Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Trend Assessment - Content Marketing


Published on

Published in: Business, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Trend Assessment - Content Marketing

  1. 1. Trend  Assessment  II    MRKT  7546  Digital  Marketing  Dr.  Eric  Ty  Brey     Date:  10th  April  2012                                                                                                          Submitted  by:                                                                                                          Deepti  Dhiman
  2. 2.   Trend: Content MarketingI. Introduction and factors shaping the trendA trend that has gained considerable attention in recent years in online marketing is the focus oncreating exceptional and unique content that people want to read and share rather than creatingthings like brochureware. Current content marketing may not directly relate to selling something,but it helps with branding. There is a shift to “real content marketing” in which brands are trulybecoming publishers. “Brands are producing substantial volumes of content – a minimum of fivepieces a week – that are not about their own product, but about the interests of their customers”(Creamer, 2012).According to Content Marketing Institute (CMI), content marketing is the art of understandingexactly what your customer need to know and delivering to them in a relevant and compellingway to grow your business. Today, content marketing is more than offering product information,but it extends into providing best practices, case studies, success stories, though leadership andso on. By providing relevant content, a brand becomes a trusted resource and can easily build alevel of trust among their customers that makes it easy or customers to buy.Even though content marketing is a hot topic, it is hardly a new concept. For years brands havebeen telling stories to attract and retain customers. In 1900 Michelin, a tire manufacturer, startedproducing the “Michelin Guide” to help drivers maintain their cars, find decent lodging, and eatwell whole touring France. John Deere’s The Furrow magazine, published in 1985, is beingconsidered as the first example of corporate storytelling. The purpose of the magazine TheFurrow was not to sell John Deere equipment, but to educate farmers on new technology andhow they could be more successful business owners. In 1990s, web pages were introduced, andwhitepaper became standards product-centric content for technology companies. In 1996,PlaceWare, a spin-off from Xerox’s PARC Laboratory, started web conferences serves, whichmade its way into marketing mix as webinars. By early 2000, email became one of the mainforms of marketing outreach by brands. By 2005, podcasts, e-books and blogging becamemainstream. In 2005, Youtube was launched and companies started using the new channel tomore easily promote their online video efforts. After 2006, came Twitter, Facebook, QR codes,Augmented Reality and iPads have opened a new wave of content creation and distribution(Aprix Solution E-Book, 2011).   1  
  3. 3. Content marketing is a growing trend because brands and B2B marketers are finally beginning torecognize the power of content marketing and its effect on brand awareness, customeracquisition, lead generation, customer retention, customer loyalty and engagement. The otherfactor is the social media because it increases visibility and buzz of the content. Social mediasuch as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube provides free and fast distribution channels to the contentthat were not there before.According to CMI survey conducted in 2011, nine out ten B2B marketers used contentmarketing to grow their business, and on average, marketers used eight content marketing tacticsto achieve their marketing goals. The most popular tactics were articles posting (79%), socialmedia (excluding blogs) (74%), blogs (65%), eNewsletter(63%), case studies (58%), in-personevents (56%), videos (52%) and white paper (51%). Data visualization techniques such asinfographics are also an emerging trend that offers innovations to a variety of tactics. Everysocial media channel is seeing increased adoption, often by 15-20%, with the highest increase inYouTube (47% increase). Approximately, 40% of the responded stated that their largestchallenge is producing the right kind of content that engages prospects and customers (Pulizzi,2011).II. Case studiesCase Study 1 – Mint.comMint was launched as a personal finance startup company in 2006. In the beginning the companydid not do well as it faced a lot competition from other web startups like Wesabe and establishedfirms like Quicken. Three years later, the company became a market leader in online personalfinance and was sold to Intuit for $170 million (Snow, 2011). Mint’s success is attributed to itsaggressive intelligent content marketing strategy. Mint created a successful blog “MintLife “ anddedicated significant resources to it blog including a full time editorial staff and several freelancecontributors. In addition, Mint invested time in social news sites like Reddit and Digg by postingarticles, and hence, developed trust with the readers in those communities. As a result those usersbecame Mint’s customers and even started advocating Mint in their personal networks. Mint alsoused a combination of content types including news and tips posts, link roundups, slideshows,videos and inforgraphics, and they all were held to a strict editorial standard. By following thishigh quality and unique content marketing strategy, Mint became a smart resource center withrelevant interesting content, and which was easy accessible to the customers. Thus, they wereable to cover their readers into buyers of their products.   2  
