new content? Does your team have the time to consistently analyze, optimize + redistribute your content? Whether you’ve got the manpower in-house + just need help with the strategy + planning, or you’re ready to partner with an outside agency to see things through from start to finish, you have to determine the resources + strengths of your team first.
Take a Deep Breath + Go…
Alright, we’ve gone over the stats, established a shared vision of content marketing, looked at an example of what it could look like for your brand + talked through the biggest benefits to content marketing. What’s next? Get in front of your boss, stakeholders or team + show them that content marketing isn’t an option, it’s a necessity.
So… how did it go? Share your thoughts, feedback + questions in the comments below! If you’re still not sure everyone’s convinced, give us a call. We’re passionate about content marketing + would love to be your back up! We’ve yet to meet a brand that wouldn’t benefit from content marketing + would be happy to help you educate + persuade your team!