What form of advertising is most beneficial for your small business?
Traditionally, many small business owners have relied on tried-and-true advertising strategies like word of mouth, strategically placed print adverts and routine mail or email blasts. In the world of small business, the idea of content marketing is often overlooked. Due to its close association with big-name brands such as Apple and Nike (AKA, companies with phenomenal advertising budgets), content marketing can be discounted by small business owners as unaffordable or too complicated. But the fact is, marketing is highly effective, affordable and simple to implement.
What is Content Marketing?
Most people associate content marketing with social media posts and online blogs. But while these are certainly aspects of content marketing, they certainly aren’t the core principle. At its heart, content marketing is about building relationships with customers. It uses a long-term marketing strategy to attract, engage and reward customers, all while methodically building brand awareness. It is based on careful research and delivers measurable outcomes.
Essentially, there are 3 key reasons why small business owners should value marketing:
- Content marketing offers impressive Return on Investment (ROI): Based on a study by the Content Marketing Institute, content (inbound) marketing costs, on average, 62% less than traditional (outbound) marketing tactics. In further research compiled by Hub Spot, businesses with 1-25 employees were found to spend $102 per lead when utilising traditional marketing tactics, while content marketing cost just $37 per lead. Targeted email marketing is a great example of how content marketing can deliver fantastic ROI. According to one report, a fifth of surveyed companies reported a ROI in excess of 70:1 when using targeted email marketing. But content marketing isn’t just more affordable – it can also be far more rewarding, typically resulting in three times the number of leads.
- Content marketing helps your business be seen by a bigger audience: Content marketing doesn’t just put you in front of a bigger audience, it also puts your small business in front of the right target audience. How? Well, content marketing focuses on producing relevant and high-quality content that is of interest to your ideal customer. When people go in search of information, they discover that your small business is providing the answers they need. So, what do they do with this information? They share it with others, thereby increasing your audience. Surveys show that 70% of people would prefer to learn about a business through an informative article. And 60% of people will actively search for a specific product that they’ve read informative content about. Best of all, once your small business has published relevant content, it will stay online, continually attracting new customers. The benefits of content marketing are far-reaching and long-lasting, unlike a typical ad campaign with a definite end date.
- Content marketing builds trust by developing existing customer relationships: Content marketing doesn’t end with the first sale. Rather, it continues to build on that customer relationship over time. This ongoing connection helps to increase the trust that customers have in your business. And when a person trusts your business, they’re more likely to return. According to Marketo, businesses that focus on cultivating existing leads will spend around 33% less on marketing costs while also gaining 50% more leads. One of the best ways that you can build on existing customer relationships is by delivering personalised content through a content marketing strategy.