Content marketing, pull marketing, inbound marketing. They’re all terms for creating and distributing thought leadership – the idea of sharing helpful insight and experience in exchange for potential new business leads. It’s nothing new for the agency world. Professional marketers have been writing books, publishing interviews and speaking at conferences for decades.
You can imagine our surprise when we found out that these same seasoned marketing pros were eking by in the vibrant world of digital thought leadership.
Here’s some data to hammer the efficacy of content marketing home. According to a study by HubSpot:
- Companies that blog get 55% more web traffic
- Businesses that blog are 4 times more likely to be found on the web
- Inbound marketing costs 62% less than traditional outbound marketing
Why does the discrepancy between belief in content marketing versus actual application exist? A recent lonelybrand survey showed that 37% of CMOs and agency execs “know they should be using pull-marketing tools and techniques to help qualified leads find their company, but don’t know how to implement a program to do so.”
Scarcity, focus and creative flow
So what happened to top marketers? What circumstances caused them to stop practicing what they preach? It’s a complex puzzle that started with the macroeconomic woes of the last few years. As marketing departments leaned out and refocused to keep the ship afloat content marketing efforts – especially in the longer B2B sales cycle – began to disappear. Content marketing takes focus and creative energy, especially more more technical product like white papers and research reports. That’s a tough feat to accomplish when marketers work longer hours under an ever-increasing pressure to generate sales. It’s also why lonelybrand has seen a big pickup in our B2B and agency business this year. Smart marketers are turning to low cost outsourced solutions to implement and maintain their content marketing programs. We’ve done plenty of research in the area of B2B social media marketing and B2B digital marketing as well – it’s worth a read.
Are you staying ahead of the professional marketer pack by implementing disciplined content marketing strategies to generate inbound leads? Tell us about your home runs and we may feature your firm in an upcoming series on digital content development.