Instagram, launched in 2010, is worth $35+ billion. Snapchat from 2011 is worth $18-20 billion. AirBnB is a little older, dating back to 2008… But its $30 billion market valuation is still extremely impressive.
Companies becoming this big this fast is a new phenomenon. In the past, businesses had to achieve decades of continued growth to come this far. Very few managed.
So how is it that the last decade has seen so many giants emerge so quickly, so consistently and with no sign of slowing down?
We will give you a hint.
Instagram, Snapchat, Airbnb and a host of other businesses used an instrument that Bill Gates referred to as the source of “the real money on the internet”.
They mastered a tool that, on average, is 8x as effective as traditional advertising.
They leveraged a secret that has been fuelling the rise of new-wave blockbuster startups, from Google to Facebook to Tinder, for over a decade.
Want to know exactly what they did – and how you can apply their secret strategies to your own business?
Then read on, because you are about to learn all about…
CONTENT MARKETING: YOUR BUSINESS’ SECRET WEAPON
Compared to traditional advertising, content marketing brings in 300% as many leads at 38% of the cost. That means it is almost 800% as effective – and this is the average figure.
But what is content marketing, exactly?
You will be able to find long definitions, but let us keep the answer simple. Content is entertaining or valuable information. In the context of the internet, content is videos, images and all kinds of text – from Wikipedia pages to Huffington Post articles.
Content marketing is creating and publishing content that works to market a business or its offer through generating leads, making sales and/or building brand value.
In other words, content marketing is using articles, videos and other media with the end goal of making money.
An example of successful content marketing in the B2B space is IBM Security: a free website that provides businesses with information on security challenges and ways to beat them.
Since its inception, IBM Security brought IBM 5 new leads worth $800,000; positively affected another $6,300,000 worth of deals; lead to coverage in The New York Times, BBC and other publications.
But wait, because you are about to be even more surprised when you realise that…
FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, SNAPCHAT AND AIRBNB ARE WORTH NOTHING WITHOUT CONTENT
Have you ever wondered why all three companies are worth tens of billions of dollars?
It is not because their offer and service cannot be replicated. Everything can be copied; just ask Russian-made Facebook knockoff vk.com that became a successful business in its own right.
No; Instagram, Snapchat and AirBnB are not worth what they are worth because of unique technology and expertise.
Instead, their value is in all the content they have managed to collect over the years.
See, Instagram, Snapchat and AirBnB are all home to a vast quantity of useful content. From live feeds to pages to articles to videos to personal information. In short, they contain a lot of stuff people want to view.
Without all this content, all these platforms would be worth nothing.
Fortunately, they offer a win-win service in which everyone wins – so the content is likely to keep coming. Here is how it works:
- Content platforms like Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram get vast amounts of free (or cheap) content. They then collect user analytics and sell ad space, making a fortune.
- Businesses use the websites for content marketing, which is extremely effective and profitable.
- Users get to enjoy content for free, with businesses and content platforms absorbing all the costs.
Now, the question is…
How can you get in on the action by using content marketing to your advantage?
THE CONTENT MARKETING ROOKIE’S CHECKLIST
89% of B2B marketers, and 86% of their B2C colleagues, are already using content to promote.
Unfortunately, less than half (!!!) of B2B marketers say they are clear on what content marketing effectiveness looks like, and only 35% of B2C marketers say their efforts are effective.
This is the sort of thing you do not want to happen to you, because ineffective marketing content will drain your resources, demoralise your team and turn into a huge time sink.
So here is a checklist of 7 key things you should be doing as part of your marketing content strategy.
- Have a blog. It takes minutes to set up a WordPress site and find a pretty theme for it; there is no excuse not to blog in 2017.
- Research what your audience finds entertaining and valuable. Check out what competitors are doing content-wise.
- Make content that is entertaining, valuable or both. It does not have to be fancy, but it does have to come regularly; aim for at least 2-3 blog entries a week depending on the industry you are in.
- If you or your team are good at making videos, use YouTube and Facebook to publish them. Experiment with streaming and pre-recording and see what works best.
- Promote your content…HARD. Guest blog, use social media, run paid ads and do not be scared of using money. Solid marketing content pays for itself, so you will make your ad spend back quickly.
- Always track your results to get a clear understanding of what works and what does not.
- Try to engage your entire organisation in content creation. It may feel awkward at first, especially if your staff is not in their mid-20s or younger… But once you start getting positive responses from your followers, and seeing a real ROI, it will catch on.
Doing this gives you the bare minimum you need to get traction from your efforts.
It might not put you in the minority of businesses that enjoy triple, quadruple and quintuple-digit ROIs on their digital marketing, but knowing the information in this article, and the checklist above, has already given you a significant advantage in the field. Congratulations!
So, if YOU are interested in having a dedicated growth agency help you kick-start your content marketing efforts, get in touch with us now, and we will be happy to sit down with you to discuss and suggest the best course of action specifically for your businesses.