Every now and then, you bump into someone who doesn’t quite agree with your business ideas. No worries, people like that exist. It’s unlikely that everybody is going to rave about your products or what you have to offer, but usually, when this happens the conversation remains civil. Both people agree to disagree and go their merry ways.
It was during an early evening game of lawn bowling hosted by the Victoria Lawn Bowling Club where this happened. I was enjoying my time dressed up to the nines for a Kentucky Derby themed event. Grabbing a drink from the bar, I was tapped on the shoulder and introduced by a friend to a group of those involved in the tech industry. With the sun setting in the back, good vibes, and a hard day’s work finished it didn’t take long for me to get into the conversation about Ghostit as a content marketing service.
Click here to find out how we used our own content marketing to go from zero to 20,000 page-views and drive an additional $71,050 in revenue.
One particularly interested individual began throwing out numbers on his own company, asking rather aggressively for the same information in return. With every small to medium urban city, the community of business founders and tech startups is quite small. Everybody knows everybody either directly or indirectly. So immediately among first introductions, I knew who I was talking to. As a company starting out, it’s important to maintain respect for those who have been in the field longer. Seeking advice and mentorship where needed and networking the rest. So naturally, I obliged. With a scoff, and an underhanded comment this individual then asked me for a sales pitch. Again, I delivered the sales pitch on Ghostit, what it does, why it benefits small-scale businesses and what makes Ghostit different from other content marketing companies.
“Look at this guy, trying to pitch me during an event,” he mocks, “You do realize that content marketing is dying right? It’s all about account-based sales.”
He continued on ripping into my company. Obviously taken aback by this uncalled for competition at an otherwise unrelated evening, it did also make me curious. Was content marketing really dying? Was it unneeded for small businesses? Are direct sales really the best?
So let’s break content marketing down to its core and see if it really does make a difference for businesses large and small.
What is content really other than information condensed in some cohesive form? Human psychology dictates that we form impressions from the information we receive about… well, everything. Unless you’ve locked yourself in a dark room, this occurs constantly even if you don’t process it consciously. This goes for impressions made by brands and companies that are funneled through touch points such as ads, social media, experiences, and word of mouth. A touch point is any point of contact between a buyer and seller. Whether that’s indirect or direct. Each time you funnel information from a touch point, your awareness of that particular brand increases little by little. In simple terms? Everything you see, feel, hear, and experience builds your association with different brands making you more likely to think of a certain brand when you’re considering a purchase.
You know the traditional sales funnel: awareness first, then familiarity, consideration and finally the purchase. Your goal as a business is to get to a place where potential consumers are considering you among a few other brands or businesses. And getting to that point is no easy feat with the continuous growth of available products. Touch points can be as obscure as colors. For example, when you see red and green you think of Christmas. Once a consumer considers you among other brands for a particular product, it is 3x more likely to be purchased. The question then is how do you get yourself from being one in a thousand of similar brands to being one of the few considered first by a potential buyer? Content marketing.
Content marketing is just a fancy term describing any form of marketing that relies on editorial content. This can be white papers, blog posts, graphs, videos, newsletters, and reports all published by businesses for the purpose of building presence and reputation as a thought leader while driving leads and sales. Instead of just creating ads, content becomes a tool to bring useful information to buyers. The better quality the content, the more it is shared and distributed over social media sites. Given that 80% of people learn about a company through their content, content marketing is hot and especially published blogs.
In 2015, Hubspot published an article on content marketing, specifically the benefits of blogging. Using data gathered from more than 13,500 customers, they put together some useful graphs showcasing trends on frequent blogging. One notable statistic showed that B2C companies that blogged 11+ times per month got more than 4x as many leads than those that blogged only 4-5x per month.
Don’t have the means to blog more than 11x a month? If you take a look at the graph above, it clearly shows that more blogging is better. Bonus? 76% of buyers feel closer and more positive about a business and brand after reading their custom content.
To end my rant, on average business to business marketers spend over 25% of their total marketing budget on content marketing. This is crazy to think about, but also understandable given the facts I brought to light. What you shouldn’t take from this statistic is that this is how much you need to spend to get great quality content. If this was the case it would eliminate the chance for small-scale businesses to get into content marketing. There are other alternatives out there for business owners who can’t afford a whole marketing team. Just ask us about them. The bottom line is if you’re not currently producing custom content as part of your marketing strategy, it might be a good idea to start, and the sooner the better.