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Content Marketing: A Top Trend for 2011

By Annie George

Posted on 16 Dec 10

In my interview with Karlyn Carnahan of Novarica in this issue, one of the survey findings she mentions is that 69% of businesses polled are attending webinars and listening to podcasts. I definitely fall into that 69%, having listened to about five webinars alone this month, all on social media-related topics, including one on the Top 2011 Marketing trends. Content marketing (not surprising based on webinar participation) is one of these top trends, according to a study by eMarketer.

eMarketer says that in 2011 marketers will focus on creating “magnetic content” designed to naturally attract consumers, rather the traditional push form of advertising, which consumers are responding to less and less. Content can be an ad, a YouTube video, FaceBook page, Twitter promo, webinar, podcast, white paper, report, case study, e-newsletter, online game, contest…info to get consumers genuinely engaged and to share with others. This type of content is welcomed as it entertains, informs, and satisfies a consumer need.

In fact, according to a survey conducted earlier this year by Junta42 that analyzed content marketing spending for 2010, about six in 10 marketing professionals had planned to increase their spending on content initiatives, and spending in this area comprised 33% of the total marketing budget (up 11% from 2008).

In developing content there are key questions you should ask yourself to determine if you will attract your audience: Is the content unique, useful, fun? Is it well executed? And does it make good use of the channel in which it appears (e.g., social, mobile, video)?

Additionally, base the content that you’re going to develop on researched customer behaviors (for example, mobile is big among younger insureds) attitudes, and lifestyles. This involves changing your marketing from selling product (in our case, insurance) to identifying and solving a consumer need or want that transcends or complements the product or service you’re selling.

The bottom line is that when creating good content you need to look at what you can do for your customers and prospects in addition to offering your products/services.