One of the aims of content marketing is to offer potential customers useful content and thereby create a personal and emotional attachment to an organisation. Businesses have never been as active and successful as today in creating high quality and proactive content that wins the customers trust. It is not only blue chip companies, such as Red Bull, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, that have content marketing strategies in place, with 78% of marketing executives in the United States, Britain and Canada already convinced that:
- Content is the marketing tool of the future
- It is worthwhile to increase the budget for content marketing strategies
So as a German Search Marketing Executive I have decided to examine how Germany’s content marketing strategies compare to the big cheeses?
Content marketing strategies on the rise in Germany
German companies have realised the potential of relevant and high quality content. The focus of German brands in 2013 is to provide customers with useful information and to create brand confidence.
German companies have started to make extensive use of their websites. Some companies have moved away from presenting dull product information and have instead established a platform for entertaining and informative content. The baby food specialist HIPP for example offers parents advice on nutrition for new-borns, which answers frequently asked questions via video. Expectant mums can also take advantage of the sites pregnancy column, which offers a weight calculator, a pregnancy calendar and tips on how to eat and stay healthy during pregnancy.
Social media strategies are nowadays indispensable and user generated content is becoming increasingly important, as it allows a brands target group to interact. The German drugstore chain dm offers regular competitions, product tests and surveys on its Facebook page and the automotive giant Audi involves its target audience actively, by posting their favourite images of Audi owners.
How German marketers understand content marketing
An interesting study of the German online media platform HORIZONT shows how marketers understand the buzz-word content marketing:
- 58% of respondents believe that content marketing is a new communication channel and that it is about an exchange of information between the brand and the target group
- 40% think content marketing is about quality content and the creative communication of this content
- 35% say that content marketing means to convey information to the target audience through social media channels
- 18% see content marketing as a strategy to attract customers
German marketers want content marketing budgets increased
Industry experts have realised the importance of high quality content. In an age where information is currency, your target audience repays you for your valuable and interesting content and becomes your best brand ambassador.
The survey below shows that budgets for content marketing purposes will increase:
- 43% of marketers will definitely increase their budget
- 50% may increase their budget
- Only 7% are not planning any additional spending
Germany not too late to the content marketing bandwagon
WordPress is the leading content management system for blogs. More than 66 million websites are currently operated by the blog system.
The fact, however, that only 1.8% of the blogs are in German as opposed to the 66% of English blogs, shows that Germany lags behind in blogging. The Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries, even Indonesians and Italians are blogging more than the Germans.
(Source: Screenshot from http://de.statista.com/themen/248/blog/infografik/1128/ausgewaehlte-daten-und-fakten-zu-wordpress/)
We Germans are sceptical thinkers, we like our data privacy and our journalists dont like social media. No one said it would be easy but there is great potential in Germany for marketing and sales to take advantage of the digital publishing world as HIPP and Audi have demonstrated.