If you remember the days when banner ads had 50-90% Click through rates, you’re probably both old and exceptionally jaded to the current ones. In fact, we all are. Our chances of clicking a banner ad are lower than the
Banner ads along with other annoying forms of advertising are slowly falling to the wayside as the years creep along, and internet users get more and more savvy.
Because of the constant changes to how search engine marketing is valuing content, content marketing has been a diamond in the rough for a while but has finally really started to reflect its true value. This is nothing new though, as covered in depth by Adobe in 2013.
If you desire a proof that this works, you can see that “content IS the ad” in the success of the classic example of excellent content marketing by none other than Buzzfeed. The one renowned as the inventor of clickbait themselves obviously has an excellent business model when it comes to churning out post after post offering highly consumable content to Internet users that doubles as advertisements.
We all hate being advertised at. It’s a natural part of being human.
And I’m not ashamed to admit it. I loathe being forced to sit through a 20 second video of someone showing me “10 simple steps” to picking the perfect Christmas gift. I just don’t care. (AdBlock anyone?)
Google knows I don’t care too. In fact, there are very few things Google doesn’t know about my, or anyone else’s browsing activity. And again, this is why we’re seeing the changes that we are seeing today in how people find content in search engines.
Grabbing a metaphorical megaphone and yelling at people simply doesn’t work, and it is sad to see this tactic still widely in use today.
Where can one go from here?
Display and auto play video ads will likely never completely go away but will become much less important as content finally grows up to be the more important big brother.
And for a huge percentage of companies, it already has. Publishers are being born in companies every day as those previously uninterested in writing about their daily tasks are now writing a blog or two a week, then shipping it off to the marketing team.
As this model has had respectable levels of success, we’re seeing two major trends arise that are still flying over the heads of most companies in terms of content marketing.
- Building trust with customer-focused content marketing
If you’re publishing content that only seeks to promote, you’re making efforts to help only yourself. Content marketing should always seek to solve a problem for your customers, thus building trust.
Trust is the single most important bond a company can have with a customer, as simply grabbing their attention for a moment does nothing for either party.
- Heavy under-utilization of company data stores
With the introduction and massive success of infographics and other visual graphics in the past, publishing some more of the same “Mind blowing facts about ______” is one way to go, but far from the only way.
All even slightly developed companies have data stored up somewhere that is pulled out when deciding on a strategy to move forward. The difference is, some companies make intelligent use of this data in content marketing, and some don’t.
Here are two examples of smart uses of data-driven content marketing:
(via inhabitat.com & Jawbone.com)
What these two companies have fully realized is that using data-driven content allows them to give some insight to the customer and build trust while offering highly engaging statistics in a visual format.
There’s very little downside to this, too. Using this data-driven content allows for the highest chances of being shared, the most valuable content to take flight, your voice to gain authority, and most importantly, your brand to become transparent. Once again, leading back to trust.
For all the content being churned out on a daily basis, it’s rare to see marketers who effectively communicate the voice of their brand with both customer-focused content and data-driven content.