One of the most pervasive mantras in marketing is that “content is king.” More than just a catchy phrase, significant data exists to back it up:

  • Blogs give sites 434 percent more indexed pages and 97 percent more indexed links.

  • Companies with an active blog report 97 percent more leads.

  • 70 percent of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles over ads.

  • 90 percent of consumers find custom content useful and 78 percent believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them.

  • 60 percent of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on its site.

  • Content creation ranked as the single most effective SEO tactic by 53 percent.

While anyone would be hard-pressed to doubt the value of content when it comes to marketing, it is hard for some people to realize that merely creating content is not a magic bullet for success.

People, or potential customers, need to see your content in order for it to work. And, although writing good blog posts or creating stunning infographics may give your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts a boost, for most small- to medium-sized businesses (SMB), leaving content to its own devices is not enough.

Instead, you need to embrace an approach that combines both traditional and digital marketing strategies, in order to get your content in front of the people who are most likely to turn into customers.

Understanding Content

When people think of content and marketing, the blog post is often the first thing that comes to mind. Blog posts cost the least amount of money to create and generally yield some of the best results. But, blogs are not the only type of content that your audience wants to consume.

A content strategy should include a mixture of

  • Blog posts with relevant images

  • Infographics

  • White papers

  • Emails

  • Newsletters

  • Videos

  • How-to guides

  • Ebooks

  • Slide decks

  • Webinars

  • Podcasts

In addition to diversifying your content portfolio, it is important to understand that for content to work, it needs to be high quality and relevant. You cannot simply throw some blog posts up and expect miracles.

You need to give potential customers something that they need: answer questions, solve common problems, provide a solution, or just solicit a laugh. Always ensure that the content you produce provides value to your audience.

Getting Eyes On Your Content

Recent research based on feedback from small business clients who worked with leading marketing and advertising agencies, tells us that combining traditional and digital marketing tactics can facilitate content distribution.

It is important to understand how both forms of marketing work together.

1. Traditional marketing is often thought to include tangible items, such as brochures, posters, business cards, or print ads in newspapers or magazines. It can also include commercials on television and radio or billboards.

2. Digital marketing relies more heavily on a company’s website, social media presence, online review sites, and banner ads.

Both traditional and digital marketing share a common goal: to build a brand that is recognized as an expert in a given industry. Because of this shared goal, it makes sense to incorporate both strategies to help distribute content.

Promote Your Social Channels

Next time you thumb through a magazine, take note of the numerous advertisements. You may notice that most of these print ads include information about the brand’s social media presence. These brands understand the importance of merging traditional and digital marketing because they are featuring their social identities in a traditional, print ad.

Other examples include using hashtags in traditional marketing to inspire people to use them on personal social media accounts or encouraging “likes” to drive people to find your content online.

Make Use of Technology

The QR code is one of the best tools for driving traffic to digital content from a traditional marketing resource. If you put a QR code in an advertisement, on a poster, or in your company’s booth at a trade show, you have the ability to send potential customers to a wealth of content.

For example, you can insert a QR code that links customers to your blog or website, gives exclusive content, or provides special coupons or deals.

However, the best way to see who is engaged with your content is to insert a teaser in a traditional channel that encourages your audience to get the rest of the story through the QR code.

Adopting this tactic also provides data-driven insight as to how combining both traditional and digital marketing bolsters your content reach.

Market the Content

Traditional marketing does not always have to be about your brand. In fact, good digital marketing takes great care to ensure that content is not too promotional. Why not apply this idea to your traditional marketing?

Instead of promoting your brand, endorse content that helps your potential customers through content curation. For example, lead your audience to a white paper or a video that contains useful information.

Content curation not only indirectly strengthens your brand but also points people to content they can share. This is especially important because clicks from shared content are five times more likely to result in a purchase.

When it comes to content, it still reigns as king. As marketers, there is nothing to gain by limiting the channels you use to get your content in front of the widest audience possible.

By combining time-proven methods used in traditional campaigns and incorporating strategies from the digital side, you are able to reach a wider audience because people can access your message in the medium with which they are most comfortable.

About the Author

Sarah is an analyst at Clutch. As a member of the marketing team, she conducts research that aims to help businesses and consumers select and use IT services and software. Clutch is a Washington, DC-based research firm that identifies leading software and professional services firms that deliver results for their clients.

For more about the business leader's guide to becoming a social business, download the free Salesforce e-book.