Content marketing is growing all the time as interruption advertising falls by the wayside in favour of brands creating a conversation with followers.
Indeed, an April 2013 survey of US marketing and advertising executives by MailOnline reveals 70% of brands and 77% of agencies used content marketing for advertising purposes during the previous year.
According to eMarketer, executives are sourcing the content for their marketing from a variety of angles.
Clients were the second most popular origin for content, at 49%, followed by third-party content creators (37%) – that's us!
And agencies are branching out, finally realising that content writing services don't just need to pigeon holed for web copy.
Seven in ten distributed content in digital media other than email or the brand's own website – content marketing is more than just a few words on a company's site.
Why are businesses turning to content marketing providers?
Clearly there is a major change going on as we move away from brands aggressively filling users' space without their consent to a more democratic approach.
Content marketing by its very nature simply helps brands and organisations reach the people they want, while allowing those same people to find them easily.
Put simply, content marketing is a way of putting people with needs in contact with the organisations or individuals who can fulfil those needs.
A recent blog post explained some of the key ideas.
As well as rolling out the old word-of-mouth exposure angle (social media shares) and the (still vital) search engine ranking boost benefits, the author, Phil Lauterjung, highlighted this growing trend away from interruption-based ads.
"The focus of your web content must be to educate people so they will get to know you and trust you enough to buy from you. E-mail and direct mail campaigns should be focused on providing a steady stream of information to convince prospects that your products or services offer the best solution for their situation," he says .
"Drip e-mail campaigns can even be put on autopilot with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. Just remember, an overzealous sales pitch will turn visitors off and direct them toward your competition.
"The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell. You must develop useful content that will help your target audience solve a problem or answer an important question. Your informative content should achieve what advertising is supposed to achieve. If you could watch TV at night and fast-forward through the hemorrhoid cream commercials, would you? Your website visitors feel the same way."
Billy Connolly would approve!