Because they are naturally sources of intriguing perspectives and ah-ha moments, small and mid-size businesses and start-ups are uniquely poised to participate in content marketing. To unleash that potential, it is important to embrace this emerging strategy.
Enter the Content Marketing Revolution
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 93% of B2B marketers use some form of content marketing. It boosts website traffic, and when done effectively, nurtures sales leads and reputation.
This trend is driven not by popularity, but by tried and true results. The majority of leaders are allocating more to content marketing budgets because they have experiences substantial sales and awareness successes; 82% of marketers see an increase in ROI.
A study referenced in an article by Salesforce.com shows that 70% of organizations plan to increase their content marketing budget for the upcoming years and Demand Metric shows that an overwhelming majority of CMOs view content as the future of marketing.
This train is already moving very fast, and it seems that many companies hope to jump on board.
Content Marketing Brings Customers To You
Content marketing is a way of delivering consistent and appreciated media to a specified target audience with the intentions of driving a profitable relationship. It gathers an audience’s attention and keeps it, aiding in building a company’s brand in a meaningful way among its consumers and, consequently, its popularity. It causes an audience to actually seek out a relationship, or “push” engagement with a company.
Customers that are pushing for a company’s products and services are more likely to purchase. Word-of-mouth is -- and always has been -- the most effective form of advertising. According to a survey by the State of Inbound Marketing, content marketing creates a higher quality and quantity of leads over traditional marketing. In addition, the survey also revealed that content marketing saves money, with each lead costing at least 10% less. Multiplied by thousands of leads, that could equate into a large sum of money saved.
First Impressions Count
A large portion of the sales process for B2B happens before the initial call. Consider this statistic: CEB reveals buyers go through 57% of the purchasing process before even speaking to a sales rep by vetting a supplier for credibility, popularity and efficacy.
Without a doubt, this purchasing process generally begins with an online search for reviews and information on a company. A study by Harris Interactive and Fleishman Hillard reveals that 89% of consumers use search engines for purchase decisions.
Content marketing helps to ensure that when B2B consumers research a company, they feel confident about the brand. What is posted (or not posted) about a company matters. People naturally feel less confident about trying unknown brands for business decisions. After all, deciding to partner with a business is not like choosing a lunchmeat. B2B choices bear more weight and affect a consumer’s reputation within the company, revenues and possibly even employment.
Companies that target B2B consumers need to build more trust. This means more positive indicators to encourage the initiation of a relationship, such as signs that the company is well regarded, its employees are relatable and its culture is something that client would want to experience.According to the State of Inbound Marketing, great content encourages a lead, with 60% of consumers feeling more positive (thereby confident) about a company after reading useful, custom content on its site.