The content marketing industry is growing up. Finally!
Okay, maybe “growing up” isn’t exactly the right word. I think content marketing has been well established for years and years now. It is just maturing and adapting like all marketing must do over time. I like to tell people that my team and I have been in content marketing for nearly 20 years. But, we say, “we just didn’t call it content marketing back then. It was just called marketing.”
Here is some great data from Content Marketing Institute to prove, I think, that content marketing is becoming just, marketing (again).
- 80% of B2B marketers and 75% of B2C marketers include blogging among their current techniques.
- 52% of B2B and 51% of B2C marketers expect that blogging will be their most critical tactic for success in the upcoming year
Here are a few other trends on blogging from Orbit Media that I think are valuable for you to know.
- The length of the average blog post is up 19%. That means about 1050 words in 2016 versus 808 words in 2014.
- Short blogs are on the decline. Blog articles with less than 500 words dropped by 50% between 2014 and 2016. My analysis? Data suggests that short, and potentially not very valuable, posts are proving to be a waste of time.
- Big posts are on the rise! The percentages of posts that are 2,000 words are more have doubled every year for the past 3 years.
- Bloggers with longer blog posts (2,000 words or more) self-report the best results. Again, these are self-reported results. But the trend and data show that longer posts are serving better than short posts (13% compared to 40% on self-reported data).
In my opinion, content is still king.
Our barriers to receiving and sharing content have been destroyed within the last 7 years as social media has taken the stage. Now just about anyone can create a blog site and become an “expert”. In fact, we now have the content tsunami syndrome with too much content. But, we still use content because it is so valuable to our initiatives. It’s powerful because of its ability to build relationships, establish a culture, stick in someone’s memory and be easily shared.
So, in me saying that content is “growing up” it’s by no means meant to be a pass on this phenomenal strategy. Our perspective is just different here at Yip Yip because our mindset is to look ahead.
I see many trends being pushed by the industry itself that make me think content is truly being accepted as the norm, which will make it just “marketing”. However, I also notice that the way marketers use this strategy will need to become more personalized if its even going to be competitive. Interestingly enough, most companies are still asking very basic questions when it comes to content. What dominates most of my day-to-day conversations are, to me, basic.
I get asked these questions most of the time:
- What exactly is content marketing anyway?
- Is it necessary for a company like mine?
- Would it help use increase our sales?
- How would I start with a content marketing plan and how would I know if it was valuable.
- What questions would you add to this list?
My point is that I believe the content marketing is starting to get its well-deserved attention. But, most small business owners and the organizations that serve them are still struggling with how to best use it. Especially how they can use it cost effectively.
They struggle with discovering which target audience they should focus on. Should they focus on consumers who buy their products or focus on recruiting new team members, new franchisees or all of them at the same time? They are fearful that they will leave someone out. Honestly, I think that a lot of small businesses just overthink content marketing. The best advice that I like to give them is taken out of the Nike playbook. Just Do it!
About the Author: Brandon Lee is the Founder and CEO of Yip Yip, Inc. Brandon is a serial business builder who specializes in creating companies that help businesses increase revenues through personalized communication systems. He is a Certified Speaker and Trainer with the John Maxwell Team and a Certified Sales Trainer with Brian Tracy International and has recently published his first book, 99 Powerful Questions for Business Owners & Leaders” and Co-Founded 99 Powerful Questions Publishing; a company that helps business leaders build their personal brands and grow their business revenues with book marketing systems.
He currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Kravis Leadership Institute. He is also an entrepreneurial mentor at Providence Christian Academy in Lilburn, GA. He and his wife, Meghan, have five children and live in Peachtree Corners, Georgia.