When there is financial turbulence, it is often said that ‘cash is king’. Similarly, these days, when brands are challenged by fast changing consumer preferences the message from the marketing community has become ‘content is king’.
Over the last few years there has been a massive shift in marketing budgets into Content Marketing. So what is Content Marketing and why has it suddenly become king?
According to Forbes magazine:
You can tell if a piece of content is the sort that could be part of a content marketing campaign if people seek it out, if people want to consume it, rather than avoiding it.
Relevant and valuable information in the form of infographics, videos, web content, podcasts, books and customer magazines are all examples of Content Marketing. Often concentrating on lifestyle issues with useful information on subjects such as recipes, holiday tips, and home improvement advice.
And it is on the rise because increasingly marketing-literate consumers are rejecting standard selling messages from brands. In order to get their attention and respect, switched on marketing departments are generating content that will engage on a more emotional level.
The Content Marketing Association reports that 70% of British marketers are using Content Marketing, highlighting the top three most effective uses as:
- Long term customer engagement
- Brand building
- Customer acquisition.
Further, having grown as a share of brand communications budgets by a net 25% in each of the last two years, it now makes up 21% of this total budget in the UK.
For a Print Service Provider, the surge in Content Marketing from your clients can be viewed as both a threat and an opportunity. An apparent threat because, typically, brands that use CM spend less on print and direct mail than brands who don’t do any CM (source; Content Marketing Association). However, print is a medium that is particularly well suited to displaying and showing how to navigate around content. PSPs who understand the true value of print in this context can start to develop relationships with a new breed of marketing agency – the Content Marketing agency. They specialise in content and customer engagement and are increasingly playing a central role among brands’ roster of agencies. Now is a good time to identify and approach the leading agencies in your market.
A further opportunity is in the increasing investment in Marketing Resource Management systems to administer content and assets efficiently. Some marketing departments have invested in their own systems, but many others will prefer to outsource that responsibility. As the number of marketing communications assets these departments own expands, in the form of print collateral, web and mobile material, videos, merchandise, etc., they need a reliable partner who can create, manipulate, manage and distribute them as needed. Ricoh’s cloud based MarcomCentral solution manages and customises marketing material across entire organisations enabling PSPs to support their clients’ brand control and asset distribution with anytime, anywhere access.
Content Marketing has quietly captured a leading role in the minds and wallets of marketers across Europe. It is a phenomenon that shows no signs of abating as brands recognise that valuable content can be the key to customer engagement and loyalty. For the PSP who doesn’t want to get left behind, now is the time to understand how to take advantage of this situation. Both through positioning the unique properties of print; and having a marketing resource management system that can improve your clients’ marketing supply chain, now, when the content they have is probably growing at an unprecedented rate.