Content marketing has become one of the preferred methods for engaging with customers in the digital age. And according to the latest survey from The Manifest, an online business guide, 53 percent of business are spending their time and money on the creation of this content.
The report points out how content marketing allows businesses to engage with their customers by becoming thought leaders in their respective fields. If your customers can rely on you for accurate and timely information, you will increase the level of engagement with them.
For small businesses, content marketing is one of the best and most economical ways to drive customers to your site. By sharing your expertise in blogs, videos, research and original data, you can become a source they can rely on.
What Exactly is Content Marketing?
Content marketing, as the name implies, is the marketing of valuable content to attract an audience by providing information they can use while promoting a business.
A great example of this application comes from Benjamin Franklin. According to Kristen Herhold, who wrote the report for The Manifest, Franklin created Poor Richard’s Almanack in 1732 in part to promote his printing business. People got some valuable information, and in return, they knew who published the content.
The only difference with today’s content marketing is in the format or formats used to deliver the message — blogs, infographics, video, podcasts, for example.
The survey for The Manifest was carried out with the participation of 501 digital marketers from companies with more than 100 employees across the U.S. 36 percent of the group were managers, 15 percent associates, 13 percent C-level executives, 12 percent senior managers, and 12 percent directors.
Content Marketing Statistics from the Survey
The type of content businesses publish will vary based on target audience and product. Across the board, video now makes up the largest subdivision of content businesses create at 72 percent. This is followed by blogs at 69 percent, research or data at 60 percent, infographics at 56 percent, product reviews at 54 percent, and interviews at 50 percent.
As to the frequency of the publications, 51 percent of respondents said they publish content every day and close to one-third or 31 percent do so weekly. Respondents who said the businesses they worked for published content every other week or monthly made up seven and eight percent respectively of all those surveyed, while two percent said they publish less than monthly.
The businesses in the survey value and rely on content marketing, which is why they want to improve the content they publish. Asked what they would like to improve, an equal number of respondents at 22 percent said they would like to provide both more original content and more visual components. Eighteen percent of respondents listed content optimization across devices as a top priority, while 13 percent listed increased search engine visibility, and 13 percent stressed the importance of more actionable content.
Content Marketing for Small Businesses
What makes content marketing so valuable for a small business is the reach it provides. With minimal capital investment, you can create blogs, infographics, research and videos. Granted you can spend a lot of money, but the point is you don’t have to.
You can write blog articles on your laptop and record the video on your smartphone then post it on a website and social media channels. As long as the information you provide delivers value to your customers, you will find your audience, which in turn will lead to more conversions.