Why Content Marketing Is The Only Marketing Left For SMBs

September 11, 2017 by Jasmin Hukić

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Now that we have inbound marketing, outbound marketing is simply a waste of money, and usually a lot of money. Small businesses can’t afford that.

I wouldn’t be too much wrong if say that literally, all SMB marketers use content marketing.

According to Content Marketing Institute, 94% SMB marketers use content marketing and only 6% don’t.

This is no surprise because content marketing cost less and brings a lot more benefits.

Percentage of SMBs using CM

However, just using content marketing is not enough. As SMB owner you have to use it properly to truly benefit from it. That means producing a lot of good pieces of content regularly.

Creating and publishing is not an easy and not a quick process. In fact, a lot of time it can be quite a pain in the neck. To do it, you need a strong motivation.

Because all of this, I’m going to dive into 4 big reasons why content marketing is the only marketing left for SMBs.

#1 It Brings Long-Term Benefits

It may take some time at the beginning, but there is no doubt that with content marketing you will enjoy many long term benefits.

According to Blirt, companies deploy content marketing tactics get 55% more visitors. Besides that, they get more leads, more links, and more indexed pages.

Blirt content marketing benefits

Add to this the fact that content marketing generally costs less than paid advertising, in a traditional way.

If you chose to hire content marketing writer, according to PayScale, it will cost you $45k annually. Assuming that one writer can write 3 articles per week, that’s approximately 150 articles per year or $300 per article.

Content writer salary

One article will give you far more benefits than TV ad of that budget because once you write an article, the article stays on your site forever.

With traditional marketing, that’s not the case because once you stop paying ads on TV everything will be stopped

Here is one representative comparison of costs per lead in inbound and outbound marketing.

Inbound vs outbound

According to this HubSpot research, inbound marketing has 62% lower cost per lead.

Try to produce content that will last instead of trendy stuff. If your industry niche is of that kind, your content may be evergreen.

Let’s say that you’re traveling agency that organizes trips to old cities around the world. You can produce a stunning piece of content that will last.

For example, you can write tons of articles with titles like:

  • 5 Amazing Renaissance Cities in Italy
  • Top 12 Medieval Castles of France

Then you can include some of the breathtaking pictures like this one:

Castle

You can find great photos for your content on sites like pixabay.com. The best thing is that you can use it for free, even without creating an account or leaving an email.

Enrich your content with stuff like this because it improves the user experience. That is important for multiple reasons like capturing more leads.

Remember that this kind of content will last basically forever, and will always bring you new visitors to your site.

Creating evergreen content that constantly provides you more visitors and new leads is the clearest example of long-term benefit and true power from content marketing.

#2 You Can Achieve Multiple Goals

When you do any kind of marketing activity you need to set the goals of your work. The great thing about content marketing is that you can achieve multiple goals at once.

Here are typical organizational goals of B2B Content Marketing.

Organizational goals for B2B content marketing

As expected, increasing sales and getting leads are the top goals for marketers.

But there are also lead nurturing, brand awareness, engagement, and other important marketing goals. Of course, the ultimate goal is closing new deals.

Here is how you can do it.

The first step is to capture new leads. The best way to do it is offering eBook or a trial for newsletter subscription.

Here is the example from Kissmetrics.

Kissmetrics eBook download

Keep in mind that the more fields you add the fewer leads you get. But, leads with more data gives you more targeting options.

After that make the contact and close the deal. At this point, you need to learn more about email marketing.

I’ll briefly point out to the most important thing you should think about.

Write effective subject lines. Don’t make them too long or too short because it will effect on the read rate. According to this, the safe zone is between 20 and 60 words.

Subject line length and average read rate

This makes sense because a recipient won’t bother figuring out what the subject line is about if it is too long. On the other hand, with less than 20 words it’s hard to write something that will lure recipient to click.

Another thing is sending personalized emails. Experian Marketing Services showed that personalized subject lines increased open rates in most industries.

Personalized subject lines provided a lift in open rates

There are so many things to say on email marketing, so I suggest reading about it here.

At this point, just remember that capturing leads and building your email list is one of the main goals in content marketing because sending emails is still the best way to reach out.

#3 You Can Reach Top Rankings on Google

Good positions on Google’s search engine results page – SERP, have to be on of the most attractive aims for any marketer.

Unfortunately, SMBs cannot compete with the big companies for top positions of the paid ads, at least not for the head terms. They simply don’t have the budget for it.

