Content marketing is still a hot topic this year as more marketers step up their content marketing campaigns as opposed to paid advertising. According to the the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), “Content Marketing is owning, as opposed to renting media.
“It’s a marketing process to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating content in order to change or enhance a consumer behavior.”
Earned media is the results you get from press coverage and social media mentions. The CMI/Marketing Profs B2B Marketing 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends-North America found that 93% of B2B companies are using content marketing tactics, up from 91% last year.
Nonetheless, more than two-thirds of B2B marketers rate in-person events as the most effective tactic they use, up from 67% last year. Best-in-class marketers are defined as those companies with a content marketing strategy. As a blogger, I’m thrilled, of course, that the most savvy content marketers (79%) rate blogs as the most effective tactic.
But I’m puzzled. Why aren’t marketers doing more to step up their in-person events? It would be nice to know what kinds of in-person events marketers are using. Are we talking about old-fashioned tactics — like picking up the phone and making an appointment to meet a prospect? We don’t know what makes up those in-person events.
It could be more event marketing, which I’m all for. Events enable you to make eye contact with prospects and start building relationships. Also, if you mount a social media campaign and get everybody tweeting and posting updates about your event that’s content marketing. Those tweets and posts just may help to get an in-person meeting.
B2B companies are my target audience. So I’m glad that best-in-class companies find blogs the most useful content marketing strategy. However, a blog in my view will never replace personal relationships in building a business. A blog can, however, be a catalyst for someone wanting to learn more about a company and reaching out to make an appointment. But, then, I’m an idealist.