Is Content More Important Than Strategy For Internet Marketing Purposes?

What’s the key to successful internet marketing?

Well, some marketers will no doubt tell you that strategy is the lynchpin to pulling in and converting customers: if you can build a great set of quality backlinks and set up a powerful and targeted PPC marketing campaign, the success is all but guaranteed. Others will no doubt tell you that it’s the quality of what you put on your website that really counts. If you deliver interesting and relevant content, you’ll hold your readers attention for longer and consequently be more likely to make those extra conversions.

Many marketers fell out of love with the concept that content is critical, and placed all their eggs in the social media basket, but a recent survey by Readex Research, sponsored by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and Brandpoint, has shown that quality content is still as crucial as ever in today’s unpredictable market. Yes the really savvy marketers should be embracing all the online tools available and utilising the social media, but it’s equally important to create quality content that informs and inspires users.

So what sort of content works best?

Well according to the survey it’s blogging, social content, online articles and press releases that are the forms of content used most often by marketers. The survey clearly demonstrates that businesses see the best results from social content, e-newsletters and blogging. 80% of the survey’s respondents claimed to be more than happy to pay for the added value that well-crafted, professionally-written and customised content brings. Moreover, and this is the interesting point, 82% of marketers claimed it was far more important that their website and blog copy be written for current and potential customers rather than for the search engines. Davis Olson, senior vice president of Brandpoint, issued a press statement explaining the survey’s findings:

“We consistently hear from our clients that creative and engaging storytelling, customisation and professional-level writing are priorities. The survey results bear this out, as respondents cited those qualities as the ones they consider most important when evaluating an outsourcing partner for their content needs.”

What might surprise many people is the perception of the importance of search engine optimisation. At one time SEO was seen as sacrosanct, yet the survey respondents only ranked it in the middle of the pecking order: it came in at number 5 out of 11 in the list of qualities marketers want from  their content providers. What’s even more interesting, given the current state of the market and the lack of available resources, is that businesses consider quick turnaround and cost the least important qualities in their content provider. Marketers also recognize the value of outsourcing. Seventy percent of survey respondents said they plan to outsource content production in the next 12 months. The top three forms of content they plan to outsource are video, infographics and online articles.

Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute was not surprised by the survey’s finding, claiming:

“This survey affirms that marketing pros are embracing the value of online marketing, but they also acknowledge the need to stay true to certain fundamentals. Quality continues to be a key requirement for success across all forms of content marketing. While the Internet continues to revolutionize the way we all do business, the need to tell a clear compelling story through our marketing efforts remains constant.”

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