With help from the likes of TiVo, social media and ad blockers, we are increasingly able to see what we want, where we want it- how should marketers respond?

Professor and passionate advocate of content marketing, Don Schultz, suggests that undifferentiated marketing methods are becoming less relevant in today’s ‘opt-in’ world. He believes that “content marketing is the future for all marketing”.

The logic of content marketing is simple: stop interrupting potential customers with content they don’t want to see, and start engaging customers with content they do.  By providing targeted content, firms are able to build relationships with customers with the ultimate goal of generating business. In other words, brands should stop hijacking other content and start creating their own. And nobody has done this better than Red Bull.  Last year, the firm generated massive media attention through their space jump that attracted over 8 million live views.

Last week, the CMW (Content Marketing World) gathered in Ohio to talk about the ways in which the effectiveness of content marketing can be measured.  In a great summative article, Geraint Holliman takes away 6 key insights from the CMW event:

1.     A definition of content marketing

At the CMW event, Jo Pulizzi defined content marketing as “marketing and business process for creating and distributing valuable and compelling content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action”

2.     Know your customers and what they want to know

Marketers must respond to an ‘opt-in’ culture by providing a valuable service that answers customers’ queries without force feeding information.

3.     You’ve got to have a content marketing strategy

According to Pulizzi, “…still only around 10% of brands have a defined, written content marketing strategy”.

4.     Content Marketing is the only marketing there is

Gone are the days when customers respond to “indiscriminate, undifferentiated broadcast selling messages”.

 5. Helping not hyping

Smart marketing must provide customers with a valuable service; it can’t be about merely generating hype. In doing so, content marketing will educate users in ways that allow them to make better decisions.

 6.     The importance of content to the buyer’s journey

Evidence was showcased that further highlighted the effectiveness of content marketing. According to CMW, customers in both B2C and B2B are undertaking between 60-70% of their purchase decision before they actually come into contact directly with the brand.

Despite the impressive developments in the content marketing arena, it remains difficult to directly tie content marketing strategies to revenue streams. This is a challenge for content marketers who are eager to prove their worth. However will it ever be possible to put a price on building relationships?