Are some brands just too small to benefit content marketing? Someone in my network of marketers recently posted that question, and it got me thinking.
I am a huge advocate for engaging your audiences and customers with well-planned, thoughtful brand storytelling--but getting real results from those efforts requires a commitment of resources. When hours and dollars are already stretched for a small business, it's tempting to push off content development--saying that you'll "get to it" when you can really afford the spend.
Content Doesn't Have to Be Expensive
While there are certainly some items in the marketing toolkit that can break the bank, content does not have to be one of them.
Unlike in traditional advertising, there are no huge advertising buys associated with content tools like blogs, podcasts, or microinfluencers. I'd argue that content marketing can benefit all brands--especially ones with smaller marketing budgets.
There are plenty of ways to make content more cost-efficient. For example, hiring a one-stop content agency to oversee content for multiple departments at your company will not only ensure a consistent brand voice across communications but will also enable you to package a smarter deal that benefits your whole company.
If your resources are limited, you can also get your start by identifying pieces of content that you've already created in-house (think: sales presentations, white papers, speeches, and press releases) and repurposing them into consumer-facing content.
Content Delivers Sustained Results
Once you create content, you can give it a longer shelf life by using analytics to identify pieces of well-performing content to optimize and resurface. Through these methods, you can actually get a lot of bang for your buck, you just have to follow a few tried and true rules:
Identify the space where you're an expert, and focus your content there. This will help you define your brand through content, and also reach a niche audience that holds the most value to your business.
Commit to a schedule Brands that post a ton of content at once, and then never follow up (or do so sporadically) typically have far less successful content than brands who space their content out regularly. Our client Eagle Creek has followed this strategy by consistently posting two articles each week, and we've seen their blog audience double annually for more than 5 years!
Experiment often Not finding a ton of success with video? See if a podcast resonates more with your audience. Are your long-form blog posts not generating the results you expected? See how a quiz or listicle performs. When your brand is new to content, you need to be open to auditing and adjusting the content strategy regularly.
This final one can be tough for those who love immediate results (read: everyone). You have to commit to content because it takes some time for the momentum to build. Don't expect a high ROI after three months, but remember that good content holds its value for years to come.
So even if your company doesn't yet have the budget for a chief content officer,you can start incorporating content into your marketing strategy through a mix of internal resources and consulting from a full-service content marketing company.