The Trend for 2011: Content Marketing

January 29, 2011 by  Filed under: Marketing 

Like a moth to a flame…

The power of content marketing is undeniable. Its magnetic ability to draw consumers’ attention is what sets content marketing apart from more traditional advertising and marketing strategies – and ultimately why it is a critical element of every company’s marketing strategy for 2011.

So, what is content marketing and what differentiates it from more traditional, “interruptive” marketing strategies? Geoff Ramsey, CEO and co-founder of eMarketer, explains that content marketing is “anything created on behalf of a brand… that consumers genuinely want to engage with and pass along to others. This content entertains, amuses, informs, serves a function or satisfies a consumer need. It’s welcome instead of annoying or interruptive.”

Jumping on the bandwagon

The Custom Content Council, in conjunction with the newsletterContentWise, recently conducted a marketer-spending study and discovered that spend on custom content is at a second all-time high, with “29 percent of the average overall marketing, advertising and communications budget funds dedicated to branded content.”

Furthermore, the findings indicate a continued growth of content marketing throughout 2011 as many marketers shift their money to branded content and increase spending. As reported in the study, “A total of 68 percent of companies indicate that their organization is shifting from traditional forms of advertising and marketing to new forms such as branded content, content marketing, custom publishing or custom media.”

Above the crowd

In an effort to ramp up content marketing efforts, marketers are adopting many mediums, including social media, videos, online games and smartphone apps. Yet, what is the one medium that has risen above all others and proven itself as the most effective content marketing tool? Email newsletters!

Email newsletters (eNewsletters) significantly venture away from the “selling” and “interruptive” approach of traditional advertising and marketing. Instead, eNewsletters focus on providing educational, relationship building, potentially viral content that creates brand loyalty, increases customer retention, draws consumers in and keeps them eagerly awaiting the arrival of subsequent issues.

Supporting the inherent strengths of eNewsletters, the study found that, “The primary reason to deploy branded content initiatives is to educate customers, according to 54 percent of the companies surveyed, followed by customer retention at 23 percent… The leading secondary reasons were customer retention (35 percent) and educating customers (27 percent), though brand loyalty factored in at 26 percent.”

Active and effective

Yet the benefits of eNewsletters don’t end there. The beauty of eNewsletters is that they are not passive, like some content mediums. Instead, they effectively reach out and deliver content; then, that content can be repurposed on many other content marketing mediums – Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Web sites – as well as through sales materials and press releases, which significantly extends the reach and value of the content.

If you are looking to ramp up your content marketing efforts in 2011, consider incorporating an eNewsletter into your marketing strategy. A professionally designed and produced eNewsletter has the power to effectively communicate with your customers and prospects, build brand loyalty and increase customer retention.

Marc Dube is the president and founder of Proven Systems, a leader in email newsletter production and management. Trust the production of your eNewsletter to the experts at Proven Systems. We can help you produce a professional, results driven eNewsletter with minimal demand on your internal resources. Learn more by contacting Proven Systems today. You can reach Marc via email marc@provensystems.com, phone 970.223.6565 ext.101 (direct), or visit http://www.provensystems.com. You can also follow Proven Systems on Twitter http://twitter.com/Proven_Systems.

Article Source:

http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Marc_Dube

Marc Dube - EzineArticles Expert Author

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