What is Content Marketing?
Why Will it Work for Small Business
By: Thomas R. Reich PhD
Why is Content Marketing so important for small business? Because it is the one strategy that works to draw prospective customers to your website, prospects that have a genuine interest in your product or service. Also, it does not involve large amounts of hard cash to out bid larger competitors, just hard work and a little skill at content gathering and creation.
To be truly effective with content marketing, you must fill your web presence, social media and social sharing sites with content which truly answers questions that your prospective customers may have about your specific product or service not just about your business. To become the information site for answers to questions relating to your product or service a small business must present itself as a portal for expertise in the products or services they represent.
Every day potential customers in your area ask questions that can be answered by the advantages of a product or service you sell in that area. The trick is to give them those answers, without selling, but leading them to your landing page after they have been impressed with your understanding of the problem at hand.
Most marketing firms recommend traditional online advertising methods like Pay Per Click (PPC), banner advertisements, pop-ups, and video pre-rolls, which interrupt users when they’re searching for answers. These methods are somewhat effective, but at what cost? Research says 90% or more of all potential customers that click on PPC or banner adds click away as soon as they see a “sales landing page”. Not only have you lost a potential customer, you have paid for the opportunity for them to leave you site without ever finding out if you understand your product or service. Put yourself in the shoes of your prospective customers. When you’re online trying to find an answer to a problem, do you want quick, concise help, or do you want a sales pitch?
5 Good Reasons Small Business Needs Content Marketing
1. The most common way to get website traffic is paying for traffic (PPC), and it is expensive. The average cost for many industries to purchasing a single website visitor through PPC or Banner advertising is between $1.00 and $3.50 for each click.
Paying for online advertising is almost always inefficient for most small businesses. It can be expensive to the point of being prohibitive to get any real result, unless you are already an information portal. If you’re a locksmith with a citywide service area, paying $3.50 per website visitor simply makes no sense. For a business with a perfect website designed for converting sales to leads, a site that would typically cost thousands to design properly – a price that is already prohibitive to most small business – 100 website visitors purchased for $350 turns into 20 sales leads, which turns into five booked appointments. That’s a $70 advertising cost per new customer. For a locksmith who has an average revenue of $100 per sale, he’s already given away all of his profit before he even arrives at the customer’s door. Remember that assumes a top of the line website, one that stands alone in the market as the best website out there.
With content marketing that same locksmith could have gotten those same five sales leads, or more, for significantly less cost per lead. There is always a cost to the creation of the content, whether it is created by someone internally and then converted to SEO friendly blog, or created by a content creation expert, but that content builds and is always making the site better and better over time, PPC can be a one time traffic source and is then gone, PPC would then have no long term lasting positive effects on your website.
2. It is possible to generate far more leads with a well executed content marketing strategy, than with consistent PPC campaign. Small Businesses that use content marketing in a long term marketing plan generate 55 percent more website leads at a cost that is 62 percent less than leads acquired through paid advertisements, according to Hub Spot– an organization which markets primarily medium to large business worldwide.
This is more leads at less than half the cost, but content takes time to roll out and implement. Once in place and you have enough content for search engines to consider you an information source. At that point, your costs go down even further and the leads you get are for your company and its expertise not just your product or service. Here you can see the fundamental advantage of content marketing.
3. A recent study by MOZ shows adding one new piece of content to a small business website each week for one year produces search engine traffic equal to that from a $90,000 paid advertising campaign.
When a company uses paid advertisements, such as PPC orBanner ads, they are only displayed in the search engines while your credit card is being actively billed, that is the nature of that beast. On the other hand, new content on your website lives on and can continue to attract targeted prospective customers over and over for years.
This study shows that each well written, targeted new page of content containing only valuable information relating to the product or service the website represents, on a small business website receives an average of 55 new visitors each month. This also assumes that the content is not sales related but fact filled and interesting — that’s 660 visitors each year on average fore each well written and SEO targeted blog page. The effort to create a new piece of website content is made once, and the benefit continues without additional cost for a very long time.
