Studies find paid advertising declining in effectiveness, Content Selling growing

Spend Less on Advertising, Win More Sales - KnowledgeTree

Tried-and-true marketing wisdom says you must support your product or service campaign with ads. Buy more advertising, get more customers. Make sure to allocate plenty of dollars for online banners and maybe some print ads. And, if you have a great year, possibly reserve some budget for a TV or radio campaign next.

Then, you read about innovative companies winning new business by using “content selling” and tacticaly distributed collateral, rather than a general ad-based strategy, and you rethink everything. Which is the best way to go?

If you’re confused, you’re not alone. A report from the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, co-authored by Joe Pulizzi and Ann Handley, notes, “B2B marketers are more uncertain whether they are using various content marketing tactics effectively.” The study found that while more than 90% of marketers are at least dabbling in content marketing, only about a third have faith in its effectiveness.

However, marketers know that content is winning, and they’re saying it in their budgets. The study shows that B2B marketers will nearly double their spend on content development from the 2012 budget to the 2014 forecast. Marketers believe their investments in content will be well-spent capital.

UK-based ContentPlus believes it too. It recently reported that some 70 percent of buyers are more responsive to content marketing over paid ads. If you’re betting your budget on advertising, prepare to reach just a sliver of your audience while content-savvy competitors eat your lunch.

In a recent article in Entrepreneur, Handley, the MarketProfs Chief Content Officer, wrote, “In today’s search-and-social world, businesses should focus on enabling interactions instead of chasing transactions. The key is to create helpful content that’s seeded with honest empathy.” This statement speaks directly to a principle of content selling, which is to enable Sales to engage buyers with the right content at the right time.

The message from all sources is clear: Buyers want informative, helpful content delivered at the right time, not unwelcome ads. Ready to learn more? Start with our free eBook, “Content Marketing, Meet Content Selling.”