Content marketing is more than authoring content and publishing it online, which is content publishing. Two things differentiate content marketing from content publishing: focus and purpose. Content marketing focuses on publishing content with the express purpose of attracting customers, prospects, influencers, and the public at large to your brand and making them the advocates of the brand.

The Origins of Content Marketing

The first ever commercial website was created by O Reilly and Associates in 1993. This was during the early days of the web with the arrival of NCSA Mosaic, one of the first graphical web browsers. This was one of the first cases of online content marketing whereby a book called The Online Whole Internet Catalog was published online.

This book provided a comprehensive introduction to the Internet with information on the utilities of the day used to access the Internet, mail, FTP, telnet, and newsreaders.

Content Marketing, some Facts, and Figures

Content marketing has picked up big time over the last few years with several powerful elements of content marketing, social media based marketing, newsletters, podcasts, and the use of sponsored content becoming extremely popular and well regarded.

The Content Marketing institute quotes from a survey that 77 percent of all marketers in the B2C segment and fully 76 percent of all B2B marketers are increasing content marketing related initiatives this year. Surprisingly, email based marketing continues to be effective and popular, although underrated. Here are some key facts and figures related to content marketing today:

  • TopRank statistics quote that the most effective tactics for B2B content marketing are in person events at 70 per cent, case studies at 65 percent, videos at 63 percent, webinars at 63 percent, blogs at 62 percent, newsletters at 60 percent and white papers at 63 percent
  • According to stats from Media Post, 94 percent of marketers mention sales as one of their top goals of content marketing with 88 percent listing brand awareness as one of their top goals
  • Media Post also reports search results, peer reviews, and brand web sites to be the most popular types of online promotional content with push text messages and display advertising being the least trusted.
  • It also quotes that website traffic, revenue, keyword conversions and search engine rankings, in that order, to be the top metrics used to measure success of content marketing efforts
  • Heidi Cohen quotes that top goals for B2C marketers are customer loyalty, engagement, brand awareness, and sales, in that order
  • Heidi Cohen also quotes that website traffic, sales, higher conversion rates, and SEO rankings are the top metrics for B2C marketers to measure content marketing success

Benefits of Content Marketing

Some of the key benefits of content marketing apart from increased sales and better conversion rates are:
Improved rankings in search engines

Due to high quality, customer focused content being published regularly, your websites invariably gain in search engine rankings

  • Increased site traffic due to referrals
  • Improved brand reputation
  • Deeper customer relationships
  • More effective cross selling and up selling
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