Is content marketing the future of marketing?

However, just wait a minute. Before you change careers and/or fire your content marketing team to replace them with copywriters and art directors capable of creating Super Bowl-worthy ads, know that the above answer is only half -truth.

The real answer to the big question

Here is the whole truth or what can be called a more specific answer to the question – content marketing is not only the future of marketing. To say this is the case might imply that content marketing is still a young concept that is struggling to take off and enter the strategy sessions of large, medium and small organizations. This is far from the truth.

For starters, content marketing isn’t new, and it’s been around since the 18th century or 1732, to be precise. Additionally, according to HubSpot, an impressive 82% of marketers actively used content marketing in 2021.

So, to reiterate, content marketing is not a concept that has just started and hopes to have an impact in the future. Instead, content marketing is the reality of marketing here and now! Rather than waiting for the distant, unidentified future, content marketing is already changing the way businesses and marketers approach their marketing strategies. In the future, it will only get bigger and better.

That largely answers the question. However, you will agree that it does very little to shed light on why and/or how content marketing is so important in today’s business ecosystem.

To better understand/explain this, it is important to discuss content marketing in the context of its counterpart – traditional marketing.

Traditional Marketing Vs. Content Marketing and why the latter is making such great strides

Traditional marketing

Let’s take a little breath, okay? What is traditional marketing?

Simply put, almost any kind of marketing you see around you. It’s what you see on TV when an interesting (or cliched) ad comes up that you didn’t ask for.

Traditional advertising, more specifically, is the form of advertising that uses different parts of the mass media, from billboards to television to radio and everything in between to grab the attention of potential customers.

One of the main distinguishing factors of this type of marketing is that it seeks out the customer. Depending on the type of buyer you are, chances are that more than half of the advertisements you encounter are completely irrelevant to you. You do not need and probably never would need the products appearing on these pages or on this screen.

However, in hopes that you are the person they are looking for, a marketer/advertiser places the ad there regardless. You were alone and they came to get you. This is the unique attribute of traditional advertising; he is looking for his buyers.

With that factor established, and for the purposes of this conversation, let us expand the examples of traditional marketing beyond television and radio. YouTube ads (and other forms of digital outbound marketing) are also looking for their customers. Although digital, many online advertisements share this attribute with traditional marketing.

Content marketing

Content marketing, unlike traditional marketing, does not research its customers. Instead, it attracts potential customers. This is possible in many ways, including blog posts, webinars, podcasts, videos, case studies, whitepapers, and everything in between.

Chances are you already know the finer details about what types of content work well enough to drive results. Either way, it’s important to highlight the main distinction between traditional marketing and content marketing. While the former finds leads, some of whom might not be interested, the latter attracts leads instead.

He’s less disturbing and much less likely to annoy because the audience went looking for him on their own more than half the time.

The flaws of traditional marketing

Before moving forward, it is important to note that traditional marketing has its pros and cons. If it wasn’t, and if it wasn’t effective, it would have disappeared years ago. Business people are far too money conscious to throw millions of dollars into a sinking or sinking ship. So, for the avoidance of doubt, traditional marketing has its days.

However, one of the major flaws is that it can be incredibly disruptive, which makes it boring for most of its viewers/readers. Imagine this: you’re sitting on your couch, trying to enjoy the latest episode of your favorite sitcom or a football game. Suddenly, an ad pops up telling you to buy a bottle of Coca-Cola while you try to cut your calorie intake.

Unless you’re always up for a soda in the middle of your diet, chances are you’re just counting the seconds until the ad is over. This is because you have no intention of buying the product or even consuming it. Unfortunately, traditional advertising often doesn’t care about this.

It doesn’t try to give you advice on balancing your calorie intake so you don’t have to cut out sodas altogether. It doesn’t tell you that quitting soda is a good idea right now if you’re trying to control your weight. Traditional marketing is simply trying to sell you.

Content marketing excellence and why it has such an impact now and in the future

Unlike traditional marketing, content marketing tries to solve a customer’s problem first. He does not impose. Instead, it creates valuable content that would interest the audience. Then, it positions that content strategically so the audience can find it whenever they want or need it.

Once potential readers/customers find the content, they can resolve their issues. This happens as they are simultaneously and gently pushed towards the original company as the solution to their challenges.

Conclusion

As stated earlier, traditional marketing has its days, and it can be incredibly rewarding in more ways than one, especially if marketers infuse it properly with great brand storytelling.

However, content marketing already makes brand storytelling effortless and helps people solve their problems or find solutions. This puts it in a unique position as a valuable tool for brands and businesses not just in the future, but today. So if you’re still wondering if content marketing is the future of marketing, the answer is simple. It’s not just the future; this is the current reality.

Oluwasegun is a content marketer for B2B and SaaS companies with over three years of experience. When he’s not creating and implementing results-driven strategies for local and international brands, he writes about content marketing and its limitless possibilities.