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No Online Success Without Content

Many online brands endure a sad existence. They offer no online benefits, and content is their only route to online success.

Is Content Marketing just a fad? That’s a legitimate question because many Internet hypes arrive at full speed – only to disappear even faster. Just a glance through online marketing trends of the last 10 years shows some unpredictable ups and downs – a marketing Wall Street!

Many online brands endure a sad existence. They offer no online benefits, and content is their only route to online success.

Is Content Marketing just a fad? That’s a legitimate question because many Internet hypes arrive at full speed – only to disappear even faster. Just a glance through online marketing trends of the last 10 years shows some unpredictable ups and downs – a marketing Wall Street!

However, in contrast to all the other forms of hype, there is a clear difference: Content marketing has not appeared suddenly – it’s been around a long time. In offline marketing, it’s been here a century, such as “Michelin Guide,” and it became a feature of online communication right from the start.

There’s a reason: Content marketing solves real problems.

Many online brands just about scrape by, returning site visitor numbers your eyes can hardly believe. For example, the online tool SimilarWeb estimates that Nutella, L’Oreal, Dove and Colgate websites receive around 20,000 visitors per month – not many for well-known brands.

Why is that? A lack of online benefits. I don’t want to know that much from my toothpaste, bread spread or favorite soda websites, but when a computer or car manufacturer’s site looks the same, that’s quite different. Those are websites necessary for me to research prices, configure trim levels or to order directly online. Therefore, the scale of these websites is in a different league: Dell at 0.42 million and Audi with 1.4 million website visitors per month according to SimilarWeb.

To address this observation, we recently analyzed the online benefits offered by over 100 brands. This was my hypothesis: A brand whose name is often Googled offers a high online brand value.

The analysis showed this range of sites to be independent of the individual brand popularity or its advertising spend. What seems to be crucial for the online relevance of each kind of product is:

  • Brands whose products are available to customers off the shelf at any supermarket or drug store rarely provide online benefits.
  • Brands whose products are researched online before purchase will have higher online benefits and experience higher customer traffic.
  • E-commerce brands offer the highest online benefits.

So what do you do if you are stuck in the left half of the diagram and still want to reach your target audience online? Buy more unnecessary banner advertising for the site? That would be pointless.

For many brands, the truth is no content, no customer reach

In this situation, which affects many brands, quality content is the only realistic means of increasing your online relevance. But not just any old content. No more commercial film productions telling the story of granola bars.

Your website coverage will only increase when you switch off irrelevant product content and move towards content that promotes the two great Internet-coverage concepts: searching and sharing.

About the Author:

Bernd Krämer is the founder of the ‘Cream Colored Ponies’ Agency. ‘Cream Colored Ponies’ specializes in digital content and works for brands such as Bertelsmann, Entega, Orizon and tesa. Prior to founding his own agency, Bernd Kramer was creative director and CEO at Jung von Matt where he developed and coordinated many award-winning digital campaigns.


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