It's an inbound marketing no-brainer: the best way to get your prospects to find and learn about your company, its products, and its services is by publishing content. And the latest data shared by eMarketer only confirms it...
In their April 2011 report, " Content is the Fuel of the Social Web," AOL and Nielsen Online gathered data from over 10,000 social media messages to analyze how people share content online.
The results? We think their most noteworthy finding is that, of all shares, 60% were of links to published content . Additionally, 36% of shares were of embedded content. The third subset of shares? A measly 4%, which is made up of URLs for brands or corporate websites. This means that, whether people are sharing links to your content or embedding it into social networks directly, an overwhelming 96% of the sharing that happens online is of content , not websites.
The study also revealed some data about the methods by which people are sharing content online, and more granularly, with whom. Overall, while
email still leads the pack
as the top sharing vehicle for content with 93% of internet users using it, it's not ahead in the race by much. Social networks trail slightly behind at 89%, and sharing through blogs is a close third at 82%. In addition, this data helps us understand that people share differently with different groups of people. Understanding the specific sharing behaviors of different groups can help marketers pinpoint the best methods for reaching their prospects.
What This Means for Marketers
When it comes to online sharing, it's not enough for businesses to simply have a website; long gone are the days when a "web presence" just means having a website for your business to call home.
Smart inbound marketers understand the need to create and publish content in order to get found online. The even smarter ones are creating it on a regular basis and are planting their content seeds in social media so it gets shared and spreads to a much larger degree. That means even if you've gotten your website up and running, your next step needs to be to come up with a solid content strategy .
Social sharing can be extremely valuable and effective in getting found online. The bottom line is, even if you have the prettiest looking website in the world, without content, it will likely stay hidden in a black hole of the web.
Is your business taking advantage of the power of published content?