My new motto is “heck yes or no.” Though I may be censoring it a little bit, the idea is the same: I make decisions because I really believe in them, or I don’t do it at all. The same should apply to anything a business owner does for his or her business.
So is content marketing a heck yes or an absolutely not? It’s a proven way to generate leads. It helps with SEO. And if your content is really good, it could even go viral. But it’s also a big commitment. How many small businesses really have time to create content? And I’m not talking about just slapping words on a page – I’m talking about cultivating powerful content that will bring you leads.
In order to make the most informed decision, ask yourself a few things:
Content marketing can be both a B2B and a B2C game, but who you sell to is an important factor in deciding a) whether you market with content, and b) what kind of content you create. If you sell B2C, you probably want to start off by focusing on social media or mobile marketing (via your mobile site, inside your app, or by sending texts). If you sell B2B, ebooks, whitepapers and case studies can be powerful tools for you.
This one might seem kind of silly. Right now, you’re probably saying, “Psh, who doesn’t want incoming leads?” Yes. I get it. Incoming leads are wonderful. But some small businesses dedicate time (and money) to creating a lead generation team – cold callers or appointment setters, if you will – and that’s how they bring in leads.
Or maybe your new business is strictly based on referrals. If you don’t need incoming leads at this very moment and you’re a small business, content marketing might be a waste of your valuable time. For the time being, at least.
Do you have a talented content cultivator on staff, or is your CEO also your salesperson who also happens to be your writer? Content marketing is a delicate balance of writing to teach and writing to sell (and also writing to not annoy your prospects).
Getting off on the right foot when you start content marketing is a key to your success; if you put out content that’s not quite up to par and a handful of important leads see it, they’re probably not coming back again. Five leads might not seem like much, but if you put out so-so content, then it’s discovered by a prospect, who tells a few of his friends… you get the picture.
After asking yourself these questions, is content marketing a heck yes or no for you? Content marketing can be a big undertaking, but typically proves very valuable to businesses that plan and execute it well.