As of last year, 3.8 billion people used the internet globally.
To give you a frame of reference, that’s 50% of the total world’s population.
It’s over 11.6x more than the total US population (and over 132x more than the population of Texas). Every moment online, people scavenge the internet to search for, share and research content. With statistics like these, the demand for content marketing and content strategy are clear.
However, sometimes it’s the definitions of these terms that are more convoluted.
Not the demand.
Whether you’re convincing your next client, current boss or yourself of the need to develop an effective content marketing strategy, the first step is understanding what that means. Or, more likely, your family and friends may still have no clue on what you actually do.
Today’s blog is here to shed light with a simple analogy you can use the next time you’re trying to explain how content marketing and content strategy works.Here's how to explain #contentstrategy and #contentmarketing to practically anyone, with a fun (and yummy!) analogy 🧁 @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet
How to Explain Content Strategy and Content Marketing: Breaking it Down (& a Look at the Demand)
Content marketing and content strategy are related, yes, but they are not the same thing.
If you’ve been using the terms interchangeably, chances are you’re not the only one.
To begin implementing these marketing efforts, you must first fully comprehend them. If you’re one of the 9% of B2B marketers that has yet to adopt a content marketing strategy, then you are missing out on 3.8 billion opportunities to reach your targeted audience.
Every minute, people scavenge the internet to search for, share and research content. No matter what rung on the ladder to understanding you’re standing on, let’s break content marketing and strategy down into basic terms using something everyone can relate to. How about food?
(Proceed with caution if you haven’t taken your lunch break yet.)
How to Explain Content Strategy & Marketing: Infographic (A Behind-the-Scenes Restaurant Visual Representation)
Picture your favorite restaurant.
Now sneak around to the back until you find the kitchen. All of the inner workings of the kitchen – the food preparation, reservations, staff schedule – that’s the content strategy. It is the meetings between chefs, waiters, restaurant owners and staff to strategize and guide how they plan to successfully deliver food to their customers.
How many waiters need to cover the floor? What type of ingredients should we use? What will attract our customers to our restaurant? Just like in a restaurant, content strategy is the framework you put in place to deliver the content to readers. It is the planning, preparation and methods you have come up with to deliver the ultimate customer experience.
So, how do you implement? Cook the food!
Or in other terms, implement your strategy through content marketing.Just like in a restaurant, content strategy is the framework you put in place to deliver the content to readers. 🍩🍭 @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet
Content marketing is the execution of your strategy.
It’s the planning coming to life, encompassing each and every component. The food is the content that your audience consumes.
The approach to effective content marketing is to create valuable, consistent and relatable content for the purpose of building a relationship with a targeted audience, which in turn, increases your profits.
Some of the most popular forms of content are:
- Case studies
- Long-form content
- Web pages
The content speaks to your brand while also fulfilling the needs of your ideal customer. In the restaurant analogy, let’s say your target audience is 20-year-old yoga enthusiasts. During your planning stages, you found that natural and unprocessed ingredients were of the highest importance to your customers (content strategy). You put this plan into action by designing a customized menu that informs your customers of the origins of their food (content marketing). Then you served a vegetarian lentil soup made from locally sourced ingredients (content).
Now, your customers feel a connection to your brand.
Due to your strategic planning, you knew how to build a relationship with your audience, the methods in which to reach them and the product that would best suit their needs. These customers are receiving valuable and useful information about a health conscious lifestyle directly through you. They will keep coming back. They will purchase more.
That is your content marketing strategy at work.
How to Explain Content Strategy & Marketing: Understanding the ROI with Statistics
Food analogy aside, clients, bosses and executives want you to answer one thing: how much profit will I make? In other words, what is the ROI of this type of marketing?
They may understand the need to develop content marketing, but be unsure of what they are getting in return. Unlike other traditional forms of promotion, content strategy and marketing are investments. They require more initial time to plan, implement and see return.
However, once a profitable framework for content strategy is set in motion, you will see your business grow tremendously.
Today, content marketing has proven to be more than just another buzzword. The term is repeated so often that the importance is validated even to those who don’t understand it. Luckily, there are plenty of statistics to support it.
90% of All Organizations Use Content to Market Themselves (Demand Metric)
Content has officially been crowned king and queen of marketing strategy. However, the real effectiveness of this marketing is in custom content, which 78% of CMOs see as the way of the future.
According to CMI’s 2018 reports, 78% of these B2B marketers revealed that quality content creation increased their marketing success in the last year.
Custom content, while relating to your brand, is useful to consumers who prefer to seek it out rather than be bombarded with emails and television advertisements.
SEO Leads have a 14.6% Close Rate as Opposed to 1.7% for Other Marketing Methods
On the most basic level, the only real argument you need in favor of content marketing is this: it is less expensive and more effective.
Content strategy is all about increasing organic traffic to your site. Organic traffic is improved with SEO directly through content marketing.
Marketing Sherpa detailed one firm’s experience organizing their content marketing efforts where they reported a 2000% increase in blog traffic and 40% increase in revenue.
This type of marketing requires a lot of time, research and patience.
However, an effective strategy will NOT burn a hole in your pocket. Your company can invest in high quality content marketers as opposed to spending money on promotion, and see more success and ROI happen.
Marketers Outsource 18% Total Content (Curata)
One of the main reasons companies have led successful content marketing campaigns is attributed to outsourcing.
Content creation is much more than writing a blog here and there. For real results, content must be consistent, relevant and diverse. One of the many reasons for outsourcing is that most companies do not have the budget or resources to train an in-house team.
Outsourcing to professional agencies, like our own here at Express Writers, will grow your business through organic content marketing efforts.
What’s the best part?
This ends up being ten times cheaper than paid advertising.
Understanding ROI with Numbers
So, how does this compare with my business?
That question always comes next.
Even after reading through statistics, you need a valid method to document the ROI for your own company.
47% of B2B marketers do not measure the ROI of content marketing mostly because they don’t understand how to.
This is a large oversight for companies investing in a content marketing strategy. So we developed an easier method to determine the ROI of content marketing.
In one of our past blog posts, we created an infographic to explain the ROI of content strategy and tested our own numbers.
Our basic formula stated: Earned Traffic = High Quality Leads = Sales
For this formula to work, we used 16% as the average rate that targeted traffic turned into leads and 14% as the rate that those same leads converted into sales.
Our formula then looks something like:
- Monthly visitors x 16% = amount of leads/month
- Amt of leads/month x 14% = sales/month
With this formula in hand, your company can predict and actually see how content marketing directly converted into sales.
We tested the formula in a case study with our monthly traffic for January 2018 and were off by only 57 orders, which made sense after accounting for changes in our business plan.
Put Content Strategy and Content Marketing into Action
The cook, the kitchen, the strategy, the marketing… Now it’s time to put the theory into action.
Starting with the fundamentals of your content strategy will set the pace for the rest of your marketing.
What makes you different? What’s your area of expertise? What’s your Content Differentiation Factor?
Answering these very first questions will help you develop and execute methods to connect to your audience and increase revenue. Are you ready to begin? There will undoubtedly be bumps along the road to successful content marketing. Don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through it.
Learn the tools to create and implement an effective content marketing strategy directly through my personal mentorship and teaching by signing up for my Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Or, get access to great content created just for your audience, with strategic content marketing in mind, by requesting a client account.