Blog Post

Where to Begin with Content Marketing

Content marketing has become a standard in internet marketing, but there are a lot of small businesses not utilizing it in their marketing strategies. There might be reasons for this, but the benefits outweigh any detriments that small business owners might believe to be in their way. Watch today's Daily Brown Bag to learn about how important content marketing strategies is becoming and how to start a content marketing strategy that will help you succeed in your business goals.


Hello and welcome to the Daily Brown Bag. Today we're going to be talking about getting started with content marketing. I'm Chad Hill and I'm joined by Adam Stetzer.

Content marketing strategies are becoming more ubiquitous

Hey, good afternoon Chad. Welcome to the Brown Bag. Content marketing is a beefy topic here, Chad and I got a few stats to start off our discussion, and let's get into this for our small business viewers. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 90% of B2C marketers are using some form of content marketing. Also, the same survey, 60% said they planned to increase their content marketing budgets this year and on average, businesses are using 12 different content marketing strategies, that's an average.

So, there's a lot going on here. Content marketing has penetration. A lot of businesses have content marketing strategies, but I also know a lot of small businesses still don't really understand exactly why they need to be producing high quality content marketing strategies and when it comes to content marketing they're often saying things like, "Why am I giving this very valuable information away for free. I used to charge more like a consulting model for this kind of information." So, how can we break this down for folks today watching our video?

What content marketing is all about

And it is a great question because it really has flipped marketing around and really opened up the funnel to going to people that are way further away from actually making a decision, and that's really what it's all about is that this is not the hard sell. This is all about starting the relationship and the discussion with the prospect a lot earlier in the decision cycle than people are used to with marketing or at least traditional marketing like Yellow Page ads and direct mail, and things like that.

So, it's really all about not starting with a hard sell or your particular product. It's about putting out useful information, things like eBooks and infographics that start to bring a person who's interested in a service or maybe just thinks they may have a problem that they need to solve, getting in touch with them early and then nurturing them through that whole process, and content as king has been really being the death over the last year, but ultimately that's how that relationship starts.

Why aren't small businesses using content marketing strategies?

All right, so we're talking about this idea of content as king, then you're posting content on social media, you're putting articles on your site using your newsletter and your blog as mechanisms, you're creating videos, and I think very quickly, Chad, it starts to to become overwhelming. I know some of the big obstacles, again, citing this earlier survey. We've looked at some of this data pretty closely. Fifty-seven percent say time, that's the biggest obstacle. Others say creating content that's actually engaging, 51% cite that as an issue and so I think they're worried, Chad, that maybe they don't have something say, and then 48% say budget, and so these are some of the reasons they put against why they don't get into content marketing strategies more seriously.

Retain customers with content marketing

Now, those who are into it and this is the group that's planning to expand it because it's been working very well and says there's all sorts of ancillary benefits that includes brand awareness, a secondary customer acquisition, and customer retention, and loyalty, something that I think a lot of small businesses overlook, Chad, when it comes to content marketing strategies. The more you can increase your touches with existing customers provide them something of value, you're solidifying that relationship having a positive impact, that can drive better retention. I've said it 1,000 times. It's easier to retain than acquire a new customer. You think that'd be enough to push people over the edge, but we know a little harder over time, Chad.

Yeah and absolutely. There's a lot to what you just said. There's the whole part of this having sort of a multi-faceted or multi-pronged purpose to it which is that it's building awareness and so that's essentially creating a brand which a lot of small businesses don't usually do. They're more focused on that direct response, I put a dollar in, I may get $2 out of my marketing budget and this is basically very different because you are creating a brand, but I think with the explosion of social media, and online reviews, and a bunch of all the other things that make it more important to build a relationship, this content marketing is critical.

Then the other part of what you talked about is just that if you do get to the point where you can say, "Yeah, this is something I need to do", it does seem daunting and so in terms of how you can do it, really what it comes down to is thinking about your connection with your community and with the news, and that's often the best place to start, and I think there's a lot of companies like us. We're here to put the soft well on it, but there's a lot of companies that have developed processes to help the small business be able to figure out how to enter the content marketing game without it being overwhelming.

Well, those are our thoughts. We certainly look forward to your comments on our content marketing strategy Brown Bag and if you've learned anything or enjoyed it, we do hope you'll subscribe to our YouTube channel and we'll see you back here tomorrow.