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What Content Marketing Means to Your Small Business

You know digital marketing is important. It’s undeniable today. It’s our jobs to make sure our company is in front of our potential customers – and our customers are no longer solely on TV or listening to the radio. People are looking at their phones to consume information, conduct research – and above all, they’re using multiple channels prior to make purchase decisions. What they see on these channels, dear friend, is content. Content marketing is simply leveraging content such as video, photos, blogs, podcasts, etc., to drive an emotion, or a desired action from potential customers.

According to research from Zazzle, less than 10% of those surveyed were definitely sure on how to implement content marketing. If that resonates with you, then you’re certainly not alone. Despite uncertainty on how to implement content marketing, over 79% of respondents believe that content marketing is very effective when it comes to driving business goals.

So where’s the disconnect?

First, let’s take a look at how content marketing is measured. Brand awareness is the top goal of most businesses leveraging content marketing, with engagement being a close second. Following awareness and engagement, improving search engine visibility and lead generation are noted as important by over 70% of respondents.

How is Content Marketing Measured

Measuring the Success of Content Marketing

Defining your goals is the first step, but how do you know if your content marketing efforts are successful? Over 85% of respondents said that an increase in website traffic is their primary indicator for content marketing success. If content marketing is working, people will start learning who your company is, how your products or services solve a problem in their life, and will begin conducting more research on your business. If your website traffic has increased, you can bet that people are at least hearing about you, and are interested in learning more.

How Much Should You Invest in Content Marketing?

With the demand of video steadily increasing, content marketing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Survey respondents noted that over 23% of their marketing budget was specifically allocated for content marketing in 2016. This is an increase from 10-20% in 2015. And over 70% expect an increased content marketing budget in 2017. What’s even more shocking is that not a single respondent said they were decreasing their content marketing budget.

How Much to Spend on Content Marketing,

What is Holding Companies Back from Investing More?

Surprisingly, 65% of respondents said that producing engaging content was the biggest challenge for content marketing. Coming in at a close second, 62% of people said that they weren’t sure how to measure the ROI of their campaigns. And 60% of those surveyed said they couldn’t produce enough content. But with 61% of people reporting that a staff shortage was the biggest hindrance for content marketing, it’s no surprise that a majority of respondents felt like they couldn’t produce enough content to meet the demand of their customers.

The key to killer content marketing is having the right content, being delivered to the right people, at the right time. So if you’ve got your goals mapped out, and understand your customers (hello, user personas!), and understand what you’re looking for from your content, all you need is some creative power to help you bring your content marketing to life.

My advice is to find a message that resonates with the audience you’re trying to reach – and get creative! Make sure everything is consistent – from your video, to supporting images, to your social media skins (or header images and profile pictures!). It’s important to keep all your digital channels cohesive with your campaign. If you’ve got a compelling message, with captivating content that caters to the right audience – you can count of positive results.

Chalease is the Marketing Manager of Iron Springs Design. A creative juggernaut with a knack for creating mind-blowing digital strategies, social media campaigns, and branding initiatives, she's helped small businesses produce powerful results and attract not just customers, but loyal fans.