February 17, 2020
By 2021, more than 27% of internet users in the US will have an ad blocker installed. That’s more than a quarter of all internet users that you won’t be able to reach with ads.
People block ads for a variety of reasons:
The most prevalent one is that they’re interruptive. Internet users want a seamless browsing experience. In other words: they want to enjoy their content without the annoyance of ads.
It’s no surprise then that content marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing. 72% of marketers say that it’s more effective than advertising in a magazine, while 69% of them agree that it’s more effective than PR and direct mail.
Pretty much every statistic out there spells one thing: content marketing should be your marketing strategy’s main character. This is where most of your resources should go.
Even despite all the numbers and all the reports, there are still skeptical marketers out there. And that’s perfectly alright – challenges are always welcome in this field.
But here’s what happens when skepticism gets left behind and you go all in with your content marketing investment.
4 companies that dominate their industries thanks to content marketing
Content is part of any marketing strategy. Even if it’s just social media content or web content that you don’t plan on changing for years to come – you still have some content.
But there are companies that do more than that. Way more.
Let’s take a look at them and at how they managed to leverage the incredible power of content marketing:
Anyone who has anything to do with marketing knows about HubSpot. When I first started out, I took their academy courses and read everything they published religiously.
Google anything related to content or digital marketing in general and you’ll get a HubSpot page among the top three results. Blog posts, topic clusters, whitepapers, webinars, e-books – you name it, they have it. And it’s good, nay, GREAT content.
One might actually be tempted to think that HubSpot is just an online publication that lives out of their paid courses. But it’s not.
Most of their content is free because what they actually sell is a CRM or an integrated marketing platform. And since they cater to marketers in every niche (and especially agencies), they put out a lot of content for marketers.
But back in 2006 they were just a startup that no one had heard of. How did they change that?
They put out amazingly good content that was 100% free. All you had to do was leave your email address so you could download their reports, whitepapers and ebooks. Yes, gated content is what turned HubSpot into a multi-million brand back when very few people even knew the term.
The HubSpot lesson: great, hyper-targeted content always yields amazing benefits in the long run.
You can’t speak about networking without mentioning Cisco, the biggest name in the industry. They don’t just meet the standards in their field, they create them.
A Cisco certification can be the key to a networking specialist job or even to getting hired as a technical writer.
You’d think that such a big name could simply rely on the quality of their products, right? Right. But how do you let people know when you’ve launched a new product?
Turns out that content marketing is Cisco’s go-to as well.
A few years ago, Cisco launched a new router and decided to promote it solely on social media. The goal of this experiment was to measure the effectiveness of their content marketing and social media tactics.
They reached their sales goals AND spent $100,000 less than they had initially anticipated.
The Cisco lesson: don’t just create content for the sake of it. Always track your content marketing KPIs to know where you stand and what your ROI is.
This is one brand that everyone’s heard about. When they became popular, content marketing was far from the industry it is today.
Xerox became synonymous with their main product: photocopying machines. In fact, they became SO popular that “Xerox” even became a verb that’s a synonym to photocopying – “need me to xerox that for you?”.
Ironically enough, this created a whole new problem. You see, Xerox offers more than photocopying machines. They also offer IT outsourcing services, for instance. But no one knew about that.
That’s until they created their own digital magazine, Real Business. The content they published was SO good that it didn’t just help them get traction in an industry no one knew they were in but also turned them into a publisher other brands pitched stories to.
The Xerox lesson: a blog or an online magazine are the perfect tools to build a presence in a new, overcrowded industry. But only provided that you can create top content.
Buffer is one of the most well-known social media marketing tools. But they were a startup no one had ever heard of, too, just a few years ago.
The Buffer founders had bet on the power of content marketing from the very beginning. When their tool was ready, they pitched it to big publishers and big marketing blogs in the hope that their editors would write about Buffer.
But they were ignored.
So they had to change their strategy.
This is when founder Leo Widrich realized that if you can’t get the mentions you need in other people’s articles then you might as well write your own articles.
He started guest blogging. Heavily. In less than 10 months, he published more than 150 posts on various websites.
Guest blogging got them 100,000 users. That’s 10,000 users per month!
The Buffer lesson: don’t rely entirely on your own audience if that audience is still small. The best SaaS startup content strategy is to expand your reach by guest posting or partnering with other publishers.
How to make it big through content marketing
There are countless companies with similar success stories. Our clients at Copywritech can tell a few such stories too. Take a look at our case studies to learn how our clients managed to rank for all the keywords they wanted or generate high-value leads – all through content marketing.
I’ve seen content marketing help businesses meet all kinds of goals – from lead generation to lead conversion and incredible brand awareness. Whatever your goals are, the way to meet them is governed by two simple rules:
- Set goals that are clearly set and easily measurable. This way, you can measure your success and adjust your strategy as you go.
- Create GREAT content. What all the brands above have in common is the disdain for mediocrity. They managed to stand out from the crowd in their highly competitive industries by creating stellar content that truly helps their target audience.
Need help creating content that stands out from the crowd – even in the most saturated industries? Our specialty is helping tech startups gain the traction they want through content and copy designed to convert and rank. Let’s talk!
Adriana Tica is an expert marketer and copywriter, with 10 years in the field, most of which were spent marketing tech companies. She is the Owner and Founder of Idunn. In October 2019, she also launched Copywritech, a digital marketing agency that provides copywriting, SEO content writing, and strategy services to companies in the tech industry.