A while ago, I was having a conversation with someone who couldn’t understand the importance of content marketing in Australia and New Zealand. In their view, this new-age approach to demand generation was better left to the ‘big shots’ in the Northern Hemisphere. I couldn’t disagree more.
I’ll admit that while our local markets aren’t as large as the North America, or as diverse as Europe, what we do share with these large continents is the ability to tell our stories online and with people from all over the world. I say we take the opportunity and run with it.
Here are 3 reasons why all businesses, regardless of size and location, need content marketing.
1) You have a story to tell.
Just like you, your company is special. Every business has a unique and compelling story to share with the world. It doesn’t have to be grand, but it does need to be told.
This year it is estimated that there are more than 7 billion mobile enabled devices in operation around the world. That’s 7 billion devices allowing people to produce and access information anytime, anywhere. With the Internet, it doesn’t matter if Australasia is scattered, we now have the ability to transcend time differences and distance to publish and consume content across the globe. But in order to be a part of that, our businesses need to establish a strong online presence for themselves. With 100 billion Google searches conducted every month, our companies need to be found amidst the competition, chaos and clutter. And that’s where content marketing comes in.
Content marketing has many uses: it’s an educational tool to spark interest and provide credibility, a means for communicating company values and voice, a channel for customer feedback and a lead generation tool to grow sales. What’s more, it’s fun to do! However, according to the 2015 Marketing Measures Report, only 35% of Kiwi companies are utilising inbound marketing activities such as email and social media as a source of leads. There’s definitely room for improvement.
2) All the cool kids are doing it
In this day and age, a large majority of the workforce are in their 20’s. These Millennials have been brought up consuming and creating online content. They are fluent in this new-age form of communication. Whether your business is B2B or B2C, you are guaranteed to be working with these people at some point in your current or future business life. The best way you can connect with, interact with and understand them is through online content.
And it’s not just the Millennials! Research has shown 70% of business decisions makers prefer to get to know a company by reading authentic, thought provoking articles, as opposed to seeing ads. What’s more content marketing doesn’t just include the written word – it covers videos, pictures and infographics, just to name a few. It’s important to include a variety of content sources in a marketing strategy, as on average a prospect requires 8-12 touches before deciding to engage with a vendor. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes – would you like to be sent 8-12 pieces of the same type of content? I know I wouldn’t!
In Green Hat’s 2015 Australian B2B Marketing Outlook Report, 47% of survey participants identified video as their most effective medium for engaging a target audience. Despite this, it was found only 31% of these participants actually used this content medium as a source for generating leads. Using a diverse range of online content to share your story creates a meaningful connection with the reader and engages individuals of all ages and content preferences.
3) Internet is forever
One of the greatest things about online content is it never expires. Unlike traditional print and television media which disappears when the reader throws out their morning newspaper or changes the channel on TV, online content lasts as long as your website does. Readers can access your entire archive with a click of a button, meaning your content marketing efforts will never go to waste and will only build and grow your online presence over time. What’s more, with online activity almost everything can be tracked or measured, which is not always the case with offline marketing tactics.
By publishing and tracking online content companies in Australia and New Zealand will be able to see what aspects of their business consumers enjoy hearing about most and hence provide insight on where to focus their future efforts. As well as this, being exposed to readers from around the world opens the door for collaboration, partnership and investment opportunities with like-minded, innovative, international companies. With 67% of the buyer’s journey (including that of company executives) conducted digitally, Australasia cannot afford to ignore this growing marketing stream. Commercial opportunities cannot be realised without making the most of the technology available to us and establishing a strong international voice for ourselves.
If your business is looking to increase lead generation with a content marketing strategy, check out our free eBook “What is Content Marketing” for useful tips and resources.
Every business has a story. What’s yours?