The price of advertising is constantly growing with the globalization of the markets and with internet advertising. The cost for a TV ad can break the bank account of a smaller business. Internet advertising rates are calculated per 1,000 viewers, to show how many eyeballs they need just to calculate the unit cost.
On the other hand, content marketing is perceived to be less expensive, but not for the right reasons. Business owners expect to pay pennies on originally produced content. However, for a quality piece of material there is no way around it, you need to pay for its value.
However, the reason why content marketing is overall cheaper than traditional advertising lays in the return you get for these two types of investment. Not in the production cost.
The return on investment (ROI) of an advertorial material can only be measured once, at the end of the campaign timeframe. There is no way around it. The success is measured based on the number of prospects that were exposed to it, for that limited period of time. When the campaign is over and off the public eye, there is no extra cent a business can pull from it.
On the other hand, the ROI of a quality material published on an online platform can be measured again and again. Since the exposure of the material is continuous, the ROI measuring is ongoing as well.
That is the main difference between the advertising and the content marketing mentality.
Operating with the advertising mentality, always starting from zero with yet another ad campaign, you cannot build on previous efforts. You can only hope that prospects remember your old campaigns and their awareness is raised with viewing a new commercial. But you can only hope that.
Neither can you reuse old ideas or ads. Just imagine reusing last year’s Easter commercial, just to save costs, or because you didn’t get a satisfactory ROI on it. That’s unheard of, and would hurt your brand’s image.
Knowing these facts, the content marketing mentality should be a viable alternative for any marketer or business owner.
The materials you create don’t have an expiration date, like an ad. Your work is there to stay and be read over and over by any new prospect coming to your page. Your articles and reports are as useful for a prospect today as they will be for another one next month. The condition, of course, being that you publish quality materials that are of real help.
On top of that, if you have a well-crafted editorial plan for the materials you publish, you will actually build upon past materials. The articles will add up in a structured way, almost like the chapters of a book. Only that you publish every finished chapter, not waiting until the book is complete. And we all know how many generations can read a good book.
The ROI you measure again and again becomes that much higher with time, bringing you more prospects on your website, eager to consume your already created materials.
Presenting the two approaches in a mirrored way, it becomes quite clear for any marketer that they should choose the path that brings higher ROI.
However, I believe the biggest challenge for today’s marketers is not to understand the numbers, but to succeed in shifting their mentality. To drop the campaign approach to marketing and understand that it is an ongoing process. To stop chasing for the quick profit and start aiming for the long run gain. In doing so they would not only get a better ROI for their efforts, but also bring their business to higher levels.
I want to know your opinion on this. Are you convinced by the content marketing mentality or you still believe campaigns are the best way to get new customers?