Can you increase your ROI but also lower your expenses? That’s probably the first and main thought on your mind as a small business owner. And when going over your expenses, you’re probably asking yourself whether marketing is worth it. Is it a smart investment?
We can tell you right away that it is, but the secret is finding the ideal marketing method and approach. And when it comes to small businesses, one of the most cost-effective ones is content marketing. You may have heard the very famous phrase in marketing circles: “content is king”. Well, many marketers swear by it, which is also why in 2020, we have 70% of marketers using content marketing as a key part of their marketing strategy and success.
“Content is king” is so frequently used by marketers that it is already pretty worn out – but we can’t deny the royal status of content. The question now arises: Is content already royalty at your small business’ marketing department?
If not, let us convince you why it should become your top priority starting today. Here are some of the top reasons why content marketing is absolutely worth it.
Get Higher ROI for Every Dollar You Spend
If you’re a small business, and especially if you’re only starting out, you probably don’t have the resources that many larger companies have at their disposal. But you want to compete. You want to become a force to be reckoned with.
So, your first roadblock is money. You are probably operating on a limited marketing budget and it is crucial to use it wisely and efficiently. Every dollar has to be spent with ROI in mind. At the same time, you know that marketing is crucial for your growth and that you have to spend money to earn money. You know that you need marketing if you want to emerge into the online scene, become a brand, and, ultimately, get new customers.
And content marketing fits perfectly into this equation. First and foremost – because it is very cost-effective. Research has shown that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.
This means that you won’t have to start hemorrhaging money right off the bat to get results. With content marketing, you will get much more bang for your buck. It is also crucial to remember that your customers are actively looking for informative and engaging content about you and your product.
They are also more likely to seek you out after reading an article than when they see an ad. 70% of them will rather read your content to learn about you.
And with more than 100 different types of content at your disposal, you can pick and choose the type of content that fits your needs best, come up with a great content strategy and fill your web and social channels with just the right mix and amount of content, significantly increasing traffic to your website.
Promotion Without Blatant and Constant Selling
Learning the ways and benefits of content marketing, you will discover one of the greatest things about it – it’s subtle, yet very effective. And your customers very often appreciate subtlety much more than the direct and pushy approach. Mainly because they are bombarded with ads on all fronts, but also because they’ve become more sophisticated.
When you blast them with sales pitches and promotions 24/7, you can cause an opposite effect. They will become fed up. This is not to say that people don’t like a good sale, discount, or promotion. They love it and they will go for it. But you have to balance it out.
The classic marketing approach alone can’t cut it anymore. What your customers want now is to get to know you on a more personal note. Why?
Because they are looking for that unique value that you can offer them that sets you apart from all others. And in most cases, what will set you apart is letting your customers know that you are not just another company looking for an easy way to take their money. Because classic marketing approaches can seem that way, a bit aggressive.
That’s why they also want to know that you understand them, that you can provide a certain value to their life, and that you can solve their problems with your product and/or service.
And it is precisely through your content that you can let them know that they can trust you, let them get to know you, ease up on the “company” talk, and give them interesting, engaging content so that they will want to come back for more. This leads us (and you) to the next, very important benefit.
Build Your Brand and Position Yourself as an Expert
With your content, you have a unique opportunity to build a strong brand and reputation in your industry, ultimately positioning yourself as an authority in your niche. By creating and publishing in-depth content that will solve some of your customers’ burning questions and pain points, giving them reliable information backed by data and research, you will gain credibility and authority.
You can do that with content such as case studies, infographics, articles, blog posts, and similar. And adding to that mix, you can create informative videos with your expert staff talking about specific solutions that you can offer to your customers.
You can also use videos and social media posts to talk about your company, your day-to-day, and what goes on behind the scenes, so that your customers can see the faces behind the company, and therefore, be more inclined to trust you.
And when customers trust you, they will turn to you for answers and solutions, they will keep coming back to your website, and the chances are high that they will become buying and loyal customers.
Generating and Nurturing Leads – That’s What You’re Here for
The content you create can be a great lead magnet, attracting and guiding your potential customers through every stage of their sales journey, i.e., of your sales funnel. And for this, you need to know exactly who your ideal customer is and design a content strategy according to it.
Your customers usually go through 3 main stages, which are awareness, consideration, and decision. With content, you have the opportunity to guide them through each, helping them reach the final stage and buy your product or service.
For example, in the awareness stage, your customers will become aware of their problem, google for solutions, and ideally, your blog post will turn up in the search.
Once they’ve read the blog and possibly an ebook that you also have on your web, they will begin to trust you and enter the consideration stage. Now they will check out your case studies and testimonials for some real results and browse through the web some more to learn about the solutions you offer.
And after thorough research and consideration, they will enter the decision stage and finally click on your “buy now” button or the “free trial” or “free consultation” button and reach out to you. Of course, things are not always this straightforward, but nearly all customers have to go through a journey like this, and having quality, relevant, and informative content will help you help them reach the final stage.
And not only will you generate new leads, but you will also nurture them and become a trusted source of information. This way, when they’re looking for solutions to their potential problems, you will already have an established relationship and an authority status, and they will turn to you first.
Ever Heard of SEO?
In some way or another, you probably have. SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and it refers to the strategies applied to your website that help users find you more easily on search engines. There is no way around it nowadays when it comes to marketing. And what better way to top off the benefits of content for your small business than with SEO.
So, as you might already know, the main concept of SEO is this: When your customers type in a keyword that’s relevant to your business and product, SEO strategies are there to make sure your website comes out at the very top of the search results.
And what about content? Well, content is there to boost your SEO and online visibility, to help your website appear on the top of the search engine results pages, leading to long-term results and generating traffic to your website for the long haul.
Search engines, such as Google, work on some pretty complex principles and when it comes to content, what they measure is quality and relevance. And when Google recognizes the high quality of your website content, it will boost your visibility and rank you higher. It will put you in front of your customers and generate your website traffic for a long time to come.
Over to You
These are only some of the most important reasons why your small business absolutely needs content marketing. The list goes on, and so does the power and reach of content.
Quality content is timeless and will generate long-term results. And for your small business, in particular, it is one of the best and most lucrative ways to build a strong brand, competes with both small and large competitors, as well as generate new leads and high ROI.
About the author
Matej is a digital marketing expert, CEO, and head strategist at Kala Presence, with more than 10 years of experience in the marketing industry. For both his local and worldwide clients, he offers comprehensive, hands-off digital marketing solutions, fully personalized strategies, and complete market domination. He perfected his skills in the most competitive U.S. market, and now uses the valuable knowledge, techniques, and experience he gained to further promote and advance digital marketing in Croatia.