TRADITIONAL MARKETING METHODS DON T WORK ANYMORE

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1 HOW CONTENT MARKETING DRIVES TRAFFIC TRADITIONAL MARKETING METHODS DON T WORK ANYMORE IN OUR FAST-PACED, CHANGING WORLD, PEOPLE ARE INUNDATED WITH MARKETING MESSAGES, MOST OF WHICH FOLLOW THE TRADITIONAL METHOD OF INTERRUPTING THE CONSUMER. The overload of information and advertising happens not only in the physical world as people go about their daily business, but is rife in the online space as well. However, it appears as consumers are exposed to ever increasing amounts of advertising, they are developing avoidance strategies and even immunity to it. NEWS Even back in 2002, researchers were discovering the fastpaced, disjointed style of modern life was causing people to develop immunity to advertising as a kind of coping mechanism that protected them from being overwhelmed by too much information 1. This immunity is also present in the online environment. Burst Media found if a website was perceived to be cluttered with advertising, 30% of adult users would leave it, and 75% of the remaining web users ignore the advertisements on the page. It was also reported that these kinds of sites not only annoy customers, they reduce the effectiveness of the ads and diminish the perception of the brand 2. CLICK HERE! Additionally, research has found less than 0.1% of online display advertisements attract click-throughs. The top reason consumers provided for not clicking on banner advertisements is they did not want to be taken away from what they were currently doing online. IRRELEVANCE and A LACK OF TRUST IN THE LINK CONTENT were highlighted as other key reasons for respondents avoidance of the ads 3.

2 There are several factors involved in immunity to traditional advertising techniques and Kapost and Eloqua released a study that highlighted three in particular 4 : 1. AD OVERLOAD: Referring directly to the overwhelming volume of advertisements, resulting in the consumer mentally switching off the ads. 2. REAL INFORMATION IS ELSEWHERE: The online environment provides real information that is easy to find. Ads are becoming redundant. 3. THE CONSUMER IS IN CONTROL: The consumer has the power and technology to, literally, switch off irrelevant or uninteresting content. Evidence of consumer control can be seen in the huge uptake of AdBlock; a free extension for Google s web browser, Chrome. Once installed, AdBlock automatically hides all web ads, including those on Facebook and YouTube. The developers of AdBlock claim to have more than 10 million users 5. The social media explosion, rapid uptake of mobile devices, increased portability of the Internet via mobile devices, and the evidence of dramatic changes in the way consumers interact with marketing, particularly online, demonstrate the need for marketers to think beyond the traditional marketing methods of the 21st century. SOULTION: CONTENT MARKETING Joe Pulizzi, the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, defines content marketing as: A MARKETING TECHNIQUE OF CREATING AND DISTRIBUTING RELEVANT AND VALUABLE CONTENT TO ATTRACT, ACQUIRE, AND ENGAGE A CLEARLY DEFINED AND UNDERSTOOD TARGET AUDIENCE WITH THE OBJECTIVE OF DRIVING PROFITABLE CUSTOMER ACTION 6. Marketing techniques of the past were focused on the systematic presentation of brand and sales messages to as many customers as possible 7. Content marketing, on the other hand, is focused on the creation and dissemination of engaging, relevant content that tells a story about an organization and provides timely solutions to customers problems. It is not a sales pitch. It starts a conversation and burgeoning relationship between an organization and a customer before anyone becomes aware of it 8.

3 CONTENT MARKETING REQUIRES A FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT IN THINKING, AWAY FROM THE ELABORATE AND EXPENSIVE MARKETING CAMPAIGNS OF OLD. PULIZZI SAYS MARKETERS ARE NOW BECOMING THE MEDIA, EVENTUALLY OWNING IT; EARNING THEIR AUDIENCE INSTEAD OF HAVING TO RENT IT 9. MULTIPLE TACTICS = MULTIPLE OPPORTUNITIES TO ENGAGE AND DRIVE TRAFFIC Content marketers earn their audience by communicating high-quality content using many different methods often referred to as tactics. A survey carried out by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs identified 26 different content-marketing tactics in use by respondents, the top seven of which were online based and included: SOCIAL MEDIA WEB ARTICLES BLOGS VIDEOS E-NEWSLETTERS The respondents, on average, utilized 12 different tactics in their campaigns 10. Making use of numerous content marketing tactics is a cost-effective and time-efficient approach, enabling you to repurpose and use content in different ways. For example, the results of a study could be made into an engaging infographic, written into a blog post, disseminated in an e-newsletter, and even discussed in a video post. Content past its use by date could also be given new life by comparing it with newly released data and exploring trends. You can include online training lessons, diagnostics, interactive quizzes and animations. This content doesn t need to be built in house; there are third party suppliers you can license these tools from, and white label them on your site so your customers see them originating from you. The possibilities are endless The possibilities are endless. This variation then allows your customers to interact with your content in different ways. In addition to offering options to people who have preferences on how they like to receive their content, it gives those with specific requirements a way to access your content, when they possibly may not have been able to access it at all before. A rural customer may forgo a video in favor of reading a blog post, for example, because their connection speed will not allow them to download and watch a video, whereas a customer with dyslexia may choose to watch the video instead of reading the blog post because it easier for them to digest. These tactics give your customers choice and allow them to access and interact with your content in their own way and time. Digital marketing expert Heidi Cohen states the variation in content formats also enables search engines to direct more traffic to your organization. Content marketing can enhance search results by making use of relevant links and by ensuring content is designed around specific key words or phrases 11. e-news

