Content marketing is becoming a necessary evil for most companies, even if they don’t have the bandwidth. According to Contently, 72% of B2C content marketers are producing more content than they were a year ago, and from my experience, it’s continually on the rise.
Contently also noted that 56% of businesses have no content marketing strategy, even though CEO’s are prioritizing it with SEO, social media, and engaging new customers. Both B2B and B2C startups and enterprises alike know the importance of creating original, rich, keyword optimized content.
But what does this mean for the small business owner, where is it headed, and what can a small startup do to keep their content effective and scaled at the lowest cost possible?
Content is Always King
The more pressure a company has to create content, the more likely it is to create poor, less engaging content. This is the Catch 22. The minute a small business starts pumping out content that’s bad, there’s no audience, and its a waste of everyone’s time and money. There are hundreds of sites already that have bad content – and people still continually read it and post to social feeds. Go onto Odesk or any other pay for hire site and you’ll see hundreds of requests for $5 blog posts.
The result is low-quality articles from third world countries often plagiarized with little to no expertise. These are not best practices for creating content designed to build and keep an audience.
The true best content for a company is writing what you know and targeting vertical audiences who will most likely use your product. I recently recommended to a friend who has a crowd sourcing sales website to create personas and start writing white papers focusing on specific sales people that cover targeted verticals, such as small business tech CTO’s. He’ll then start attracting the right audience who will crowd source the data that will in turn help each other on his platform, rather than create content that’s all over the place. By focusing on one audience, it serves his product and builds his user base much faster.
Avoid white papers that focus on how to use your product. Audiences want best practices and secrets that will help them get ahead and key industry knowledge that is interesting and different. Nothing is more aggravating than downloading “The Secrets to XYZ” and it being a playbook on how to use the company’s product. White papers, webinars, and case studies are incredibly important to your content marketing toolbox, with B2B buyers admitting its a huge part of the decision-making process.
Know Your Audience
Your audience has specific tastes in what they like to read, just like the way they consume your product. Some audiences prefer an in-depth read with quotes from industry experts, while others want a quick, 3-minute article that’s high level. Some audiences will understand industry jargon, while others will need to be a bit more basic and explanatory. Don’t assume your audience knows every acronym unless you know your customers are experts. Here is a list of 25 apps that you can use to get to know your audience better that I put together.
Video and Visuals Are Stickier
With more and more eyeballs on YouTube, and millennials wanting to engage less and less with humans, video tutorials are becoming more and more important in content marketing. Videos reportedly increase a buyer’s understanding of your product or service by 74%, and 80% of users remember the ad, making it a valuable asset to any startup.
There’s no question video that will be more important in all startups marketing mix in the future. Utilizing video in an effective way – whether its tutorials for apps, YouTube commercials, or mobile ads, users are being incentivized to use video on mobile and fast-forwarding on traditional platforms (ie television). Startups have the option to create useful online content to their audiences using video that serves as both informational and brand awareness.
And it doesn’t end with video, according to Buffer, tweets with images receive 150% times more retweets than those without. Infographics also are exponentially more helpful in helping audiences break down and understand concepts, and consume in easy to digest ways.
The Future of Content
The future of content marketing is for startups to begin creating a content marketing strategy as part of their overall marketing mix, and utilizing analytics tools to better understand their audiences to create more engaging content that drives customer loyalty and sales.
Getting eyeballs will be the biggest challenge which is why I recommend video engagement platforms like FEM, and content platforms like Taboola for your articles. I’ve used both and think they are both amazing.
What are you doing to put out more amazing content online?
This article was written by John Rampton from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.