Whether your business is in retail or professional services, B2B or B2C, you are likely familiar with the term, Content Marketing. It’s not just the big players who are getting in on the action. Many SMEs are powering their online presence through content.
- “78% of CMOs believe custom content is the future of marketing.” – Forbes
- “Content Marketing gets three times more leads than Paid Search per money spent.” – Content Marketing Institute
- “Small businesses with blogs get 126% more lead growth than small businesses without.” – Hubspot
With stats and recognition like that, it might be very tempting to begin your own Content Marketing program. But does the reality live up to the hype? Are 78% of CMOs right or just jumping on bandwagon?
Well, we believe there’s a time and a place for everything and Content Marketing certainly has a lot to offer. That doesn’t automatically mean it’s right for your business, but here are three huge reasons why we endorse Content for marketing.
Reasons to Invest in Content Marketing
It’s the hub of all Digital Marketing
Content can be used across many channels, from emails to SEO, social to PPC. There is a huge efficiency to be had there. If the same campaign can be used across multiple channels, then there is the potential to only create one campaign instead of four (for example).
Hence, Content being this hub – a central source of marketing goodness.
It’s not only efficient because of broad usage, but because it powers the activities of these channels. An SEO campaign will be exponentially more successful with great content. Email click-through rates will increase when there’s something strong to promote. Social engagement increases when the content is interesting, shareable and comment-worthy.
Therefore, the more you invest in high-quality content, the better each channels campaigns will perform – multiplied by the number of channels your promote through. It stacks up fast.
For instance, if you invest in a survey:
- PRs can share the data with journalists
- Designers can turn the stats into an Infographic
- The SEO team can use it for link building
- Social media can create engaging posts
- And so on…
- At the heart of all good marketing, is good content.
Content can communicate more than just sales information
It’s a crowded market out there and, no matter the niche, the average customer is fairly bombarded with marketing messages. No one really likes being “sold to” in this busy marketplace and this is where content comes into its own.
Modern consumers want more than just price-points and gimmicks. They want a connection with a vendor, be it a product or service. In fact, survey’s suggest that the millennial market prizes brand-values and authenticity above conventional decision-making factors like value for money and convenience.
Content Marketing is a great tool for communicating such brand-values. Your business can use it to create talking points beyond value for money. What does your business stand for? What do you believe in? What makes you different? Why does your business exist? Why buy from you? These are all important questions.
A great example of a brand who lives its values is craft beer gurus, Brew Dog. In just a few years they’ve gone from being a microbrewery to appearing in all the major supermarkets. They cultivated an army of dedicated followers through their content and communications. They launched with a simple ethos, to disrupt the “industrially brewed lagers and stuffy ales” market. This anarchic approach is weaved through everything they do from dressing up as the queen for their year-end video, to brewing at the bottom of the ocean, brewing the strong beer ever made, to dispensing beer through a modified deer’s head.
The bottom line is, people care about why you do what you do, which is especially important for new business. Your marketing should push boundaries, service a need, resonate with your customers or just raise eyebrows, and content is the perfect vehicle to do this.
Your competitors are doing it
If you go on your top 3 competitor websites, the chances are that all three will have a blog. They’re doing so because they’ve received the same wisdom that you have. They will be pushing out content, be it helpful, interesting, entertaining, or disruptive.
Whilst this may add a layer of competition, it also demonstrates the success that can be had in the space. It possible to access what’s working and what’s not and then improve upon their efforts.
Another implication of competitor activity is that customers are getting used to expecting it. A website that is not regularly updated with the latest news and views can look antiquated and uninviting. The opposite can be said for a site brimming with business knowledge, expertise, insights, and personality.
So, Is Content Marketing a Good Investment for Small Businesses?
We believe that content should be a major consideration for any business, new or old, and in any industry. Like most things in marketing, the returns are dependant on the level of investment – and it can take time to cultivate tangible results – however, the benefits across your portfolio of digital channels can be vast.
How much should you invest in content?
Obviously, the more you invest, the more plentiful the results. However, in our experience, Content Marketing campaigns are effective even with low-level investment. If you’re just starting out in Content Marketing, start by blogging and use the results to build a case for further investment over time.
Regular blog updates result in Google crawling your site more regularly and offer opportunities to increase internal links, for instance. When coupled with Digital PR and Social Media, traffic and link numbers increase vastly. This helps to drive SEO ranks, which drives traffic and leads even further. And so on.
It’s not a quick-win marketing approach, so patience is the key. For helpful tips and ideas, check out our guide to getting the most from Content Marketing and if you’d like us to help, don’t hesitate to get in touch.