If you’re a small business owner, you likely wear a lot of hats and handle an array of complex problems on a daily basis. Most business owners know they need to market their business somehow. But if you’re not an experienced marketing pro and you don’t have one on staff, it can be tough to make the right choices when it comes to budgeting and planning an effective marketing strategy. How do you know where to allocate your limited resources? How can you be sure it’s worth it to pay for things like market research, strategic planning, custom content creation, email marketing, or social media?

I get it, it’s a confusing and ever-changing game that you don’t have time for. That said, I’m here to tell you it absolutely is necessary to have a content marketing strategy if you want to make it in today’s competitive business environment.

Here are my top 5 reasons why your business should have a content marketing strategy:

1. Content marketing IS marketing now.

Content marketing is defined as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” And while the term “content marketing” is a bit of a buzzword these days, it’s actually been around for centuries. However, in recent years, content marketing has become incredibly widespread:

  • 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing
  • 86% of B2C marketers use content marketing
  • 78% of CMOs see custom content as the future of marketing

Put simply, experts agree that content marketing is not a “nice to have” or “extra” strategy for marketing programs—it’s a fundamental requirement for success. In fact, Content Marketing Institute confirms this to be more true every year with their Annual Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Report.

2. Your competitors are already doing it.

Again, content marketing is not technically new, but it has seen a major spike in growth in recent years—meaning your competition is very likely already making use of this smart business marketing strategy (even if they don’t have a content marketer on staff):

  • 90% of organizations market with content
  • 62% of companies outsource their content marketing

Considering all this, it’s clear businesses that don’t use content marketing must implement a creative content strategy soon, or risk being left behind in the dust of their competition.

3. Your customers want and expect custom content.

Custom content is the creation of original “branded content” for a customer — and consumers overwhelmingly say they expect and want to see this kind of content from brands:

  • 90% of consumers find custom content useful
  • 82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content
  • 80% of people appreciate learning about a company through custom content
  • 68% of people spend time reading about brands that interest them
  • 60% of consumers enjoy reading relevant content from brands

4. Content marketing is a great investment.

Many small business owners and managers are surprised by the ROI of content marketing. In fact, content marketing is extremely cost-effective. It has also well-surpassed the effectiveness of the traditional marketing and advertising of the past:

  • Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing
  • Per dollar spent, content marketing generates about 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing
  • Content marketing also gets three times more leads than paid search advertising

5. If you don’t, you’re missing a HUGE opportunity to grow your business.

Today, there are more than four billion global active internet users and more than three billion global social media users. That’s a huge opportunity for brands to engage with a massive, ever-growing audience of prospective customers – and this can lead to substantial growth for your business.

Content marketing is far and away one of the most effective ways to increase brand awareness and attract new customers for your business. And high-quality, relevant, and valuable content makes consumers more likely to take action:

  • 70% of people prefer to learn about a company through articles, rather than an advertisement
  • 60% of people are inspired to seek out a product after reading about it
  • 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it
  • 47% of buyers view at least 3 to 5 pieces of content before deciding to speak with a salesperson

Alright, hopefully by now you’re convinced of the need and value of content marketing for your business. But now you’re probably wondering, How do I even get started with content marketing for my business? Well, stay tuned – I’ll be back soon with a post that will help you do just that! (Follow me on Instagram @coloradocreativecontent to make sure you see it asap!)

~Lindsay


*Sources: DemandMetric; Hubspot; Statista; Content Marketing Institute