Understanding the importance of content strategy

Everyone is talking about content strategy and content marketing, and there is a reason why this is happening. Marketers are faced with the growing challenge of reaching over-marketed customers; and customers expect companies to provide them with content that is relevant to them. This shift in customer expectations means that companies have to start looking at marketing content in a different light, and focus their efforts on their customers’ needs and wants.

I define content strategy as: “The ongoing process of leveraging business objectives and customer insights to create, distribute and maintain valuable content to customers and prospects; resulting in engagement and conversion to desired actions.”

Why is content marketing so important? Let’s look at the facts:

There is a need for customer-centric content marketing and marketers are taking notice:

    • High usage: 92% of Marketers are using content marketing.
    • Increasing budget: 58% of B2B and 60% of B2C marketers will increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months.
    • Meeting customer needs: Marketers are faced with the challenge of catering to customers’ content needs, in a world where content is more readily available than ever.

There is an abundance of marketing content available but not enough focus:

  • Content proliferation: Past development of content results in many clients facing a wealth of available content that is difficult to manage.
  • Narrow focus: Marketers focus too much on quantity and SEO and not enough on quality and context.

Technology is changing the content marketing landscape:

  • Technology as a driver and obstacle: The presence of new technology calls for more strategically stored and classified marketing content.

Content marketing is an effective way to reduce marketing costs:

  • Lower costs: Content marketing costs 60% less than traditional marketing.
  • Inbound marketing: Inbound focused organizations experience a 61% lower cost per lead than outbound marketing dominated organizations.
  • Efficiency: Content marketing ROI outweighs the ROI of paid search (a temporary investment that is widely believed to be the most cost-effective marketing tactic).

Providing relevant content drives results:

  • Lead generation: Per dollar spent, content marketing generates three times as many leads and traditional marketing.
  • Conversion: Organic search leads have a 14.6% conversion rate, while outbound marketing leads have a 1.7% conversion rate.
  • Influence: 53% of consumers said they were somewhat or much more likely to buy a new product when they learned about it through an online article.
  • Build relationships: 70%of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads. 

Marketers know they must adopt and execute a content marketing strategy but are still challenged with the process. In this three-part series, we will review the content strategy process and explain how each step contributes to effective and efficient content marketing. In our next blog post we’ll discuss content strategy definition.

What does content strategy mean to you? Leave your thoughts in the comments.