Creating quality targeted and building information filled content on a continuing basis will yield cost efficient results over time. Even though the results of good consistent content are not instant, as are the results of PPC, the costs are far lower, and the results can be long term which will increase with time. A PPC campaign has its advantages in the beginning of a campaign, but may be replaced completely over time by a well executed Content Marketing campaign.
4. The more quality, targeted content, the more results you will see over time. According to HubSpot, a major research advisor in the online marketing arena, small businesses with websites that contain 50 – 200 pages of targeted information on their specific products or services get 300% more leads, than those small business without targeted information pages.
Each piece of helpful content on your website acts like a bobber on a fishing line off the side of a fishing boat. The more lines and bobbers you have in the water, the more chances you have of catching fish, aka clients.
The search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing care about the scale and freshness of your content. Larger (more pages of actual original content targeted to the website’s primary products or services and Keywords) and more recently updated (newly added quality material on a regular basis) websites achieve higher authority ranking (a type of ranking given sites that are information sources for a targeted topic). At that point, the search engines deliver more “organic” visitors to these websites. Remember, the search engines are the new Yellow Pages, so if your website is simply a sales tool, it needs to pay to get its traffic, – this should be obvious.
However, if that same website becomes an information source, for example how to deal with different locks, the locksmith we were talking about earlier is providing an information source for the public. It is part of the search engines’ duty to deliver answers to questions by the user. This is where “organic traffic” comes from. An information resource allows the search engine to fulfill its need to steer users to answers on a particular targeted question. When the user is on the site, they are likely to migrate to other pages, thus becoming a prospect. Do not miss the opportunity to ask these targeted visitors to sign up for a newsletter, giving you more opportunities to convert the prospect with EMAIL MARKETING, but that will be discussed in another blog!
If you have five pages on your website right now, the best way to get to 50 is to start creating one or two new pages of content each week or a few each month. Large sites don’t get built overnight, but once your website reaches a nice size you’ll have a valuable marketing asset thatwill catapult you ahead of your competitors online. Making sure you have a unique angle is also an important issue, but that is another blog onKEYWORDS and WEBSITE DESIGN.
So, what do your competitors plan to do with content marketing this year? Have you considered this? If you don’t get going on content now and make your site an information portal that search engines will send targeted traffic to for information, you may miss the boat. It takes time to build a proper information destination for your specific targeted products or services; the time to start is now!
5. You have heard Content marketing is growing. Until now many did not fully understand the true meaning of Content Marketing, what it is, how it works, and how simple it is to turn your website into an information resource.
The reality is, if you’re not creating new content on your website each week, you’re getting left behind. You should expect your traffic to shrink and to get fewer website leads over the next six months than you got over even last month.
There is good news and a competitive advantage to be had here. You have now been exposed to the secret so highly prized and talked about among big business, Content Marketing. Chances are, in the small business arena (5-100 employees) many of your competitors are not using Content Marketing yet, but relying heavily on PPC, this may be the competitive advantage you have been looking for.
There are many factors to be considered when creating content that is to propel a website to that status of “information source” or “Authority Site”. Content Creation, SEO, Pictures and how to place and link those pictures, Social Media and how it announces, interconnects and links new material to the world, and many other factors that can help generate “Organic Traffic”. Professional Marketing Associates can guide you through the sea of information out there, and bring your ship into a portal of information designed to steadily increase targeted leads the honest organic way.
Why Not Give Content Marketing A Try?
At YourPMA.com we have found Content Marketing is better because your prospects prefer it, it costs less money, it produces more sales leads and long term customers, it helps you beat your larger competitors and the marketing results you begin generating today will continue for a very long time.
The easiest way to start creating new content for your website is to launch a blog. Your first ten blog posts should cover answers to the questions you most commonly hear from your prospective customers.
Together we can work out a strategy that is targeted to your market and your customers. Combined with other services, YourPMA is in a unique position to deliver actual old school marketing along with the most cutting edge promotions possible. With our 50+ years of combined marketing experience and the hundreds of customers over the years gives us a unique perspective on how a small business works and thrives in today’s marketplace. Everything old is new again, and delivering a positive service to the market has come full circle, you’re rewarded with prospects and business in exchange for hard work.