Content marketing for small businesses is a great way to build brand awareness, and it’s often cheaper and more effective than traditional online advertising methods. Of course, producing quality content is challenging, and it takes longer to drive traffic organically than with ads. But unlike ads, content will continuously be available to your audience without needing to pay for it. Here’s a look at five reasons why content marketing strategies are more effective than traditional advertising methods.
1. Organic search drives more traffic than paid search
According to Search Engine Journal, roughly 51 percent of web traffic comes from organic search, while only 10 percent comes from paid search. How can you rank well organically? By creating valuable, high-quality content and applying search engine optimization (SEO) tactics. Remember, your content will continue to aid your target audience long after you’ve spent the time and money to create it; which is not the case with paid advertisements — once you stop paying, those ads disappear.
2. Ad blockers are more popular than ever
PageFair’s 2017 Global Adblock Report states that between December 2015 and December 2016, the number of desktop and mobile devices using ad blocker software rose from 142 million to 615 million worldwide. To boot, almost three out of four ad block users say they ditch websites that use ad block walls. It couldn’t be clearer: people are simply growing less tolerant of paid ads.
Alternatively, content marketing efforts, such as podcasts and videos, can tell stories that entertain your audience. They can create emotional bonds without making site visitors feel like they’re being pestered to click somewhere or buy something.
3. Content helps you build trust
Most prospective customers expect to receive something of value without being solicited first. Thankfully, humans are hardwired to reciprocate goodwill by returning the favor, as Dr. Robert Cialdini explains in his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. But don’t produce free content purely to get something in return. Most of the time, you won’t — remember, you’re doing it for the minority of prospective customers who will end up becoming loyal patrons.
4. Quality content establishes you as an expert
One of the best ways to demonstrate credibility within a field is by sharing knowledge, whether it be through media appearances, teaching courses, or producing educational materials. Building your reputation requires a lot of consistent work over many years, but if you put in the time and effort, people will be more likely to believe that you can help them and that they can benefit from your recommendations.
5. Your content can result in word-of-mouth publicity
Blogger Jon Morrow published a post titled, “7 Life Lessons from a Guy Who Can’t Move Anything but His Face,” which has been shared 79,000 times and was key in attracting students to his courses on blogging. It also led to a flood of media inquiries about his rags-to-riches story and the secret sauce for writing a viral blog post. Your content may not get 79,000 shares, but if it’s original and valuable, people are likely to help you spread it and promote your brand.
Good content entertains and educates people about your brand without them even knowing it, making content marketing for small businesses a modern strategy that’s even more effective when you combine it with solutions to the issues your audience faces. Take a look at the infographic below and start planning your content marketing strategy today.