"Content" has quickly become the currency in which marketers operate with on today's Web.
Ninety-three percent of B2B organizations, in fact, now rely on content marketing for brand building and demand generation according to findings recently revealed in Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProf's fourth annual "B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends - North America" report.
Even though marketers are more than willing to use content marketing for the purpose of driving demand and awareness, there's a whole lot more to the practice than writing out a few blog posts or articles and distributing them on social media networks or through email. Content marketing has quickly become a valid initiative, a practical discipline, a useful tactic - but there needs to be far more investment in the process (monetarily and otherwise) and Internet professionals are quickly making this realization.
As many savvy digital marketers have already discovered, the secret of successful content is directly addressing the needs, wants, and desires of both a prospective and/or existing audience, and then putting those meaningful (educational, entertaining or informative) content assets in front of users when they're most likely to be willing and able to become a "convert."
What is really missing from the content marketing craze sweeping the digital world, however, is awareness that the secret of effective optimization of content comes down to three essential components - optimizing for discovery, optimizing for consumption and optimizing for engagement.
Let's take a closer look.
Today's marketers must understand why users are looking for them in the first place, creating valuable digital experiences for users that are available across multiple channels - from search to social. Market research tools and social listening offerings prove useful in this phase.
It's not enough to simply know what users are looking for; Internet professionals must also understand those users' preferences when it comes to media types and content formats (e.g. PDF whitepapers or interactive HTML presentations). Web design and mobile application development are often top of mind in this content optimization phase.
Once the appropriate content is in place and visitors have arrived, the real work begins. Optimizing engagement requires segmenting audiences based on their preferences and personalizing their experiences as needed to influence their ultimate conversion.
Fortunately for information publishers, solutions are emerging to assist. One to watch is AdThis (pictured) whose new Pro offering aims to fill the void. The company is leveraging behavioral data from 14 million websites globally, reaching 97 percent of the Internet population in the U.S., to enable information publishers (e.g. individual bloggers, small Web publishers) to provide on-site content recommendations for each visitor (based on the behavioral data, its behavioral algorithms and, of course, the visitor's browser history). The new AddThis solution, like others, provides a way to keep visitors engaged - the whole reason of content optimization in the first place.
The AddThis Pro solution is far from the only one worth the attention of content marketers and Internet professionals in general. There are more, many more, and Website Magazine has assembled another "Master List of Essential Content Optimization Tools," available at wsm.co/opt2014, to help you along the way.
3 SURPRISING STATS on CONTENT MARKETING
42% of B2B marketers consider themselves effective at content marketing - up from 36% in 2014. (Content Marketing Institute)
78% of CMOs think custom content (blogs, articles, etc.) is the future of marketing.(Webdamsolutions.com)
87% of buyers say online content has a major or moderate impact on vendor preference and selection; but 43% are turned off by self-promotional content. (B2B Marketing Insider)
As the Editor-in-Chief of Website Magazine and President of Website Services, Peter has established himself as a prominent figure in the digital marketing industry. With a wealth of experience and knowledge, Peter has been a driving force in shaping the landscape of digital marketing. His leadership in creating innovative and targeted marketing campaigns has helped numerous businesses achieve their revenue growth goals. Under his direction, Website Magazine has become a trusted source of information and insights for digital marketers worldwide. As President of Website Services, Peter oversees a team of talented professionals who specialize in SEO/SEM, email marketing, social media, and digital advertising. Through his hands-on approach, he ensures that his team delivers exceptional results to their clients. With a passion for digital marketing, Peter is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technologies, making him a sought-after thought leader in the field.