Content is a powerful tool, also in a difficult market
Content marketing is a proven tactic for building a strong brand and generating high-quality leads. In a normal year, the average marketing team spends 25% of its budget on content marketing. And during tough economic times, the marketing leaders we spoke to say content is even more of a priority for them:
- 51% say content marketing is “very important” to them during tough economic times, compared to 46% who say it is very important all the time.
- Despite concerns about how the economy might impact their budget, nearly 9 out of 10 say they plan to maintain the same level or increase their spend on content marketing production in 2023.
As the numbers show, most marketing leaders are focusing even more than usual on content marketing right now. Here are 4 of the main reasons why:
1. Content is the cost-effective solution.
Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing (such as ad buy and paid search), but generates around 3 times as many leads per euro spent. And when spending decreases due to poor economic conditions, it’s more important than ever for companies to generate high-quality leads.
2. Content is more engaging than advertising.
People are faced with an ever-increasing number of ads each day. Around three quarters of B2B and B2C customers say they’d rather ignore ads and learn about companies through informative content instead. As a result, online display ads now have an average click-through rate (CTR) of less than 0.1%.
3. Content keeps customers coming back for more.
Helpful content is far more likely than advertising to add value to your customers’ lives. When customers feel supported, informed or entertained, they’re likely to follow your brand and become repeat customers. During a tough economy, retention is even more valuable, since acquiring a new customer can cost 5 times more than retaining an existing customer. Plus, your chances of selling to an existing customer are up to 14 times higher than selling to a new one.
4. Content generates actionable first-party data insights.
As marketing strategies become increasingly automated, data is your most precious resource as a marketer. Yet third-party data (generated, for example, by search engine ads) is increasingly unreliable, as more customers block data collection. With high-quality content, you distribute directly to your customers through your owned channels. This enables you to collect more relevant data, so you can improve your strategy and target your activities more effectively.
Which goals does content help you achieve?
Marketers rely on content to achieve many different goals. Our study found a slight shift in priorities during tough economic times:
- 7 out of 10 respondents say showing consistency and building trust among potential customers is their main content-marketing focus when the economy slows down.
- Over two-thirds (68%) say that showing consistency and building trust is a key focus.
- Retaining customers was the most important goal to just over one quarter of the respondents, as was maintaining market- and mindshare.
- The experts were divided almost evenly into two camps when it came to choosing which type of content to focus on: half of them say conversion-driven content is their main focus during tough times, while the other half say they focus on brand-building content.
So, how are marketing leaders putting effective content strategies into place? In our report about recharging your content marketing engine during difficult times, you’ll learn more about the 7 proven best practices.