Content marketing has quickly spread from enterprises to the likes of small businesses and entrepreneurs. Why? Because it works to increase traffic, raise awareness and, ultimately, increase sales. Despite the increased gains in small businesses adopting content marketing as a component of their marketing strategy, more challenges are being discovered.
Our friends at the Content Marketing Institute recently released interesting findings in collaboration with Outbrain on 2013 Benchmarks, Budget and Trends for B2B small business content marketers and their results may surprise you.
Approximately 57 percent of small businesses that create content do so in-house, but unlike two-thirds of enterprises, small businesses burden content marketing responsibilities themselves.
When it comes to a self-assessed rating on how well small businesses are satisfied with their use of content marketing, there is a significant gap between the investment and its effectiveness. Only about one-third of B2B small businesses find their content marketing practices effective.
Forms of content marketing are shifting from the likes of email newsletters to spanning across multiple formats. Social media, website articles, email, blogs and case studies led the pack for the tactics that small business content marketers most employ.
Content marketing for small businesses is often a large investment because it requires a lot of time and the returns aren’t usually immediate. Most importantly, measurement of effectiveness can be major challenge felt by small businesses.
Web traffic, sales leads and social media mentions are typically the metrics of choice among content marketers, but as you may know, there are many different metrics that content marketers can use to define success. Figure out which metrics are important to your business and align them with your content marketing program in order to quantify your results..
What can you do to utilize content marketing so that it is effective and solves for your business’ goals? Here are a few suggestions:
- Focus less on quantity – Great content yields long-term value for the business. While it’s tempting to crank up the volume of your content, it only matters if it is informative, engaging and is easily shareable.
- Solve for prospect needs – Don’t forget to solve for the pains expressed by prospects and the needs of buyers in your target market. Developing and maintaining buyer personas and mapping their needs across the customer lifecycle is a good way to plan out your content.
- Always be measuring – If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve. Understand the stages of your sales and marketing process and see how you can effectively measure the influence content marketing has on the business. Web traffic, though immediate, is not the only measure of success; leads, lead quality and lifetime customer value are great indicators, too.
Despite feeling challenged to create a steady stream of content, small businesses rock at content marketing! They’re after results, use social media more actively and are more willing to experiment than larger organizations. These stats indicate that the industry is learning, growing and maturing as a whole, which are all good signs that smaller organizations are adopting content and using it to solve larger needs for their businesses.
Content marketing works for small businesses because they tend to be more agile in their marketing approach. Be sure to download the e-book from Infusionsoft, Magnetic Appeal, which guides you how to use content marketing to attract leads for your business.
This post Content Marketing is Growing Among Small Businesses, But Challenges Await was first published on the Big Ideas Blog.