This report will look at how content marketing is changing the landscape within the content delivery network (CDN) industry. Our overview will contain the following components:
- Limelight: Content is King
- Kapost: No, Content is an Avalanche (help!)
- Forbes: 2014 State of the User Experience
- Limelight: Launching Products with Content
- Superb Internet: The Customers Are Right
Limelight: Content is King
We all know that content marketing is huge, but sometimes it helps to see things on the ground. 5000-foot views provide general illumination, but first-person accounts and examples serve as spotlights.
To better understand the CDN market, Columbia University Professor Ava Seave conducted a couple of interviews of Limelight CMO Kirby Wadsworth for Forbes, one on driving sales and the other on the power of content marketing. The content marketing article is of particular interest since it is a relatively new and evolving concept that is making such a sweeping impact on business.
Essentially, Wadsworth argues that the incorporation of content marketing into a CDN business (as in many other fields) allows “customers to be more successful,” which in turn improves the end-user experience.
Below is a broad overview of content marketing, followed by an in-depth look at the role of content marketing in business from Wadsworth’s discussion with Forbes – which we will make fun of as much as we can, since Limelight is one of our CDN competitors.
Kapost: No, Content is an Avalanche (help!)
Here are several statistics from content marketing software-as-a-service (SaaS) company Kapost that suggest the content marketing impact, the extent to which it is disrupting industries globally, is on the scale of a natural disaster (but yet is not a danger to coastal humans, marine mammals, or seaside villas):
- 44% of business-to-business content marketers work off of established comprehensive game plans that are in writing. Does that sound like a lot?
- It shouldn’t, because 86% of business-to-consumer companies are running organized content marketing campaigns.
- Since content represents an inbound marketing strategy, the typical amount spent on each sales lead is 13% lower than with outbound methods.
- The typical business does not hire a full-time content expert, with 62% of firms using third parties for content generation and distribution.
Forbes: 2014 State of the User Experience
Okay, so that further establishes how content marketing is all the rage in business. Let’s look at this recent survey from Limelight, the State of the User Experience, for a direct user perspective. The survey collected responses from 1013 Internet consumers.
Every website owner or manager is aware that speed and reliability are paramount online. This study drilled that truism in with hard numbers:
- Half of people – 52% – said that performance was the most crucial factor to them when they visited a website.
- If your website doesn’t load in 5 seconds, three out of five people – 60% – are gone. They are headed to a competitor site to do business.
- It’s not about just not losing people but building relationships with brand ambassadors: four out of five – 82% – said that they would refer friends and family to a website if the overall user experience was strong.
Here are the crucial criteria for how to keep customers happy on your site, straight from the customers:
|Average rank among users||Portion of users who listed it as the #1 priority (or tied for #1)|
|Performance and speed||1.84||52%|
|Original creative & informational content||2.04||39%|
|Seamlessness between PC and mobile||2.50||20%|
|Customization of content or content filtering personalized to user||3.03||12%|
Wadsworth says that the real eye-opener from the responses was the user perspectives toward content personalization. Everyone wants to use big data to better target customers with specific messages. However, “what we got back from the survey is that just as many people found it kind of creepy as found it useful,” notes Wadsworth. People may be skeptical of personalization just as they are of the self-driving car, but that doesn’t mean that either industry is showing any signs of slowing. Wadsworth expects that users will be less suspicious and more appreciative of personalization as they continue to see its value, just as we do on Netflix with intelligent, algorithmic movie suggestions.
In other words, creepy robots suck… unless they are highly intelligent, and it’s a bonus if they own a boat.
Limelight: Launching Products with Content
We want content. We get it. How do we do it?
Wadsworth describes a September product launch at Limelight as an example of content marketing in action. Their content approach was massive and time-consuming to prepare, encompassing 60 pieces and 60 days:
- The launch included more than 60 separate content elements (primarily online material but also extending to sales literature, brochures, and tradeshow designs).
- A full 60 days was used to prepare for the content and product launch, conducting extensive testing with consultants to determine if the content made sense and properly conveyed the Limelight message.
- Press release and conversations followed the initial launch.
- Case studies with customers satisfied by the service were completed.
- Creation of new press releases based on the case studies enabled what Wadsworth calls “a rolling thunder kind of approach.”
- Official launch at the International Broadcasting Conference (IBC) fulfilled the three rules of real estate: location, location, and I forget the third one.
Superb Internet: The customers are Right
Well, that doesn’t make any sense at all. That Limelight is obviously a terrible content delivery network company. No, they are certainly adding interesting and compelling data to the conversation. Why choose Superb for your CDN, then?
- 172 points of presence in 113 cities across the globe
- 100% network uptime SLA and 24/7 expert monitoring
- Customers love us: “As always, you folks are the best!!!” – Ken Webster.
Check out the world’s best CDN today!
By Kent Roberts