Here at William Joseph, it’s our philosophy that marketing is meaningless without great content.
Traditional marketing has become less compelling, and forward-thinking businesses are recognizing that content can be an effective vehicle to carry their brand, message and business. As the energy sector rapidly evolves, and consumer demands evolve alongside it, quality over quantity matters now more than ever in terms of powerful marketing. So, how do you stay ahead of the marketing curve while operating in a dynamic and challenging industry?
Introducing content marketing.
What is Content Marketing?
Joe Pulizzi, the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, defines content marketing as:
“…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.”
While there are many varying definitions of what content marketing is, a more basic way to look at it is that content marketing is essentially using all forms of content – text, video, audio and images – to stimulate curiosity, develop trust and inspire action. In other words, it’s developing and publishing valuable content that specifically attracts your audience into getting to know more about your business, your brand and your products/services.
Particularly in the highly-scrutinized oil and gas industry, building and maintaining a consistent and reputable brand can be a challenge; however, content marketing has many benefits and can help combat this present-day challenge. Here are some of the benefits of content marketing:
- Effective content marketing has a high ROI and compliments your current efforts to accomplish business goals
- It’s good for your bottom line, and helps build your brand and reputation by creating trust between your brand and consumers
- It attracts prospective customers in an engaging and relevant way, and educates them on the value of your products and services
- It can increase sales or new business and leave consumers wanting to know more about your brand and business
The difference between content marketing and traditional marketing is that traditional marketing efforts typically “tell” consumers how amazing your brand is. Content marketing, however, “shows” them. Research indicates that effective and consistent use of content marketing is good for your bottom line, and many corporate giants have specifically used it to stimulate growth and establish positive connections. A tangible example of how content marketing “shows” value is WestJet, who don’t just share social media posts about their products, services and flights, but often share emotionally-charged and compelling stories, videos and photos of their employees and consumers. These stories consistently embody Canadian values and emphasize WestJet’s commitment to doing business differently by putting people first.
B2B Content Marketing
The image above, taken from the 7th Annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report for 2017, shows that 89% of B2B marketers use content marketing to some degree.
The report, conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, found that 63% of businesses in North America are extremely committed to using effective content marketing, and details that 19% of all businesses surveyed are very successful in their content marketing approach, while 53% (the majority) are moderately successful. Keeping these statistics in mind, the question is, what do they contribute this success to? The top three factors include:
- Spending more time developing effective and quality content (85%)
- Spending time on developing or adjusting current content marketing strategies (72%)
- Making content marketing a greater priority (53%)
So, why aren’t some businesses successful when it comes to B2B content marketing? The report identifies the main factors contributing to B2B marketers’ stagnancy in success in content marketing are:
- Not enough time devoted to content marketing (52%)
- Content creation challenges (49%)
- Strategy issues, including a lack of strategy or lack of strategy adjustments (49%)
While these factors present challenges in developing successful content marketing strategies, consistency, commitment and the development of a goals-driven strategy can help overcome them. This is not to say that content marketing will drastically increase your profit margins within the first few weeks; but, if delivered consistently over time, making content marketing a priority means that there is a greater chance of your marketing efforts being far more successful.
One thing is certain – if 89% of B2B marketers are using content marketing, your competition is definitely using content marketing too (you snooze, you lose, as they say). Don’t fall behind and lose potential business. Make the most of your brand, and invest in developing an effective and consistent content marketing strategy today.
Curious about how you can develop an effective content marketing strategy? Give WJ a call, and we’d be happy to help you get started.