About 69% of marketers already have a documented content marketing strategy. 41% claim that 2020 is the year to start having one.
So have you put your content marketing plan to thought or in place?
Content marketing is as old as John Deere’s The Furrow magazine, P&G’s foray into dramas, Jell-O’s recipe book etc.
Once the age of the internet and smartphones dawned, even small companies scaled into vast empires using content marketing.
Do you know what they all have in common?
They offered free, educational (sometimes entertaining), actionable content.
This leads us to the question…
What is content marketing?
Joe Pulizzi, author of Epic Content Marketing, defines content marketing as –
“The marketing and business process for creating and distributing valuable and compelling content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood audience- with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
You create, curate and promote useful, relevant and free content in front of the most ideal target audience so as to acquire and retain them as customers for your business.
The digital customer pursues tons of research before buying from any business. Particularly in the B2B landscape, 40% of buyers look at 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a salesperson.
B2B buyers look at at least two things:
- your expertise in the form of white papers, actionable ebooks, branded solutions
- social proof in the form of reviews, case studies
So all you have to do is research and write them well, be timely and fulfil informational needs for their research.
And when content marketing works for you, you…
- Get uninterrupted, relevant traffic to your website
- Build a brand that becomes an authority in your niche
- Become a source for credible information
- Help people successfully solve problems
- Build a huge audience and community who distributes your content for free
- Build a loyal customer base who repeatedly purchases from you
Does content marketing work for your small business?
Content marketing takes time. Your content marketing empire cannot be built in a day.
So how does content marketing benefit a B2B startup?
Content marketing successfully levels the playing field.
The one with the better content gets read, shared, free PR, backlinks etc.
Bigger marketing teams do not necessarily translate to better content marketing. Remember when Apple produced and pushed free music into everyone’s storage device? A classic example of untimely and contextually irrelevant content marketing.
Content marketing works for small businesses by being easy and cheaper to begin.
The more helpful person who constantly posts authoritative, credible engaging content wins here.
An example of content marketing for small businesses
Let’s take the case of Canva.
In 2012, Canva started small by offering free guides and templates for businesses to build landing pages, digital ads, social media posts.
Simply put, Canva democratized design.
Fast forward 8 years, Canva built a $6 billion company, a website with 270M active users,190 countries.
With users from over 190+ countries deriving inspiration from Canva’s free drag and drop design templates, the sun never sets on the Canva empire!
What is the importance of content marketing in 2020?
In 2015, Seth Godin remarked, “Content marketing is the only marketing left”.
And it is still true in 2020!
Targeting your market with paid outbound means is an exhausted tactic. Today, untimely outbound sales calls, interruptive traditional advertising and telemarketing annoy customers and are expensive (3x more than content marketing).
People aren’t looking for information to buy products but to solve problems. Someone has to guide them through their buying process. They need honest, reliable information. They are tired of sales talk.
This is where content (inbound) marketing comes in.
Write, design or record valuable advice and suggestions. Conduct contests and ask your followers to create or co-create content for you.
Optimize your content for search engines; 69% of marketers believe that SEO is the most cost-effective content marketing tactic in 2020.
Share them in groups, social media, newsletters – 77% of B2B marketers find newsletters to successfully move their leads down the marketing funnel.
Share them with thought leaders in your industry to help more people; influencer marketing is the fastest and most cost-effective content marketing tactic for customer acquisition in 2020.
Let those who read come to you.
Why is content strategy important?
Content strategy is marketing speak for having a document that defines goals, analyzes existing resources and directs them to spend on appropriate places.
So why should you have one?
Is it because 69% of B2B marketers recommend it? Or is it because the least successful marketers don’t have one?
To put it bluntly, in content marketing, failing to plan is planning to fail.
A documented content strategy provides a direction. It helps you:
- Build on your strengths such as your niche expertise, skillset etc.
- Identify weaknesses and moderate them by hiring freelancers, buying new tools.
- Close in on your ideal audience through market research.
- Identify opportunities to distinguish yourself by competitor research.
- Set goals.
- Draw a content calendar to allocate tasks and set publishing dates.
- Helps you with choosing tools to measure your efforts like Google Analytics.
The Evergreen Benefits Of Content Marketing
What happens when you help people solve their problems?
Philosophically, your karma increases.
But when you solve problems with content marketing, this is what happens:
- You do marketing 3 times cheaper than traditional marketing. It isn’t necessarily making money over fist (although you’ll be using your fingers a lot).
- Helpful content attracts shares and likes and the likes of influencers. Its free brand awareness for you.
- Your content speaks volumes about your brand and your expertise to your customer, without you or your sales team without having to be there in person.
- You grow your website traffic, community, followers, email list, customer base and remarketing audience without paying for any of them.
Content marketing works irrespective of your niche.
Once you understand what content marketing is, you should publish content and convert all your media channels into a perennial source of relevant organic traffic.
Solve it for them. There is no on and off switch for your website or social media. So keep them coming back to you when they have similar problems anytime they want.
Do you want more tips on content marketing? Contact us now.