With content becoming a driving factor for ecommerce sales, for both B2B and B2C segments, content marketing has acquired a sensational deal of prominence.
Somewhat differing from other methods of marketing, it takes a more passive approach by relying on high quality content to speak for itself first. Be it publishing a link to a white paper on LinkedIn or organizing a webinar to talk about some recent trends in an industry segment, they fall under the umbrella of content marketing.
There are various channels through which content marketing can be done, website channels, email marketing, social media, sponsored content, and search. Let us look at the current state of these channels.
Web channels are primarily centered around making available content on a website on either a free or paid basis, and either through a sign up or without it. Among content that is typically made available without signup are blogs and videos.
Other types of content such as case studies, newsletters, and white papers are sent by email after completing a signup process and following the relevant download links. In person events and webinars on the other hand require you to go to a registration link and complete the process.
Website channels have the capacity to give you the highest RoI on your content marketing efforts along with the ability to provide the highest increases in conversions and brand awareness.
Surprisingly enough, one of the earliest content marketing techniques still remains relevant and popular. Email marketing can tap both targeted email lists and global email lists.
Targeted email lists are built off specific user actions such as signups for free newsletters and are able to give you better hit rates in terms of converting list members to sales. They are also cost effective. While global email lists are also cost effective and easy to use, the hit rates achievable are generally much lower due to lack of specificity.
Social media marketing can give you some of the highest increases on brand awareness, if done properly. By hosting a page on a site like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, you are able to distribute content in a manner where quality content like video can go viral swiftly. They also serve as an alternative method by which signups for webinars and events can be completed and blogs can be hosted. The greatest advantage that social media marketing has over other channels is the ability to pull in large numbers of additional prospects through instant referrals.
Sponsored content is an elegant and professional way for organizations to market content by providing non editorial content to media outlets which publish them along with their own content. While this has the advantages of being able to piggyback on the massive reach of media outlets to reach millions of prospects, this channel can be less effective in terms of boosting brand awareness, due to the sponsored content getting lost amidst the general editorial content.
While Search is a viable channel for content marketing, it comes with some significant disadvantages in terms of requiring significant investments towards maintaining specialized SEO teams. It can take a lot of time and money to get search right, so RoIs can be low. This channel is in general, better utilized after already establishing significant brand awareness and site authority by employing other methods.