Here are the most expensive keywords to get the idea.

Top 20 keyword categories

But luckily as SMBs, you can achieve a high position in organic results, with a good content and with SEO techniques implemented.

Good content are in-depth valuable articles, videos, infographics, useful statistics and so on.

Articles are the most common type of content. Now, to hope for better ranking you need to create a bigger content.

Take a look how a number of words and Google position correlate.

Content Total Words

The curve clearly shows that Google position gets higher as the number of words increase.

Your posts have to keep a certain level of quality to make it count. Only valuable posts will get you backlinks and backlinks correlate with Google position more than any other ranking factor.

Total External Backlinks

It’s very hard to get backlinks without content. The actual products will not bring you backlinks unless you’re Amazon.

Paulo Coelho Google SERP

That’s why you need to publish quality content.

The math is pretty clear. With a big number of valuable posts, you’ll get a big number of healthy backlinks and long-tail keywords which will bring you better positions on Google and increase the number of visitors to your site.

Apart from backlinks, there are other important Google ranking factors. Let’s see how quickly to improve your Google positions by following these SEO tips.

  • Use HTTPS on the page
  • Include keywords in titles and URL’s
  • Improve Pagespeed
  • Make your site mobile responsive
  • Use internal links
  • Do SEO audit regularly

When a time comes, you’ll need to hire SEO specialist. Until then, you can do SEO on your own. We published an article about SEO metrics to track, which I believe you’ll find very useful for SEO.

#4 CM Gets You Shares on Social Networks

You saw how you need to have you need to have content of at least 2k words to reach top positions on Google.

Now, when it comes to content that gets shared on social networks, the number of words goes even higher.

Average shares by content length

According to these results, your content should contain at least 3k words, if you want to see it shared on social networks.

If you want to find out trends on social networks, use Buzzsumo.

For example, if you are looking for most shared content about bodybuilding, simply paste the phrase and click on Go.

Bodybuilding BuzzSumo

You’ll get the result sorted by total shares from top to bottom. You can make filters to see what is most shared on Facebook or other social networks.

Bodybuilding BuzzSumo results

Only when people recognize content as valuable they will share it. The thing is that writing valuable content takes time and space.

A valuable content is the one that brings explanations and solutions in one place, and you can’t have that in few hundreds of words.

It’s important to get shares on different social networks, but depending on the type of business some networks are more suitable than others.

That’s why B2B content marketing social media platform usage is different than B2C. Take a look.

B2B vs B2C marketing

The main difference is LinkedIn. B2Bs use LinkedIn for content marketing, more than any other social network, while in case B2Cs LinkedIn is in fourth place.

Almost half of the U.S. population is registered on LinkedIn. LinkedIn has even 128M registered users in the United States. Simply said, LinkedIn is the network you need to pay attention to.

LinkedIn Users vs Country Population

But, what social networks users pay attention?

According to the photo below, Americans spend 40 minutes per day on Facebook. After that, Tumblr, which might be surprising, with 34 minutes and so on.

Average time spend on social networks per day by Americans

Don’t make any wrong assumptions. You really should be active on all social networks. Consider these stats as a reminder what social networks to focus on, without forgetting others.

However, don’t forget that there are actions that make people unfollow a brand on social media. As you could probably guess, too many promotional messages is on the first place.

Actions that make people unfollow a brand on social media

Sending non-relevant information is also that users hate. In order to avoid that, I suggest sending personalized newsletters which will definitely help a lot.

Conclusion

With enough of valuable content, SMB will make the difference. This came from the author of Stand Out Dorie Clark who said that one, ten or 100 posts won’t do much, but 300, 500 or 1000 posts will, and very few people are committed to that.

Content marketing is a hard job

I really can’t think of better words, to sum up, what the content marketing is all about.

There is a lot of work to do and that’s why you have to really love to write about themes from your niche. Otherwise, you’ll lose your motivation.

Make no mistake, content marketing is not something that you can call the next big thing or something like that.

No, content marketing is already a mainstream for years. Marketers are investing a big money it. Specifically, dcustom assessed that the number goes around $44 billion.

Marekteres are now spending $44B on content marketing

Now you maybe wonder how can SMB afford to do it. The truth is that for some types of content like infographics or videos, you need specialists to make a stunning piece of content.

However, writing informative and useful articles is something that you can do it on your own. So, no excuses for not creating the content and implementing content marketing techniques.

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