A lot of attention has been given lately to the concept of content marketing. Delivering relevant and helpful content to audiences in order to build more meaningful relationships, encourage social sharing, and convert leads has become the marketing topic de jour, and not without good reason.
Content marketing has shaken up the old “push” strategies of the past and appeals to the new age of informed consumers in a way few other strategies can match. However, as with any new marketing strategy, there are many skeptics and slow adopters that remain unmoved by the success that companies with solid content marketing strategies enjoy.
While a certain amount of skepticism is warranted in a time when marketing tools and technology seem to change on a daily basis, the arguments for content marketing are far too persuasive to ignore. Many marketers are still clinging to excuses for not adopting content strategies of their own. Listed below are 3 of the worst such excuses and the arguments against them.
“We have no time to create content.”
A marketer’s time is precious. We are being pulled in a hundred different directions each day and it’s hard enough to focus on the tasks we already have. However, lack of time is not a viable excuse for avoiding content for the following reasons:
- A comprehensive content strategy allows you to re-appropriate time and resources from underperforming channels. This is an easy way to get your content strategy off the ground.
- Content creation can easily be outsourced, both internally and externally. Encourage other internal departments to create content based on their interactions with prospects and customers.There are also countless external agencies that specialize in creating compelling content.
- Curating relevant content from other sources is just as effective as creating content of your own in terms of developing relationships and establishing thought leadership.
“There is no proven ROI.”
The accusation most frequently leveled at marketers by other, more revenue-driven departments has always been the lack of a concrete relationship between content marketing campaigns and revenue. It is understandable then for marketers to be wary of any new channel that may yet be unproven.
But new technologies and platforms like Pardot have provided more insight into ROI than marketers could have ever imagined. Marketing automation platforms are able to close the loop on revenue reporting by attributing that revenue to the initial campaign, and even the individual piece of content, that originally converted a closed sale. Even companies without marketing automation solutions are able to see significant increases in their sales funnel volume after implementing a content strategy.
“It’s not worth the investment.”
Another side effect of the lack of accountability mentioned above is a fierce protectiveness over the small budget a marketing team is allotted. It’s no wonder that many marketers are skeptical of jumping into a new strategy.
However difficult it may be to invest in a new strategy, the returns on content are swifter and more sure than many other channels. Just as time and resources can be reappropriated from underperforming channels, funds from these channels can also be transferred toward content creation, which is often significantly less expensive than other channels.
One of my favorite metaphors for content is that it is the fuel that runs the marketing engine. Without content, brands are stalling out with customers that are no longer receptive to their old marketing strategies, while savvy content creators are speeding past them on their way to sales success. Companies can no longer afford to ignore content as a viable strategy and they are quickly running out of excuses.