[Note: I originally wrote this for the Scoop.it blog.]

According to a recent survey conducted by Econsultancy, 90% of respondents (1,300 marketing professionals) believe that content marketing will continue becoming increasingly important within the next year, but a surprisingly low 38% of them actually have a content strategy in place.

It’s hard to say that a day goes by for marketers without hearing, talking, or reading about some type of content marketing strategy. This is clearly demonstrated by the 73% of respondents who believe that brands are becoming publishers. Why is it, then, that only 38% of companies currently have a defined content marketing strategy and only 55-58% say that they are planning one?
After seeing these numbers, I thought of a few reasons why companies wouldn’t have a content marketing strategy, and why those reasons are not acceptable excuses.

1. We don’t have time to create our own content.

This is probably the number one reason that companies use to brush aside content marketing. While it may be true, there are many ways to provide content to your audience without spending 3 days out of the week writing blogposts – the number one being, you guessed it, curation. I really don’t think companies realize how easy and time saving a curation tool is. You want to give your audience content, but you don’t have time to write it. Maybe you’re looking at Google News whenever you have a free minute and tweeting the first article that you see, just to keep your social networks active. If this is the case, it’s important to point out that, in this same amount of time, you could be curating a relevant online magazine of content that is directly related to your brand or industry.

On Scoop.it, once you configure your sources, we do all of the work to deliver the content right to you. Once you see it, you can simply click a button, add your own “two cents,” and publish it to all of your social networks at the same time. If you’re already sharing content, why not eliminate the step of finding this content and end up with an organized and contextualized magazine of all of the content you’ve shared?

2. Content isn’t actually important.

Though this should be a no-brainer, it might be hard to remember when so many other aspects of running a business come into play. With the plethora of marketing strategies that businesses have been learning, experimenting, and succeeding with, it’s not uncommon to think that content wouldn’t be much better than what you’re currently doing. But, with the evolution of media and social networks, consumers are increasingly looking for content decreasingly paying attention to ads and other business strategies.

Sharing, curating, and writing content also helps establish yourself and your business as a thought leader. I know what you’re thinking – that’s just another buzzword – and although this may be true, it still holds some value. Being seen as someone who is extremely knowledgeable in a certain industry (preferably the one your company is in!) can prove to be significantly helpful to your business and is worth taking the time to consider.

Also, when you put out great content, others are inspired to share it. It can’t hurt to have your name on next week’s most viral blogpost or video!

3. We won’t make money off of content.

Although content marketing might not directly be bringing in revenue for you, it certainly leads to it. Say, for a minute, that your company offers sustainable business solutions. How many potential clients might be out there, but they have yet to come to you because they are completely unaware of the importance of running a sustainable business? Curating a page on studies, articles, and reports that all talk about the importance of sustainable business operations and spreading this content to the people in your network will lead them to share it to the people in their networks and eventually the information will get out. Once businesses see this information, their eyes can be opened to the importance of running a sustainable business. When they realize this, who will they turn to for help? More than likely, the ones who provided this information (you clearly know what you’re talking about!). I am 110% certain that this process is not unique to the sustainable business industry.

So, don’t be the 62%. We all know how important having a content marketing strategy is, and if you don’t yet have one, you’re officially out of excuses. If you do have one, I want to hear about it. What’s your best content marketing practice?

 


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