Small businesses must never lose sight of acquiring new customers to make the business grow. But the problem is that they do not have enough money for paid advertising that was the most potent weapon in a business owner’s arsenal for customer acquisition until a few years ago. The digital marketing wave reaped initial benefits with paid marketing. Still, over time the audience started becoming wary of it due to its intrusive nature that transgressed into the private space of the audience. To find a way out from viewing unsolicited ads online, more and more people took to ad blockers that drastically reduced the effectiveness of paid advertisements. And the ad blockers are useful for mobile apps too.
Customers in search of better online experience do not mind using ad blockers on their devices, but this spells trouble for businesses, especially those that rely on paid ads as the driver of their marketing campaign. When asked about the way out from the problem and what could be a better alternative marketing technique for acquiring new customers, Eric J Dalius, a marketing veteran, unequivocally vouched for content marketing.
What is content marketing according to EJ Dalius
Content marketing is not only about social media, blogs, and articles but much more. Content marketing is a long-term marketing strategy of using many different types of content in various formats to capture the attention of the target audience, build a strong relationship with them and improve engagement that enhances brand recall. Content marketing has several benefits through the sales funnel. From high brand visibility because online content boosts the prospects of finding the business in search results to reaching out to the largest section of the audience to building trust for the brand and business, content marketing.
The approach of content marketing is just the opposite of paid ads. While paid ads aim at getting something from the audience and finally converting a prospect into a customer, content marketing is about giving something to the audience by providing value to build trust.
Is content marketing good for small business?
The returns from content marketing are evident from the campaigns of big brands like Apple, IBM, Nike, etc. who spend lots of money on content creation and have now become household names. However, it would be beneficial for small businesses too by generating favorable ROI without putting in too much money, as suggested by Eric Dalius. The point to note is that most of the audience or customers, almost 70%, prefer articles to learn about a company rather than looking up at advertisements to gather information. Many customers are on the lookout for content that helps them to understand businesses better.
Here are some more reasons why investing in content marketing is a wise decision for small business owners.
Small investment, high returns
The cost of advertising is much higher on all counts, and even if you entrust the job of content creation and publishing to a third party, the spending is still much less than advertising. As compared to traditional outbound marketing tactics, content marketing costs 62% less. Besides the lower cost of content marketing, lead generation is three times more. The leads are part of a larger collection of traffic that helps in garnering new prospects, social shares, and excellent brand visibility. Although traffic might not be the sole point for measuring content marketing performance as it has the traits of vanity metrics, yet it is something to keep an eye on.
Small businesses can adapt content marketing as a budget-friendly means of connecting with the audience that can begin with email marketing. Highly targeted email campaigns can generate 760% more revenue than conventional email campaigns.
Business promotion but no selling
The purpose of content marketing is to connect with customers and share information that is useful to them. The campaign hinges on the customer’s interest in hearing from you about various aspects of business-related information like promotions, special offers, and more but without insisting on selling your products. They do not want you to blast them randomly with messages insisting them to buy from you. They are interested in discussing issues beyond your products and services that have some connections to it. You must provide more value to customers by going beyond your products that give them more reasons to pay attention to you.
Greater exposure to a broader audience and new prospects
High-quality content that resonates with the audience will receive more sharing, and the audience could act as an ambassador for your business. You create an article, which is a one-time investment and reap the return in terms of traffic month after month without incurring any additional cost. The perennial return from content is a significant advantage over paid advertising that loses its worth as soon as the campaign stops running. Focusing on localized content and increasing the frequency of publication can lead to an exponential increase of followers and a considerable increase in engagement as experienced by many companies, including the famous brand Pepe Jeans.
Enhance trust with customers
Getting new customers is essential, but perhaps more important is to retain them so that they stay with you long term and experience improvement in their lifetime value. You must also chart your way to woo customers to buy more with individual sales. To achieve both the goals, you must focus on nurturing those leads as well as customers. Proper lead nurturing helps to reduce marketing and acquisition costs by 30% while at the same time generating 50% more leads from the campaign. Customers that you nurture will spend about 50% more on buying your products over other types of customers.
Content marketing is the tool to nurture leads because it contributes immensely to improving the trust of customers. It increases their expectation of gathering more information from you for which they keep coming back besides sharing the content. Along with the increase in seeing and sharing your content, there is a significant increase in engagement and brand recall.
To succeed in content marketing, you must relentlessly publish high-quality content around topics that are relevant to the audience that paves the way for content to rank high in search results that generate more traffic.