  4. 4. This case study is a very good example that shows the benefit of having a good contentmarketing strategy. Mint dedicated resources to content, enforced high quality editorialstandards, shared their unique content through various social channels and listened to theircustomers closely.Case Study 2 – American Express Open ForumSmall business owners face multiple challenges to sustain and are always looking for their peersfor sharing needs, topics and solutions. American Express identified this demand and used it tocreate a content marketing strategy for promoting their brand. Amex created Open Forumwebsite, an online community, that provides small businesses the knowledge, tools, andnetworking resources to help them grow their business. The website has two main elementsincluding Idea hub and connectodex. The ideahub are blogs driven by user generated content.The blogs include multi-format practical and actionable information in form of videos, audio,articles, infographics, blog posts and expert opinion from business experts and business owners.The content covers variety of topics including “how to” articles, small business marketing tips,business forecasts, women in business, social media, events and so on. The user can sort theblogs by most recent and most popular. The Connectodex is a private social network for Amexuser entrepreneurs. The Connectodex is a huge database of brands that business owners can useto help each other and provide leads to each other. The Open Form webpage is also integratedwith social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube and Tumbler andlinks to the Open Forum newsletter subscription and a mobile application. The Open Forumplatform provides insightful and engaging content that is produced by publishers like Inc.,Magazine and hosted on, and by in-house Open Forum writers. In 2010, the sitehas 1 million unique visitors and in 2011, they had over 200 contributors and are growing (Snow,2011).The case study is a great example that shows how good content marketing strategy can helpbrands in building brand equity, acquiring new customers and building loyalty of existingcustomers. Open Forum website has become a trusted educational and networking platform thatconnects small businesses to their most essential resources including information, education andeach other. By developing a community of users around a topic rather than their brand, and bycreating trusted and unique content, Amex has been successful in attracting a lot of traffic totheir site that may turn into their customers in the future.   3  
  5. 5. Other ApplicationsThe trend has application in every industry and business size. It can be a great marketing tool forfashion industry especially targeting men. Using visual content, a brand can easily reach itsaudience and get their inputs on clothing options before introducing them into the market.Fashion brands can also create content that discusses different styles, recommendations forclothing for different personalities, age and body figures.The trend also has an application in men’s health industry. “A report from AYTM MarketResearch found that an increasingly high percentage of men are interested in diet advice.However, many are unsatisfied with the advice and content currently available to them, with 65percent saying the plans they see advertised do not appeal to them. Men are increasingly lookingmoving toward digital channels to do research and find information” (Brafton, 2012). A lot ofstrong content marketing opportunity exists in this area. Businesses that focus on men’s healthcan create content marketing strategy to target their audience. They can use blogs, articles, andsocial media to listen to their customers, and then create relevant content that discusses bestpractices and guide men in their health issues.Section 3: Future of the TrendBusiness Landscape Impacts and Potential Changes - According to Mr. Joe Pulizzi, the trend willhave an immense impact on business landscape. All businesses today are mediacompanies. First, the barriers to entry are gone. There were three barriers including contentacceptance, talent and technology that no longer exist today. For content acceptance, brands donot have to be the Wall Street Journal to have their customer accept and engage in their content.Talent is available easily in every industry to produce great content. Today, there are more jobsavailable on the brand side rather than traditional media. Technology is available to everyoneand anyone can publish content on the web today for no investment (Pulizzi, 2012).Second, in order to drive search engine, lead generation and social media goals, non-mediacompanies have to become adept at authentic storytelling (something they are not used to). Thatmeans, in the long run, more businesses will be focusing on their owned media and less on paidmedia. So, since all companies (media or not) are working to create valuable content to getattention, the impact of this trend is huge.Consumer Segments and Specific Industries Significantly Impacted - According to Joe, all of theconsumers segment and every type of industry will be impacted by this trend. Since most human   4  
