About ten years ago, when search engines still weren’t that important to the marketing department, the MD of a company I did some work for showed me something which irritated him. If you entered the type of product they sold into a search engine, the first result which came up was from a tiny competitor. What irritated him, however, was not just that his own (much bigger) company wasn’t top of the search results. Very smartly, he realised that the real threat was the content of the page. It was a glossary of all the technical jargon in that market, and it was undeniably useful. This, he reckoned, made the company behind the page seem like real authorities in the field, even though they were just a small outfit.
I had a look the other day, and that page still appears in the top ten results in Google. It must generate hundreds of visitors a month to that company’s website, and probably plenty of prospects. The page has only been occasionally updated, and has the same design as it did in 2001 (and it was hardly cutting edge then). I reckon it’s probably been the most successful piece of marketing in the history of that product sector. Good for them: even if the page’s success had only been accidental, its creators deserve a marketing award.
This was an early example of content marketing, although that term has now developed to refer to a much broader and more organised strategy. And it’s not too late to get on board – in fact, it’s more important than ever to get on board. Here are 15 Reasons Why Marketers Dont Use Content Marketing from Junta42 Content Marketing. If you recognise any of them, it’s time to do something about it. If the only thing holding you back from filling your website with material that proves you know what you’re talking about is time or writing ability, then it’s time to get a decent writer on board. A dozen definitive articles on the state of the art in your field of business, published between now and next Christmas, will bring you in prospects for years to come. And all for the price of the stand at that daft trade show you’ve been meaning to pull out of for years. Ring the editor of your industry’s favourite magazine and see if they can point you in the direction of a knowledgeable writer. You never know, if you drop the right hints, they might even do it themselves. Many editors like to earn some freelance money, and lots will have a new year’s resolution to build up enough to be able to do it full time – it’s the natural career progression for most of us. There’s a reason why most trade magazine editors are so young.
Read 15 Reasons Why Marketers Dont Use Content Marketing
I promised more stuff about email marketing, and here’s a useful short article from Junta42 Content Marketing called Whats an Acceptable Enewsletter Open Rate? which is worth a look. The author reckons that open rates ranging from 8% to 45% are typical (it’s amazing how many companies think theirs gets much higher), but mid- to high-teens is an average for decent enewsletters. So yes, that does mean that if you send out to 500 customers, don’t expect more than 50-100 to actually read the thing.
An issue not mentioned in the article is that of the “open rate” statistics you’re given by your emailing service or application. I would be very careful with this. It’s true that many people skim through their inbox just looking at the subject lines and opening only the ones which look interesting. So that’s clear: they opened it, or they didn’t. But many others trudge through their inbox using the keyboard, with a preview pane open, so every email effectively gets opened, even if they don’t give it a glance. Counting the real readers is almost impossible. But in the end, it’s about the actions they take anyway, isn’t it?
The Junta42 Content Marketing blog demonstrates vividly where most companies go wrong with their content marketing in Your Customers Don’t Care About You – Take the Content Marketing Test. The article develops the well-known criticism that too much marketing is about “we” when it should be about “you”. We can all learn from social media, which is all about people passing on messages. If your message is self-centred, nobody’s going to be interested in telling other people about it. In other words, if you want what you write to be of interest to people, ask yourself this one question: is what I’ve just produced something the reader might want to pass on?
“Content Marketing” is something which is proving to be more and more effective, perhaps as a result of the way in which people find and consume information. It’s very relevant to us in the technical marketing sphere, and a very good introductory article worth a read is What Does Science Teach Us About Content Marketing? on the Junta42 Content Marketing blog. It compares what we know as content marketing with the process of peer-reviewed publishing in the scientific world. As it says: “The benefits of peer-review publishing and content marketing are the same: so you can be found (out of the sea of information), so you can be differentiated from your competition, so you can be chosen as a relevant source, and so you can become trusted. Arent these the goals of marketing?”