Content marketing strategy tools and techniques have evolved considerably over the last few years, but many small businesses struggle to get to grips with the overall digital marketing plan they should be working towards. With 2019 ahead of us, it’s a good time to work on your own business rather than in it and structure a plan that is going to keep your productivity and efficiency high and most importantly save you time, whilst stimulating business growth.
A good place to start is to look at some recent stats (source: Demand Metric) from content marketing over the last year.
On average, marketers spend over 25% of their budget on content marketing
A marketing budget often still includes a large chunk for traditional advertising, which has historically worked well. This can still be cost-effective, as long as you can measure the results and accurately draw a line between how much you’ve spent and how many new leads or sales you have achieved from each source.
Many small businesses have fully converted to digital marketing campaigns and allocated their budget to Google AdWords and social media advertising, but it is also wise to increase spending on content marketing. Effective content creation is essential for all social media channels and blogs. In particular visual content, such as photos, videos, infographics and animation can especially be beneficial to engage your audience. There are online tools for content creation with ready made templates or if you have a Photoshop savvy member of staff, they can create something with your branding and colours.
62% of companies outsource their content marketing
It has become increasingly common to outsource content marketing so that you can work on the core elements of the business. This involves delegating responsibility but there are options to review everything produced before it is published anywhere online. The main incentive for most businesses is the time saver. With the overwhelming demand of social media management and online publishing, it is a real benefit to take a step back and allow a marketer to implement a plan for you.
68% of people spend time reading about brands that interest them
Each individual has their own personal preference when it comes to social media channels. Whichever platform they are spending the most time on, they are consuming the content that is posted from their favourite brands, as well as their close friends. It is often when their friends or personal experiences are merged with brand stories that viewers find most interesting.
Instagram and Facebook stories have proven to be a welcome new feature that keeps people fed with quality content that is up to the minute and sometimes ‘live’, so they can feel that they are in the moment too. Content marketing should not only be about scheduling links to related things, it needs to be relevant, fresh and hook in a follower, so they can get the latest news update from you, regardless of whether they are ready to purchase or not.
80% of people appreciate learning about a company through custom content
There is a wealth of online resources to use for content curation and publishing but spending more time on it allows for custom content, ideally unique to your own brand identity and personality. Depending on what products or services you sell, a new follower may be initially intrigued about what you offer and commit to following you to discover more.
The next stage is to take your followers on a learning journey. Guide them through the process of what you do and how you do it. Deliver your USP to them from all custom content and drive home your vision. They will appreciate directness and their interest will increase if they are encouraged to participate in your brand journey.
Per pound spent, content marketing generates approximately 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing
Traditional marketing can still work well but digital marketing campaigns are more cost-effective. An advertisement in the local newspaper may be seen by your core audience but it’s difficult to measure the impact. You can request to know how each lead heard about you when they contact you but it’s difficult to measure the impact of word of mouth generated from seeing an ad in the newspaper. With online campaigns, you are able to measure engagement, as well as link clicks and sales conversions. Therefore, when you come to plan the next one, you can be confident in how what your return on investment is worth.
With 3 times more leads being generated, content marketing is a sure way to help you reach your marketing goals and it should play a key role in your integrated marketing strategy for 2019.
Happy New Year!