As a content marketing expert, I’m delighted to read that content is driving buyer behavior. Research is showing that consumers want, seek and value content from marketers as long as it is informative, objective and minimizes endless pitching and puffing. Nine our of ten organizations are now utilizing content in their marketing programs, devoting a quarter of their marketing budgets to content marketing.
Social media, including blogs, the most popular form of content marketing
Studies are showing that social media has become the most popular form of content marketing, knocking articles out of their leadership position. Print magazines, still actively used, have remained about the same in terms of percentage of marketers including them in their content program. Research reports, presentation content through online sites such as LinkedIn-owned SlideShare (60M visitors/month and with more than 15M registered users), and virtual conferences and webinars have seen significant increase in application.
Consumers themselves—not just marketers–are contributing to the explosion of content, as evidenced by the morphing of the 90/9/1 rule, where 1% of consumers using the Internet were actively blogging and posting other types of content, 9% of consumers were commenting on the content, and 90% were just observing this activity. According to studies, it has now become the 70/20/10 rule, where 10% of Internet users are posting, and 20% are commenting. The 70% who are just observing is declining all the time, as more people become involved in content/comment.
The element getting the most attention is video
The element of content getting the most attention–and the greatest year over year rate of increase is video marketing, aka rich video. Cisco anticipates that video will represent a whopping 70% of consumer Internet traffic by 2017, up from 57% now. YouTube is actively used as a source for consumer content. It’s the third most visited site in the world and the second largest search engine. YouTube is also set up to facilitate easy sharing. In addition to YouTube, videos are available in other venues on the Internet (Instagram and Vine), plus mobile and TV.
Many reasons to love video, including increased conversion rates
Videos have been found to be four times more engaging than static content, and three-quarters of C-suite execs view industry videos online at least once a week. Video creates consumer involvement, conveys rich information, and builds an emotional connection with a brand or company, often through advanced neuroscience approaches. Video is an excellent, highly productive marketing tool. In one study, video embedded in an email improved campaign effectiveness by 88%, click-through rates by 76% and disposition to buy by 72%. In another study, embedding video on a website’s landing pages increased conversion rates by 80%.
If you’re still fleshing out your 2016 marketing plan, this may be the year you step up to video. A tip: consider hiring a professional to create a quality product that tells your story—the grainy, shifting talking-head that you and your neighbor create in your garage really isn’t doing you any favors.