Not a helluva lot.
So why should you even give content marketing a second thought, particularly if you have limited marketing and sales resources? Because content marketing achieves something many other marketing tactics don’t: it builds your brand’s credibility.
Executed properly, content marketing assures audiences that your company has valuable expertise to share … that your brand is worthy of attention and interest … and that you have what it takes to be a good partner or vendor. Many other marketing tactics, by contrast, are shallow lead-ins to a sales pitch.
But make no mistake—good content (content that provides actionable, educational or strategic insights to your audience) requires a serious creative effort. And you need to produce a steady stream of it over time. That’s how you earn audiences’ trust and build brand credibility. There are no shortcuts.
Warp-Speed Marketing: A Fast Track to Nowhere
The simple truth is no marketing activities deliver instant sales gratification. Marketing and sales are processes. When we try to rush prospects through these processes at warp speed, we usually fail. That’s why content marketing has become such a tremendous force; marketers and business leaders have embraced the fact that investing time and effort into content pays off.
According to a recent report from Contently, 73% of organizations created more content in 2015 than they did the year before. And the Content Marketing Institute predicts that 76% of B2B marketers and 77% of B2C marketers intend to create more content this year than they did in 2015.
The reason so many companies are turning to content marketing is simple. It works. But it doesn’t work at warp speed. Content marketers don’t try to rush individuals from browsers to buyers in a flash.
Content marketing attracts audiences over time through a kind of gravitational pull. You draw in audiences who are naturally aligned with your organization and what it has to offer. The ideas, expertise and experiences you share via your content are all for the benefit of your audiences. Eventually they benefit your sales.
If the word “eventually” is a deal-breaker, then content marketing may not be for you. But I’m not sure what marketing tactic would be, in that case.
There’s one other thing to keep in mind when it comes to content marketing—a hidden gem, in my opinion. Great content doesn’t only attract buyers. It also draws potential employees, partners, investors and other audiences who are spiritually aligned with your company and its messages. Other marketing tactics simply don’t offer that benefit.
So if you’re looking for warp-speed results, look elsewhere. But if you’re interested in attracting audiences from all directions, the gravity of content marketing is a power you should harness.