The Mad Men Ad World is Changing: Content is King

The fact that content is an effective business tool is undeniable. A shift in marketing has taken place in the past decades.

In the Harvard Business Review article, The Content Marketing Revolution, it’s reported that 9 out of 10 organizations are marketing with content and that 70% of people would rather “learn about a company via an article than an ad.” Don Draper and his counterparts from the 50s surely couldn’t have predicted the decline of the ad and the rise of the blog.

Is the customer always right? In this case, it would be hard to ignore the two-thirds majority of consumers who want to read rather than glance, who want dig deeper, know more, and see through. Forget the secrets, says HBR, “Conventional wisdom told brands to keep knowledge quiet, to put “trade secrets” under indefinite embargo and to let exclusive information gather dust in corporate archives. But with the advent of the Internet, social media, and the dispersal of knowledge in every direction, corporations are in the unique position to distribute the information they’ve gathered in exchange for audiences, readership, and brand loyalty.”

While journalism jobs are on the decline, PR specialist and managers are on the rise. With the new push for articles, blogs, case studies, and white pages, journalists are finding their place writing content for PR and marketing companies, while some land as in-house writers.  In a 2014 Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs study it was revealed that adoption rates of B2C content marketing rose to 90% from 82% the year before. Companies are also feeling more secure in their own effectiveness using content marketing, with confidence levels climbing to 42% in 2014 over 32% in 2013.

Content in the Logistics and Supply Chain Industries

A recent survey shows that the logistics and supply chain industries are in line with the larger corporate response to content marketing, with 79% of respondents indicating that content adds value to their companies. Of the respondents, 70% reported having a content strategy, and 32% indicated that they outsource some of their content creation. Content is used by 96% of companies to fortify brand awareness and by 83% of companies to connect with leads.

In the same report it was noted that the biggest challenges facing logistics and supply chain companies in regards to creating effective content is time, money, and lack of structured planning. The largest challenge (coming in at 45%) for those who responded to the survey is being able to create quality content on a consistent basis.

Also in sync with overall trends, respondents in the logistics and supply chain field indicated that social media was one of the top ways through which they distribute content with Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and blogs leading the way.  

ROI, Making it Happen

There’s a divide between how companies perceive the value of content marketing and how many resources they allocate towards it. The later has not caught up with the enthusiasm towards content marketing. Given that the ROI stats related to content marketing are quite impressive, why aren’t companies allocating more funds, time and energy towards it? Luckily there are many strategies to save time, money, and energy:

-As you research blog posts, keep an ongoing log of interesting ideas, sources, and articles that you might use for future topics down the road.

-Save time by repurposing content. Add more current information or info-graphics for a new spin.

- Post on free social media sites, ask to guest blog, and make connections with industry websites.

- Set traffic goals, some of which can be monitored using Google Analytics at no cost.

Increasingly companies will see lead conversions, new opportunities, and ROI, all driven by content and they’ll start to invest more and more.  Consumers are already invested in content, so it’s smart for companies to invest, too. The new way of business is not about a quick tagline, but about an ongoing story, or as Don Draper put it, “You are the product. You feeling something. That’s what sells.”

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