The content marketing tsunami will hit Australia in a big way in 2014, creating a knock-on effect that’s likely to impact not just the advertising industry but the business world in general.
A quick recap so we’re on the same page:
Content marketing involves companies developing and creating their own original content and publishing it online; the goal is to inform and/or educate, empower or entertain the brand’s target audience, with a view to deepening the connection it has with prospective customers and influencers.
To be effective, however, companies shouldn’t simply bang on about how ‘great’ they think they are, producing meaningless content that continually spruiks their products and services. No, the savvy brands doing well in this space understand the need to publish content that’s relevant and interesting to the intended audience. It’s about them, not you; it’s about producing content that helps your constituents with their needs, not using the technology as a Gatling gun to fire off self-centred promotional messages to people who don’t care about you, your products or your services.
But don’t take my word for it.
US-based Content Marketing Institute (CMI) – in partnership with the Association for Data-driven Marketing & Advertising (ADMA) – recently released the ‘Content Marketing in Australia 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends’ report which shows in no uncertain terms that content marketing is set to build upon the groundswell of interest and support already received this year from Australian brands.
Here are some of the insights from the research:
- 93% of Australian marketers use content marketing.
- 81% of respondents claim they are creating more content in 2013 compared to a year ago.
- 52% say they have a documented content strategy to guide them.
Content spending to grow in 2014
Spending on content marketing in Australia is set to soar, with 69% of Australian marketers planning to increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months.
By comparison, in the corresponding report last year, that figure was 61%, which indicates pretty strongly that companies are truly embracing content marketing in this country.
According to the report, on average 27% of Australian marketing budgets are currently allocated to content marketing.
Of course, this is about to change and it’s going to get interesting. Let’s face it, marketing budgets overall are unlikely to grow much in 2014, so that means if spending on content is going to increase, then what gets cut back? One would think traditional one-way advertising is heading for a pretty turbulent 12 months in 2014 given its plummeting effectiveness in today’s noisy, fragmented marketplace.
Smack around the chops
While the emergence of social media was like a ‘smack around the chops’ for business in that it not only distracted consumers but also empowered them to take companies to task if their performance was not up to scratch, content marketing – when done properly – puts the brand in charge to a significant degree.
Content marketing, when undertaken with passion, purpose and strategic intent (and in concert with social media) helps companies to grow their own audiences rather than having to ‘rent’ them from established third-party media outlets.
Let’s face it, the notion of publishing original content that helps, inspires and/or empowers customers and influencers, at its purest level, simply makes a whole lot of sense. You could say there’s little downside.
So why wouldn’t you make it a priority for your company in 2014?