“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet.”
That's a bold statement, no matter where it came from. But when you consider the source, it becomes even more impactful. The above quote came from an article written by none other than Bill Gates.
Content is important, whether it’s created by the company or the consumer, and it’s incredibly influential.
What is Content Marketing?
The popularity of social media is undeniable, millions of users use these sites every day. A growing eCommerce trend is influencer marketing. This is content marketing. Cute Facebook posts and tweets aren't going to do anything but get you ignored. But engaging, thought-provoking posts get people talking. A more effective strategy is to feed your network valuable content that they can share on your behalf. The trust that your network has for you can be transferred to you. This is the power of influencer marketing.
The benefits of social media marketing is reach. By engaging with individuals, you have access to an entire audience. Your content must be valuable in the eye of the beholder. The content is going to create and drive the conversation.
The rules for /services/rcommerce aren't set in stone, you can make it fit whatever environment you’re in. A blog is a great example. An eCommerce blog can be used to issue formal statements, announce new products/sales, or as a conversation starter and venue for consumers to ask questions.
Content Marketing Objections
Now, there are some people who feel the days of content marketing are coming to an end. They say it’s the relationships between the company and its customers that are becoming the driving force. While it is important to have a good rapport with your customers, what is going to start that relationship? What is going to fill the top of your funnel? Your content marketing.
For example, are you more likely to shop on a site that is nothing but black text on a white background or a site that shows you customer reviews, product previews, and a video of what you’re interested in? Odds are you’re going to use the site that most replicates the in-person shopping experience. Not the one that looks like a newspaper.
Bill Gates and Content Marketing
When Gates wrote his article in 1996, he compared content marketing on the Internet to that of broadcasting. This, of course, is a perfect analogy. Where do TV stations make their money? Advertising.
Put it this way, a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl this year cost $4 million and according to Forbes.com, the average production cost for a Super Bowl commercial is over $1 million. So for over $5 million, a company can have their 30-second commercial air during the most-watched TV program in the country. This is content marketing at its finest, and it works.
Audi and Chrysler have both produced well-liked Super Bowl commercials in the past few years. It shouldn't be surprising that each company has seen its sales jump dramatically. Audi has doubled their market share since 2006 and Chrysler has seen its revenue jump 54% over the past three years. Content marketing, when done correctly, is effective. That’s all there is to it.
Whether it’s an engaging Tweet, like last year when Xbox congratulated Sony when the PS4 was released (that tweet was retweeted over 22,000 times and was favorited by more than 13,000 people), or a Super Bowl commercial, content marketing is a driving force.
As usual, Bill Gates was right. Granted, hindsight is 20/20, but he hit the nail on the head. Content is king, and it doesn't look like there are any challengers to the throne as of yet.
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