4 Organizations are reporting great success with content marketing strategies. For instance, German multinational software corporation SAP implemented a content marketing strategy for their new Business Innovation website 12, reporting that in the seven months since the site s launch, they have received: 347,709 Unique visitors 395,478 Visits 574,676 Page views 4- minute visits Such figures imply that while effective content marketing requires strategic thinking and consistency, the return on time and investment can potentially dwarf the gains of traditional online marketing. SOCIAL MEDIA HAS AN AUDIENCE OF MILLIONS Social media has become a powerful marketing force and utilizing this tactic increases the likelihood your organization s content will be exposed to a much larger audience than would be expected from a simple, flat page on your website. Social media has the potential to massively broaden and diversify your organization s customer base. It s no secret that social media has skyrocketed since its inception. According to Pew Internet, 69% of American adults use social networking sites, and people of all ages are interacting within those social networks, including 38% of people aged 65 or older. Facebook is the most popular social networking site, with 89% of social network users indicating they had a Facebook account 13. Marketing Sherpa highlights the use of Facebook as an excellent method to expand audiences and generate leads. It provides built-in options for posting engaging content to attract an audience, such as images or videos, while allowing you to monitor the size of your audience. When the optimal audience size is reached, you can start posting information about products or services you wish to promote 1. What users do with your content on social networks is beneficial to broadening and diversifying your customer base. According to Pew Internet, 41% of adult social network users said they would share an image or video on a dedicated image-sharing site, where many others may view it 15, and of the adults who use the Internet, 71% use video-sharing sites 16. According to Facebook, OVER ONE BILLION PEOPLE LIKE AND COMMENT AN AVERAGE OF 3.2 BILLION TIMES EVERY DAY 17. Statistics show over 140 million people use Twitter, posting over a billion tweets every three days 18. These massive numbers leave little doubt social networking provides an enormous opportunity to expose your organization and its products and services to potentially millions of people. The key to driving traffic from social media is having great content that people can talk about and share. CONTENT MARKETING DRIVES TRAFFIC.

5 NEXT STEPS: Refocus your marketing strategy to incorporate content marketing. Scope out cost effective marketing tactics that deliver the best return on investment. Profile your products or services with engaging and informative content. Demonstrate your experience and expertise in your industry with targeted online content. Invest in social media and develop useful relevant content to share in this space. THE SMALL BUSINESS COMPANY Here at TSBC we create rich, interactive e-learning tools and resources that can be integrated into our clients websites. Content is king on the Internet, and we provide effective, targeted content to the business support channel. With more than 20 years experience running our own small businesses and helping other small businesses to thrive, we wrap up our wealth of business knowledge into a range of best practice tools, templates, articles and interactive training. Our online content engages, educates and encourages start-up entrepreneurs and small business owners. If you want to be a credible, trusted resource for your small business clients we can provide expert online content to help you achieve your goals. To learn more visit.

6 REFERENCES 1 Joseph D. Rumbo, Consumer resistance in a world of advertising clutter: The case of Adbusters, Psychology & Marketing, 19(2) (2002) Burst Media, The perils of ad clutter, Burst Media (2008) < [accessed 5 November 2012]. 3 AdKeeper, Top reason users don t click banner ads: They don t want to be diverted from their current online activity, AdKeeper (2011) < adkeeper.com/press/press-releases/top-reason-users-dont-click-banner-ads-they-dont-want-to-be-diverted-from-their-current-online-activity/> [accessed 6 November 2012]. 4 Kapost and Eloqua, Content marketing ROI, Eloqua (2012) < [accessed 30 October 2012]. 5 AdBlock, AdBlock: The most popular extension for Chrome, Chrome Web Store (2012) < gighmmpiobklfepjocnamgkkbiglidom> [accessed 19 November 2012]. 6 Joe Pulizzi, What is content marketing?, The Content Marketing Institute (2012) < [accessed 1 November 2012]. 7 Kapost and Eloqua, Content marketing ROI, Eloqua (2012) < [accessed 30 October 2012]. 8 Joe Pulizzi, White Paper: How to attract and retain customers with content now, The Content Marketing Institute (2008) < com/2008/08/attract-and-ret/> [accessed 7 November 2012]. 9 Joe Pulizzi in Kapost and Eloqua, Content marketing ROI, Eloqua (2012) < LP=3445?elqoffer=KapostEbook&elqchannel=PressRelease> [accessed 30 October 2012]. 10 The Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 2013 B2B content marketing benchmarks, budgets and trends, The Content Marketing Institute (2012) < [accessed 5 November 2012]. 11 Heidi Cohen, 3 cases that prove the power of content marketing, The Content Marketing Institute (2012) < cases-prove-power-of-content-marketing/> [accessed 23 November 2012]. 12 Lindsey LaManna, Proof of the power of content marketing, Business Innovation from SAP (2012) < [accessed 21 November 2012]. 13 Joanna Brenner, Pew Internet: Social networking (full detail), Pew Internet and American Life Project (2012) < March/Pew-Internet-Social-Networking-full-detail.aspx> [accessed 15 November 2012]. 14 David Kirkpatrick, B2B lead generation: 6 social media tactics from 7 experts, MarketingSherpa (2012) < social-media-tactics-from> [accessed 21 November 2012]. 15 Joanna Brenner, Pew Internet: Social networking (full detail), Pew Internet and American Life Project (2012) < March/Pew-Internet-Social-Networking-full-detail.aspx> [accessed 15 November 2012]. 16 Kathleen Moore, 71% of online adults now use video-sharing sites, Pew Internet and American Life Project (2011) Reports/2011/Video-sharing-sites.aspx [accessed 22 November 2012]. 17 Facebook, Facebook for business, Facebook (2012) < [accessed 22 November 2012]. 18 Twitter, What is Twitter?, Twitter (2012) < [accessed 22 November 2012].

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