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Content Marketing: Survival of the Fittest

survival of the fittest

It’s a jungle out there. In the United State alone, there are more than 30 million small businesses, and about two-thirds of all small businesses have a website. Global competition is even fiercer. More than 1.6 billion websites across the planet compete for the attention of more than 3.9 billion internet users. Some might borrow a phrase “survival of the fittest” from Charles Darwin to say that companies need to be strongest and fastest in their industry if they are to survive.

Except that Charles Darwin did not initially use the phrase “survival of the fittest,” nor did he mean the strongest or the fastest species would survive.

Herbert Spencer was the first to use the phrase as an alternative to Darwin’s “natural selection” in his own book. Spencer used the phrase to say that the organisms that best fit into their environment would survive over those that did not adapt to their surroundings. Darwin adopted the phrase in his later books.

That same theory holds true when it comes to survival of the fittest content marketers – organizations that have a content marketing strategy that really fits their customer’s ever-changing needs will be the most likely to survive.

Many company websites do not survive, either competing poorly or fold completely – Internet Live Stats notes that about 75 percent of the sites are simply “parked domains” or inactive.

So what happened to those inactive domains? Did the owners simply give up and walk away?

In some cases, yes.

Only about two-thirds of businesses with employees survive the first two years of business, according to the Small Business Association, and about half of those new businesses make it to five years.

Small Business Trends lists the top ten causes of small business failures:

  • No market need (42 percent)
  • Ran out of cash (29 percent)
  • Not the right team (23 percent)
  • Got outcompeted (19 percent)
  • Pricing / Cost issues (18 percent)
  • User un-friendly product (17 percent)
  • Product without a business model (17 percent)
  • Poor marketing (14 percent)
  • Ignore customers (14 percent)
  • Product mis-timed (13 percent)

In other words, many of these startups went out of business because they didn’t fit their products or their marketing to meet their current customer environment. Unable to satisfy customers, many companies simply starve to death out there on the wild plains of the internet.

3 Survival Tactics

According to Darwinian concepts of evolution, survival of the fittest is “the continued existence of organisms which are best adapted to their environment, with the extinction of others.” In today’s digital environment, survival of the fittest means that brands capable of responding to change will thrive while brands that refuse to change will die out.

In business as in biology, whoever adapts to a new environment the fastest will survive. Many credit McKinsey & Company as coining the phrase “Digital Darwinism” to describe the developing gap between brands with the ability to adapt to the internet’s ever-changing landscape and those companies that are slow to change.

Evolving your organization to fit these changing needs can help it survive fierce competition. Here are three survival techniques that will make sure your organization is the fittest of its industry.

1. Talk to your customers

Content Marketing Institute (CMI) says that about three out of four B2B content marketers want feedback from their customers, but only 42 percent have actual conversations with customers as part of their audience research.

2. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly

More than half of all website visitors use a smartphone to browse the internet, according to Statista.

3. Use educational content

One study showed that consumers who read a brand’s content were 131 percent more likely to purchase from that brand than were consumers who did not read content.

For more information on surviving the competitive world of business through content marketing, consult with a WriterAccess writer. We have thousands of writers who are experts in content marketing, and who can help your organization fit their marketing niche.


Lynn H. has been writing humor for more than a decade and making people laugh for about nine and a half years – prior to that, she was only able to muster a few chuckles. She specializes in medical humor that makes both patients and doctors giggle but she also writes funny stuff for marketers, comedians and anyone else who likes to chortle now and again.

Guest Author

By WriterAccess

Freelancer Lynn H

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