According to a report by the CMI, 70% of consumers prefer to learn about a product through content rather than traditional advertising. That powerful statistic suggests you should carefully consider your priorities and budget the next time you come up with a marketing strategy.
To help you make sense of that insight, let’s look at what’s wrong with ads today in the eyes of consumers, and how content can change that.
Why ads are bad
According to Hubspot, 72% of people would think less of a brand if it forced a popup ad on them. We’ve all heard of “banner blindness” and as a result of this, the majority of mobile ads are completely ignored.
So, why this hate? Are they not eye-catching enough? Do they miss the mark when speaking to users? What’s the problem?
The answer is that there are a number of issues with ads as they are today. People have simply evolved selective blindness out of necessity because they’re used to just how terrible ads can be.
Some of the biggest reasons people hate ads are:
- Especially for mobile users, they can drain your battery and data
- Users feel ads are intrusive and interrupt their work, browsing, etc. In fact, 73% of people say that popups are the worst ads
- People also say they hate it when ads are misleading, irrelevant to them, or insult their intelligence
Why content is better
There are a number of reasons why content marketing is a more effective promotional tool than ads:
- You can explain more about your products, services, or business
- It lasts much longer (potentially forever)
- It can be used to boost SEO metrics and generate organic traffic on search engines
- It fosters trust with consumers
- It makes you look more professional and knowledgeable
The numbers back this up:
- According to this Kapost report, content marketing generates 3x more profits than paid ads per dollar spent.
- Visitors spend up to 37 seconds on an article. With an ad, you get only milliseconds if any at all.
- 70% of users rather learn about a company from content rather than ads.
Content marketers and businesses agree, with more and more time, money, and resources being poured into content marketing yearly. While articles are still the main form of content, there are strong indications that visual content will be the future.
Why guest posting?
So, you might be wondering why the guest post? Why not just publish content on your own blog? Both are good questions. On top of all the previously mentioned benefits of content marketing, guest posting comes with even more:
- Diversify your audience
- Portray yourself as an industry authority and network with others
- Create backlinks to your website
- Try something new
- Monetize old content
You can read more about all the benefits here.
Whole publishing platforms, like Medium, are based on the concept of guest posting. The best thing is that the barriers to entry and associated costs are really low. Assuming you already have a content strategy, you already have the ability to create content and many guest posting platforms will publish your content for free. You might even earn from your guest posts.
The only provisions are that you have to meet the platform’s editorial guidelines. This usually means maintaining a certain level of quality and adhering to their house style which may differ from yours. A guest posting service like Luckyposting can help you tremendously with this process.
As long as you provide genuinely valuable content and don’t use certain outlawed practices, it can be hugely beneficial.
So, is advertising dead?
If you feel like that settles it and you can completely scrap ads in favor of content marketing – and guest posting – not so fast. Ads can still be an effective way to generate high-quality leads. The catch is that you need to ensure ads are:
- Relevant to the specific user,
- Unobtrusive, and
- As honest, well-designed, and as valuable as possible
When guest posting in the form of sponsored content, ads can also be more acceptable to readers paired with valuable content. If they spent all that time reading about your company, they are probably interested enough to follow an ad to your site.