It’s not so easy for small business marketers to handle the huge job of content marketing.
But the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) 2015 “Small Business Marketing Trends-North America” study shows that paramount among the needs of small businesses is having a guiding strategy.
“Only 39 percent of respondents indicate that they have a documented strategy (having some general idea “in your head” doesn’t count),” notes recent story from eContentMag.com. “In fact, the study suggests that having a documented strategy makes a difference — 60 percent of those with a documented strategy consider their organization “effective” at content marketing, while only 33 percent with a verbal strategy said the same.”
The stats suggest that those businesses that take time to focus on strategy are more than two times as likely to be successful in connecting their efforts with actual ROI.
It’s a truism that just creating more content isn’t enough to generate the kind of results companies seek. That’s where strategy comes into play.
“In an already crowded marketplace, small businesses are tasked with finding unique ways to be heard above larger competitors, while promoting their products and services in a way that their audience will find valuable and not quickly tune out,” says Amanda Eldridge, director of strategic channels at PR Newswire. “Through content marketing, small businesses can uncover endless opportunities to generate brand awareness, engagement, and leads.”
What are the elements of a successful strategy?
According to CMI, they include segmentation based on thorough research; a clear understanding of the customer journey and potential points of activation; creation of content that capitalizes on the science of user experience; and disseminating content across the right channels.
“Many businesses want to dive head-first into content marketing, but to succeed emphasis first needs to be placed on strategy,” says Rachel Peters, content marketing manager with Big Leap. “Without solid goals and distribution methods, content won’t match the intended audience and will fade away unnoticed.”