Content marketing has become one of the most important go-to advertising strategies for modern businesses, regardless of their size. For small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as start-ups, this form of marketing can offer great dividends for those undertaking campaigns correctly because anyone (as long as they have the right insights and approach) can create a successful strategy that resonates with consumers and target audiences in a way that boosts loyalty and buying potential.
Content marketing is a strategy used to curate and promote material with an end goal of boosting traffic, forming a business relationship, increasing the awareness around a brand and increasing the level of trust between the company and potential customers. Content includes videos, podcasts, blog posts, audios, emails, newsletters, infographics, tutorials and more. Material can be used to educate prospective customers or current clients, and this often leads to a larger audience. Finally, more customers are attracted, and start-ups can generate better revenues.
Expert Rick Eliason, a consultant for online user experiences, said: “Content marketing is important to every single business operating on the web. It sounds like a horrendously large undertaking but chances are you are already doing it without realising.”
In the modern era, an increasing number of firms are moving away from the traditional cold pitch approach. Instead, the material is being use to attract and inform clients of products and services before they make a purchase. In fact, recent data has revealed 86 per cent of business to customer and 89 per cent of business-to-business marketers are now using content strategies. Seventy per cent of respondents conceded that this approach is now their most successful.
However, SMEs and start-ups need to remember that content marketing is not a quick fix. It takes some time to build loyalty and trust, and the initial momentum can be hard to achieve. It’s for this reason that identifying a target audience is so important. It enables businesses to start positively, actually pushing their content towards the right prospective customers. It’s also important to start early because previous data shows it can take six months to a year for positive results to be shown.
The digital world has many ways for SMEs to reach customers, whether this is via Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram or many of the other available platforms. Video content is currently in high demand, with live video in particular finding attraction. However, to maintain a live video strategy, companies need to curate a stream of high-quality material. It’s estimated that 74 per cent of customers find live video boosts their understanding of a service or product, while 80 per cent of viewers admit they remember these advertisements. That fact is crucial for any start-up.
So, going forward in 2017, SMEs and start-ups should continue to take advantage of content marketing to level the playing field between them and larger competitors. In addition, for those able to leverage their content in the right way, there are many positive gains to take.