In the content marketing industry, there is no greater treasure trove of information than the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). That’s why content marketers all over the country were anxiously awaiting to dig into the 2016 benchmark studies from CMI as we head into the final quarter of 2015. As of this week, the wait is over as CMI has officially released their “B2B Content Marketing 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America” study.
So, without further delay, we wanted to dive headfirst into this compilation of marketing statistics and give our readers three quick insights:
Mark Twain said it best, “If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes.”
As a New England native, I can attest to the claim that the weather in this region is some of the most unpredictable and continuously changing weather in the country. From blizzards, to heat waves, to tornadoes, New Englanders are prepared to handle any type of weather that is thrown their way.
Sure, it’s not particularly thrilling to hear that there’ll be a snow storm on Halloween when only the leaves should be covering our lawns, but the weather sure keeps residents on their toes. It also teaches us to savor every season for what it’s worth—the dew covered grass of springtime, the humid days of summer, the classic crisp autumn mornings when the foliage is at its peak, or the first sign of powdery flakes once December arrives.
Lately, it appears that most marketing content is geared towards millenials or even baby boomers. Although I’m sure they’re all perfectly nice people, it seems like Generation X—born between 1961 and 1981—has been relegated to second-class citizen status when it comes to product promotion.
I don’t only say that because I am approaching middle age (whatever that means) and feeling left out, but because I believe that much of what defines our popular culture today—such as rap music and ground-breaking TV series like “Breaking Bad,” “The Sopranos” and “Sex in the City”—is a product of my generation. Therefore, our absence from marketing content seems like an anomaly.
Now that we’re about halfway through 2015, it’s an ideal time to take a step back and make sure you are on track to meet the content marketing goals you outlined for your business back in January (like creating brand awareness, or increasing engagement with your customers).
After all, while your brand may appear to be perfectly healthy on the surface, there are countless factors that go into a successful content marketing strategy, all of which need to be closely monitored.
Here are some questions to ask during your mid-year content marketing checkup:
I’m sure at some point in your life you’ve heard someone label you (or perhaps you labeled yourself) either “right brained” or “left brained.” But I say, why do you have to be just one? In fact, as a content marketer, I know that I cannot afford to fall into the trap of exclusively thinking either one way or another. Instead, content marketers must extract valuable qualities associated with each side of the brain and integrate them to produce a well-rounded content creation strategy.
So, let’s refresh our memories about which characteristics are associated with each side of the brain. “Left brained” thinkers are usually analytical, literal and organized while “right brained” thinkers are dreamers, emotional and creative. But, the best marketers are analytical and creative; here’s a better look at how they use each side of the brain to create the most effective range of content:
Every marketing team has someone who always thinks outside the box. For Content Boost, that team member is Gerald Baldino. With an impressive writing background having worked at AOL’s Patch.com and New Haven’s “Groove Magazine,” Gerald has helped numerous clients launch successful content marketing campaigns. His right-brain mentality and affinity for the written word has enabled him to take the least sexy topic and turn it into something exciting.
This past weekend I was out to dinner with some friends when the topic of work came up. After explaining a typical day in the life of a content marketer, my non-marketing friend turned to me and said “Oh, so you write for a living?” Immediately two thoughts came to mind: I need to get smarter friends and I should blog about this exact moment.
Content marketers are a rare breed in that we’re a fourth journalist, two-thirds marketer, one-tenth planner, one-eighth creative thinkers… Did I get the math right? I didn’t say we were mathematicians. We possess the traits of a journalist in that we’re inherently curious and passionate about writing, but we’re also strategic thinkers and metrics-driven like marketers and planners. Continue reading “20 Sure-Fire Signs You’re a Content Marketer”
Let’s face it… you are swamped. From logging the 9 to 5 grind (uh… more like 9 to 7) to squeezing in parent-teacher meetings to trying to plan something special for the weekend with a loved one, there are simply not enough hours in the day. Well, guess what? Your consumers feel the same way.
In fact, your target market is so inundated with daily tasks that they are in search of pointed, succinct marketing pitches. Just to give you some perspective on the information overload you are currently experiencing, consider the following:
I myself am a visual learner, who would rather look at pretty pictures than read a 1,000-plus word article—and I’m not alone. In fact, 65 percent of the population is comprised of visual learners and 40 percent of people respond better to visual information than plain text. For content marketers, this means marrying compelling content with eye-catching visuals.
Visual content garners big results as it not only helps catch the reader’s attention, but it also increases engagement and drives website traffic. Put yourself in your readers’ shoes and consider the following: would you rather read a press release full of text or a post with one or two eye-popping images?