6-7 MIN READ.
Almost 80 % of marketers find content marketing effective for their brand! (*1) This article explains digital content marketing for small businesses and shows you four of the main benefits.
Nowadays, everyone who owns a business or has anything to do with online marketing can’t get around talking about content marketing as part of it at some point. So what is all that ‘buzz’ about around the term ‘[content marketing]’? Let us shine a light on content marketing and explain what it actually is. And then we explain the benefits of it to your small business backed up with some stats.
- What is Digital Content Marketing?
- How is Digital Content Marketing Essential for Other Online Marketing Disciplines?
- 4 Benefits of Digital Content Marketing for Small Businesses
What Is Digital Content Marketing?
The idea of content marketing has been around for hundreds of years. If you go back far enough you can count cave paintings as an early form of content marketing. (*2) Therefore, many answers on what content marketing is accumulated over the years. The content marketing institute defines content marketing as ‘[…] a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content (online material) to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.’ (*3) which sums it up.
Content can be written, pictures/graphics, videos or audio. It can be brought through to the user with content created by other users, storytelling, virtual reality, influencer marketing/outreach, conversations through bots/chats and more. This is all very theoretical though. To understand content marketing fully, understanding how audiences work is essential. In your customer lifecycle you want to attract and engage your audience before they even consider buying from you. (*4) Sometimes they read quite a few pieces of your content and when they feel like you are an expert they are more likely to buy from you.
Let’s look at an example situation. Imagine you would like to buy a photo camera but you are not sure which one suitable for your requirements. You would start researching online for information and try to find good advice about different cameras and their reviews. Neutral and informative content that explains all the details about cameras, how they work, what you need to consider when buying one, which cameras are good for what you want to achieve, etc. Advice that will help you to decide which camera is best for your requirements. If you came across articles that would try to sell you a specific camera or cameras from a specific brand, you would end up frustrated and not knowing what to buy. You would most likely not read any of this content. Wouldn’t you try and find more useful/neutral content? Exactly, you would move on looking for more information. This is what content marketing is about. It’s useful, informative and engaging content that will educate you. If it’s done well, over time you will become loyal to the brand. You will be more likely to buy from the brand that provided you with this information than from any of the ones that wrote a selling pitch in their articles. Google and other search engines recognise this and analyse the user intent. If you are looking for information only it is very unlikely that search engines show you specific products to buy.
How is Digital Content Marketing essential for other online marketing disciplines?
So how is content marketing related for example to SEO, PPC and social media? Social media, SEO, PPC and outreach help spread the content and deliver it to your audience. Content is in the middle of everything, ‘Content is King’ as Bill Gates stated in 1996. (*5) But it is only a few years ago that more and more companies recognise it and put content at the core of their marketing strategy.
Good quality content is the basis for all your other marketing efforts. Content is on your webpages and blog posts. It includes keywords and meta content which are vital for SEO. It is in the posts for social media, the ads for PPC, in the content to reach out to other blogs, on websites and magazines to publish and in your marketing emails. It’s at the core of all your online marketing efforts and all your efforts should be aligned to help you ‘bee’ found online. If it comes to SEO and organic rankings on search engines, written content is essential and the two disciplines are interlinked in a way that SEO can’t survive without written content and vice versa. In fact, 98 % of marketers use written content. But also images, graphics and especially videos are rapidly growing. Almost 80 % of marketers find content marketing somewhat effective to extremely effective for their brand and companies invest almost half of their marketing budget in content marketing, in creating useful content for their audience. (*1)
4 Benefits of Digital Content Marketing for Small Businesses
There are a number of benefits when you use content marketing for your business. We’ve put together four of the most important ones for you.
1. Improve your SEO & Traffic
As we mentioned earlier SEO needs content to be able to include your keywords. Create regular, useful and SEO optimised content for your target audience. This way, your ranking on search engines and your website traffic will improve over time. That said, be aware that this is a long term investment. You might not see results in the first few months and you’re unlikely to be able to outrank sites like Wikipedia. But if you create good content regular you might even be able to outrank large competitors. Now we know that as a small business most of the time it’s tricky to keep on track with your own marketing efforts. Try and start with 2 – 4 posts a month and share them on social media. This combined with your other social media efforts will pay off. You can then increase your efforts once you feel like you are getting more into it. This takes us to the next point, brand awareness. If you are out there and your SEO is working its magic for your excellent content, your target audience will get aware of your brand.
2. Boost brand awareness
According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, brand awareness is the top goal companies set for their content marketing efforts. At the same time, it’s a massive benefit of creating content. Content marketing allows you to connect with your target audience. It makes them aware that you are out there, that you can provide them with useful information, educate them and even supply them with suitable services and products. Overtime you can build trust.
3. Create Brand Loyalty
So you made your audience aware of your existence. In a next step content marketing can also help you to make them love your brand, trust and identify with it. You can differentiate yourself from your direct competitors. If you get to this point even large businesses will find it very hard to interfere with the strong relationship you developed with your audience. This loyal part of your audience is very likely to turn into free brand ambassadors. They will recommend your brand to their friends and family creating a snow-balling effect known as “the marketing flywheel”.
4. Feed Your Marketing Flywheel
Feed your wheel so it starts flying. Trying to start a flywheel takes a lot of effort and power. But once you get it going without or only with little friction you start increasing you start increasing the conversion rate for your marketing and sales goals through reviews and referrals. Content helps you to feed your marketing flywheel. Your target audience is in the middle of the wheel. You can connect and engage with them through useful informative content and offer support. Even if they don’t convert themselves they might recommend you to someone else as you provided very useful content on a specific topic. This way you can convert your target audience to reach your goals. (*4)
All in all, content marketing is a very useful tool that allows you to combine all your marketing efforts and reach your marketing and sales goals.
Thanks for reading and we hope you’ve found the information in this post useful.
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- *1 https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/the-state-of-content-marketing-survey/#1
- *2 https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2017/07/explain-content-marketing/
- *3 https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/what-is-content-marketing/
- *4 https://www.hubspot.com/flywheel
- *5 https://www.silkstream.net/blog/2014/07/content-is-king-bill-gates-1996.html
- *6 https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-content-marketing/is-content-right-for-my-business
- *7 https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/04/25/benefits-of-content-marketing