Why content (marketing) is king in the digital era

For companies to dominate online and boost their fortunes, reaching out to audiences with killer content is vital.

Let’s have a look at the numbers. As of writing, there are 3.9 billion internet users around the world and more than 1.8 billion websites, and rapidly growing. And so far today (it’s still early morning), over 74 billion emails have been sent, almost 1.8 billion Google searches conducted and close to 1.7 million blog posts written, that is a lot of digital content. The Marketing Helpline predicts a rise of 300% in content marketing services by 2022.

If you want to know the up-to-the-minute state of the internet and how it continues to expand at light-speed like the Big Bang, you only have to peek at Internet Live Stats, the initiative of a group of developers, researchers and analysts who wanted to provide a real-time view of what’s going on online.

And just what are we all doing in this frenetic cyber-realm? According to research firm statista, 80% of us are emailing, in the UK at least, 73% visiting sites for personal interest, 70% browsing eCommerce sites with a view to making a purchase and 67% of online users are actively buying things online.

Other internet activities include online banking and financial interests (58%), using social media (57%), downloading or streaming music (34%) and downloading or streaming TV (33%). Streaming or downloading moves comes in at 27% and playing video games online, 18%. Whatever we’re doing on the internet, content forms a key part of it, which is why content marketing has emerged as a more meaningful way of connecting people to businesses.

Content marketing unmasked

What, exactly, is content marketing, though? It’s really part of an overall marketing strategy that results in the creation of high-quality, relevant and authoritative content — articles, blogs, infographics, videos and more — that’s considered valuable to various segments of the market. It engages online users and creates and retains customers in the target market. It is not, however, a hard sell, a strategy that only turns online users right off.

As we’ve seen from the above stats on what people are doing online, a lot of it is to get good and reliable information. It’s not only about news, features and other stories, but just about anything connected with what we’re looking for online. With e-commerce long since exploding in popularity, for instance, buyers want as much information about a product as possible before going ahead with a purchase.  

Quite simply, if there’s no content online, there’s no internet.

For the average small and medium-sized business, however, trying to get their heads around the concept of content marketing and how to execute such a digital strategy can be daunting. After all, it’s one thing to want to have a great content marketing plan for your firm so that you can reach out to vital online audiences and grow your revenues, but it’s something else carrying out the endeavour. And it’s not every business that has either the resources or skills to create professional content for their marketing purposes.

Digital agencies to the rescue

This is where top-level digital marketing agencies come in, providing an indispensable lifeline to companies that allows them to perfectly bridge the gap between real-world operations and audiences browsing online. Companies such as leading UK digital agency Exposure Ninja know the value of their content marketing services to firms that could not otherwise afford the time, effort or expense in producing their own content.

“It’s not just about what companies need for their own sites, so they have regularly updated and awesome content, but also about putting their message right out there by placing killer articles in relevant media publications and websites. This increases companies’ authority and results online,” said Exposure Ninja founder and chief Tim Cameron-Kitchen.

And let’s not forget another important reason why content marketing reigns in the digital era: Google. The globally dominant search engine has made it its mission to clear up all the junk on sites all over the internet, by insisting they have good-quality content that’s consistently added. This provides a richer online experience for visitors, and higher search engine results — and therefore more traffic — for websites that comply.