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Is Content Marketing Replacing Traditional Advertising?

I’ve been in the content marketing world for over 10 years and have seen it evolve a lot. From my experience working with different brands and accommodating their budgets, I implement less and less traditional advertising strategies every year. Now it’s to the point that I hardly implement any traditional advertising techniques because I have seen the power of content marketing.

Because this is something I’m passionate about, I’m excited to share this post on what I’ve seen in the marketing landscape. Are you ready to see better results from your marketing? Then keep reading!

The Smart Way to Do Content Marketing

Content marketing is all about providing value through thought leadership content and helpful resources. 

Downloadable content such as eBooks and whitepapers are great for lead gen and creating new relationships with target consumers. After capturing email addresses through your downloadable pieces of content, it’s smart to nurture these leads with an email program. Blog posts and case studies are essential to include in your nurturing campaign. Once thought leadership, brand familiarity and brand trust have been established with your awesome content you’ll see higher conversion rates. Simple enough, right?

Why Traditional Advertising Doesn’t Cut It 

You probably have noticed over the past few years that consumers are getting smarter and more self-sufficient. They don’t respond well when they know they are being “marketed at.”

Nowadays, consumers pave their own buyer’s journey and prefer to do their own research about brands. You can help them with content resources and through this content, you can steer your target audience to your brand.

Think about all the people who have ad blockers. This alone shows how sick consumers are of traditional advertisements. 

With traditional advertising, you have less control over the data and metrics. Not to mention, you can’t hone in on different audience segments like you can with content marketing and the proper marketing automation software

Traditional Advertising Tactics to Replace With Content Marketing

Paid search: Instead of throwing money at Google, learn how to create content that organically shows up in searches

Banner ads: I mentioned the prevalence of ad blockers so use your banner ad budget to secure guest post placements on blogs your target consumers read

Celebrity endorsements: Consumers make purchase decisions based on peer recommendations so instead of working with celebrities, consider a brand ambassador strategy

Sponsored social media posts: Promoting your brand on social media comes across as “salesy” so use paid social to promote a piece of your downloadable content to generate new leads

Commercials: Commercials are expensive and are waning in credibility so consider working with YouTube influencers to work your brand organically into their videos

Email blasts: Instead of purchasing email blasts, grow your contacts through downloadable content and blog subscribers and put out a weekly newsletter with helpful resources

The Good News About Pivoting Your Marketing Strategy

Replacing traditional marketing tactics with content marketing strategies gives you more control and insights when it comes to your audience. Content will meet consumers where they want to be met and some positives about ramping up your content marketing strategy include: 

  • Branding
  • Formula creation
  • Targeting 
  • Many ways to measure
  • Create customer roadmaps 
  • Higher ROI
  • Customized nurture segments

Actionable Next Steps

If you’re ready to embrace content marketing and reallocate your budget, there are plenty of things you can do right away to create a functioning content marketing strategy.

  • Survey your clients
  • Grasp questions your target consumers will ask
  • Outline industry best practices
  • Conduct your own research and publish a research report
  • Decide which topics can be downloadable content and which topics are better suited for blog posts
  • Purchase a marketing automation software
  • Reach out to industry experts
  • Brainstorm some case studies

Final Thoughts

It’s time to revisit your marketing budget. Content marketing is usually more affordable than traditional advertising and yields a higher ROI. 

Depending on your bandwidth, content marketing can be owned in-house or with a good agency. 

Remember that the goal is thought leadership and to provide helpful resources that speak to your buyer personas. You can get a pulse on topics by interviewing your clients and reaching out to industry experts just to name a few actionable strategies.

In your experience, are you seeing the power of content marketing? I’d love to hear about your observations in the comments below!