One of my popular blog posts from last year asked the question, “What Is Content Marketing and Why Does Your Small Business Need It?” Since then, the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Pros have published the results of their latest industry survey in “B2C Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America,” sponsored by Enveritas Group.
According to the survey, 69% of businesses produce more content now than they did just a year ago, and 59% plan to increase their content marketing budget even more this year. What that means to you as a small business owner is that you are going to have to become much more involved in content marketing in order to compete effectively and grow your business. Here are five ways content marketing can help:
- Put It In Writing: One huge weakness is that many entrepreneurs only engage in content marketing when they think about it, or when they have “some spare time.” Only 27% of B2C marketers take the time to put their strategy down on paper. This could be a self-defeating habit since taking the time to think out a content marketing strategy and commit it to writing will dramatically increase your effectiveness in all areas of content.
- Utilize Social Media: You may think social media is only for the younger generation, but B2C marketers are using at least seven social media platforms this year, compared to the six they used last year. This means that social media needs to become an even more important vehicle for your content distribution.
- Frequency Helps: When asked how often they publish new content to support their content marketing programs, 48% of the respondents said that they publish daily or at least several times per week. This is another reason to have your strategy mapped out in advance. Make it a part of your daily schedule, refer to your strategy, and publish your content.
- Organize Your Website: If your website isn’t functioning at its highest possible level, any visitors driven there by your content marketing strategy will be lost. Take the time to spruce up your website, add creative graphics, make it easy to follow, and ask for their business!
- Hyperlocal Content Works: One huge advantage that small businesses usually have is their familiarity with the local market. Your content can speak directly to your local audience, talk about events that are going on in your town, or promote your support of local schools and organizations. Not only does this help build credibility and familiarity in your own home town, it also helps with your search engine rankings.
You don’t even have to be the world’s greatest writer to be effective at content marketing. You can be very effective these days when you use video, podcasts, photographs or infographics to communicate to your target market. A good content marketing strategy can help you reach out, engage, communicate, and draw in customers.