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Content Marketing Plan_ Zenpost _Featured

Content marketing is one of the most powerful tools in every small business’ marketing toolbox today.

Not only is it far more affordable than nearly every other marketing tactic but research proves it’s extremely effective in generating leads, nurturing those leads, and converting those leads into sales.

Consider these 10 key statistics related to content marketing:

  • Nearly three out of every four consumers (70%) would rather learn about a company by reading an article than by seeing or hearing an ad.
  • Four out of five consumers (80%) like to learn about a business through the company’s custom content.
  • Nearly one out of every two consumers (47%) look at three to five pieces of content before they talk to a salesperson according to research from Demand Gen Report.
  • For B2B companies, strategic content marketing generates 67% more leads according to a study by HubSpot.
  • Content marketing is 31% less expensive than paid search marketing (including paid search ads) based on research from Kapost and Eloqua.
  • Overall, content marketing is 62% less expensive than traditional and outbound marketing.
  • Per dollar spent, content marketing generates about 3X as many leads as traditional marketing.
  • On average, companies the publish blogs get at least 67% more leads per month than companies without blogs.
  • 82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading its custom content.
  • Nine out of 10 consumers (90%) believe custom content created by businesses is useful.

Still not convinced that your small business needs to be creating custom content? Check out these facts from the Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 B2C Benchmark Survey and 2019 B2B Benchmark Survey:

  • The most successful B2B companies are far more likely to have a documented, strategic content marketing plan than less successful companies (65% vs. 14%).
  • 74% of B2C businesses have developed content marketing strategies.
  • 90% of the most successful businesses prioritize consumers’ informational needs over their own sales and promotional messages compared to just 56% of the least successful businesses.

The data doesn’t lie. Content marketing is a critical component of every small business’ overall marketing strategy, and it’s imperative that you create a content marketing plan for your small business if you haven’t already done so.

Benefits of a Content Marketing Plan for Small Businesses

There are a lot of marketers, companies, and even reporters out there touting the benefits of content marketing.

For years, content marketing has been known as one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways for small businesses to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

However, a lot of small businesses have yet to start producing the kind of high-quality content on a consistent basis that is needed to fully leverage this huge opportunity.

Why?

It’s possible that all of the hype around content marketing creates a perception that it’s too good to be true, but as the data above shows, that is absolutely not the case.

Maybe small businesses are simply overwhelmed with content marketing and don’t know where to begin.

The latter (feeling overwhelmed) is actually the most common barrier to entry for small businesses, but it shouldn’t be. There is help available.

In fact, nearly two out of every three companies (62%) outsource their content marketing. Regardless of a company’s size, outsourcing content marketing is the norm today.

It turns out, outsourcing content marketing is still less costly than many other traditional, outbound, and paid search marketing tactics.

Once a small business commits to content marketing, creating a robust content marketing plan becomes the top priority. Without a plan, companies are simply throwing darts at a dartboard and hoping something sticks.

A content marketing plan puts you on a path to reach your goals. It helps you align content to buyer personas and their locations in both the buyer journey and content marketing funnel, so you can effectively use it for lead generation, lead nurturing, and converting leads to sales.

According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 Benchmark Surveys, the top benefits that more than half of B2B and B2C companies with content marketing plans are actively experiencing include:

  • Create brand awareness
  • Educate people
  • Build credibility and trust
  • Generate demand and leads
  • Nurture subscribers, audiences, and leads
  • Build loyalty with existing clients and customers
  • Generate sales revenue

But that’s not all!

Having a content marketing plan in place also helps businesses internally.

According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 Benchmark Surveys, more than half of B2C and B2B companies say they benefit from having a content marketing plan because it helps them achieve the following:

  • Align teams around common goals
  • Stay focused on priorities
  • Determine what types of content to develop
  • Create accountability
  • Allocate resources to optimize results
  • Gain clarity on target audiences
  • Identify which metrics to focus on

Bottom-line, small businesses that aren’t already leveraging the content marketing opportunity and don’t have a content marketing plan in place are at risk of being beaten in the marketplace by their competitors who are already educating and informing your shared target audience, building trust and credibility with that audience, generating brand awareness and word-of-mouth marketing among wider audiences, and closing sales.

Are you willing to give up those leads and sales?

If not, you need to develop a content marketing plan as soon as possible.

Key Takeaways about Small Business Content Marketing Plans

According to DemandMetric, 91% of B2B companies and 86% of B2C companies are already using content marketing, and on average, they spend over 25% of their budgets on content marketing.

How does your small business compare?

The reality is your business is at risk of falling behind in the marketplace if you’re not fully leveraging the content marketing opportunity.

Developing a content marketing plan should be a top priority for your small business.

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Content marketing is a critical component of every small business’ overall marketing strategy, and it’s imperative that you create a content marketing plan for your small business if you haven’t already done so.
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Susan Gunelius

Susan Gunelius is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company offering, copywriting, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and strategic branding services. She spent the first half of her 25-year career directing marketing programs for AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more as well as small businesses around the world. Susan has written 11 marketing-related books, including the highly popular Content Marketing for Dummies, 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps, and The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing. She is also a Certified Career Coach and Founder and Editor in Chief of Women on Business, an award-winning blog for business women. Susan holds a B.S. in marketing and an M.B.A in management and strategy.