Now that 2012 has come to an end, I wanted to reflect on the content marketing journey that I embarked on this past year and share with you some successes. I must admit before eight months ago, when I had just graduated college and joined SAP, I had no idea what content marketing was really about. Now I am a member of SAP’s Content Strategy team that is helping drive content marketing for the company and I couldn’t be more of a passionate believer in its power.
What Is Content Marketing
Social media and the internet have transformed marketing and consumers’ expectations forever. Today’s consumers want to learn and they are more informed than ever. Customers do most of their buying research on their own online, so much so that before a consumer reaches a sales person their purchase decision is almost 60% complete. As Gerardo Dada (@gerardodada) explains, “We have evolved from living in an information economy where knowledge is power to time where information is a commodity.”
Traditional advertising isn’t working anymore. Consumers don’t trust it, nor do they pay attention to it. So what is working? Providing valuable, helpful content that consumers want. We have to offer consumers value in an interesting, human and trustworthy way, free of sales pitches and brand promotion. To do this you need to put the customer at the center of everything. Find out what key questions your potential customers are asking and be there to answer them with interesting and informative content. You must earn the right to be heard and build trust with your audience before talking about your company’s offerings. Consumers do not buy from companies they do not trust.
What Happens When You Invest In Content Marketing
In March 2012, SAP launched Business Innovation from SAP (this very site), a blog with the purpose of educating business people how to innovate against today’s top business challenges to gain a competitive advantage. By becoming a publisher and providing non-promotional, valuable content to consumers, SAP is now interacting with and building relationships with an entirely new audience, early-stage buyers who may not even know of SAP.
What started as one company’s “crazy” vision, has become a valuable asset that is growing rapidly, with over 286,000 visitors, over 333,000 visits and 491,792 page views since launch. While our content does not promote SAP, we have placed subtle call-to-actions on the sides and the bottom of the site, inviting visitors to learn more about SAP’s solutions. We make certain that our visitors do not feel like they were being sold to and, in turn, we hope that we eventually earn the right to ask them to explore our solutions.
And it’s working. The Business Innovation site has driven over 10,000 visits to the SAP homepage and other company web properties. Of those that went on to explore SAP.com, 540 registered and became leads for the company.
Check out the infographic below for more results.
Top Three Things That Contributed To Our Content Marketing Success
Here are some tactics that have helped the Business Innovation site expand its reach and thrive as it has this past year:
1. Social Sharing
We have implemented social sharing icons all over the site and ask people to sign up for our daily newsletter. In addition, all articles published are shared on five Business Innovation social channels (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+and StumbleUpon), as well as on other company social channels. Most importantly, our audience is finding Business Innovation content interesting enough to share with their social following. As a result, 8% of visitors come to the site through social.
2. Going Mobile
Mobile has grown from 1% to 10% of total global internet traffic in the past three years andnearly half, or 46 percent, of all Americans are using smartphones, according to Pew Internet. In addition, social networking is one of the most popular mobile activities.
Knowing this we developed a responsive design theme mobile site. Using responsive web design (RWD), we are able to provide a seamless user experience across all devices – desktop, tablet and smartphone. With responsive design, the Business Innovation site will automatically render the display based on device screen size.
3. SEO Optimization
By providing content that uses top search keywords, your content is more likely to be found in organic searches. Using Google’s Keyword tool and a newly implemented SEO tool from Yoast, organic search drives 7% of traffic to the site.
Get Started With Content Marketing!
I hope sharing my team’s content marketing journey encourages you to consider creating a content marketing strategy for your company. I’m interested in learning your thoughts on content marketing and how you see it impacting your company.
For more information on how SAP is achieving content marketing success, check out these articles by Fast Company, Digiday and Content Marketing Institute. In many of these articles, Michael Brenner (@BrennerMichael), Senior Director of Integrative Marketing and Content Strategy and SAP’s first content marketing evangelist, shares how he got content marketing started at his company and the challenges he faced.
- SAP And The New B2B Marketing And Communications Model
- SAP’s Publisher Play
- Enterprise-Wide Content Marketing: One Company’s “Crazy” Vision
- Brands that Are Expanding Their Online Content Publishing Expertise
To learn more about how content marketing can help your company run like never before, here are some great recent articles:
- Building Content Marketing Strategy – 10 Steps
- When It Comes To Content Marketing, Seeing Is Believing
- Classic Example Of Growing A Company With Content Marketing
- 6 Steps To Executing A Content Strategy
- Inbound Marketing 101: Get Your Customers To Listen And Buy [Infographic]