Quality content is becoming more important than marketing budgets. Here's why.
In marketing, one of the biggest shifts created by the internet is from space to attention.
- Before the Internet, marketing's core constraint was space. That could include the size of an ad, the length of a TV or radio commercial, the dimensions of a direct mail piece, etc. Money was the most important factor.
- With the Internet, there is almost no space constraint. Websites can have a nearly infinite number of pages, multiple emails can be sent, videos can play for hours. Quality content is now what matters in marketing.
Guy Kawasaki says "If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing. If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing."
Similarly, HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan likes to explain (with the accompanying visual) that success in marketing now has more to do with the size of your brain rather than the size of your wallet.
Because of marketing's shift from size to attention and the resultant demand for quality content, B2B marketing priorities and behavior are changing.
- According to Content Marketing Institute, 60% of B2B companies plan to increase their content budgets over the next year.
- The sales cycle is 60% through before a buyer first talks to a sales person, according to Corporate Executive Board.
The Internet has empowered the buyer with much of the information that they previously had to elicit from sales people. That's why sales is engaging much later in the buyer's purchase steps. What's to fill the void? Content is increasingly needed to help influence prospects to become leads and then customers.
What's more, according to HubSpot's State of Inbound Marketing Report, leads generated with inbound marketing cost 61% less than leads generated through traditional, more interruptive outbound marketing.
So instead of "renting" space in advertising, with content marketers are creating long-lasting assets that can attract prospects, convert them into leads and help to become customers.
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