  6. 6. beings use social media or search or mobile devices in some way, everyone will have to focus oncreating unique content to built social influence.In addition, we will be seeing new startups with content-specific focus (Bullas 2012). Forexample, Contently, a new startup firm founded in December 2010, brings writers and publisherstogether from around the world. In the same line,, founded in 2011, turns brandsinto curators and helps brands to create content at social scale. Pinterest and Instagram areexample of startups that are focused on sharing unique content and media.Potential Future Changes in the Trend - According to Joe, marketing departments in brands willstart to look a lot more like publishing departments. Brands will look for marketing staff withmore and varied skills. Brands will hire journalists, people with skills in writing editorial, blogs,white paper, and people who can conceptualize and edit videos. Since it is very important forcontent creators to understand their audience, brands will also be looking for subject matterexperts that relate to their business and experts who match their customer’s demographics.In addition, brand will increase their investment in content marketing. According to the CMI,B2B marketers invested on average 25% of their budget in content marketing in 2011 and 60%of B2B marketers are planning to spend more on content marketing in 2012 (Pulizzi, 2012).Needed to Maintain a Competitive Advantage – According to Joe, non-media companies willneed to clearly understand the informational needs of their target audiences and start to createand distribute content through multiple (mostly online) channels. Those that develop out theirmedia channels with remarkable content will have a better opportunity to attract and retaincustomers.Brands will have to create a content marketing strategy for their brand. Before doing anything,brands needs to answer the why questions and to define their goals first. The goals can be tomake profit, to generate leads, to grow an email list, to increase brand awareness and so on. Thiswill help brands to identify measurement tools to measure success down the road.References:Aprix Solutions. “A Brief History of Content Marketing”. 2011. E-Book by Aprix Solutions, Inc.Available at:   5  
  7. 7. Brafton News. “Men’s health industry ripe with content marketing opportunities”. 03/29/2012.Brafton News. Available at:, Jeff. “Is Content Marketing the Hot New Trend? – Infographics”. 02/10/2012. Blog Available at:, Matt. “Content: Marketings Best Hope, or More Hype?”. 02/28/2012. AdAge Digital.Available at:, Rebecca. “What is Content Marketing?”. 02/28/2012. AdAge Digital. Available at:, Chris. “Is Creativity Missing In Content Marketing?”. 02/13/2012. Forbes Magazine.Available at:, Joe. “The History of Content Marketing – How Brands Have Become Storytellers”.02/14/2012. Content Marketing Institute. Available at:, Joe. “2012 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends”. 12/05/2011.Content Marketing Institute. Available at:, Shane. “How 3 Companies Took Content Marketing to the Next Level”. 05/01/ Available at: Joe Pullizi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute, Cleveland, OhioJoe Pullizi is one of the leading thought leaders behind the content marketing and social mediamovement. He an author, speaker and strategist for content marketing. He founded the ContentMarketing Institute, which includes the premier international content marketing event ContentMarketing World and Chief Content Officer magazine. Joe is also CEO of SocialTract, theleading blogging service for service professionals and co-author of the Get Content GetCustomers called “The Handbook for Content Marketing” by McGraw-Hill, and ManagingContent Marketing: The Real-World Guide for Creating to Create Passionate Subscriber to YourBrand. He has been featured in most of the leading marketing publications and blogs in theworld. In addition, he also writes one of the most popular content marketing blogs in the worldand loves color orange. He was awarded the “Custom Media Innovator of the Year” award byAmerican Business Media, Voted Who’s Who in Media Business by BtoB Magazine, Folio: 40   6  
  8. 8. and recognized as the Most Influential Content Strategist Via Lavacon. He is a passionatespeaker and travels around the world to talk to marketers and business owners about marketing,publishing, social media, new journalism and personal branding.   7