As one of the hottest trends on the web, it’s only natural to think of content marketing as something reserved for the “big boys” and other major industry players. It makes sense, considering how astronomical the promotional budgets for some of these brands are, in addition to the fact that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to sway a target audience.

Despite the inherent truth in this statement, some leading content marketing voices point out that having a bigger budget isn’t exactly an automatic advantage over smaller brands. To uncover the facts behind this argument, and help content marketers prove to their smaller clients that the advantage actually lies in their corner, let’s break down this discussion surrounding the “small brand disadvantage” myth.

A Misguided Premise

At the heart of this conversation is a misguided claim that many assume to be an incontrovertible reality – that smaller brands will never be able to compete with larger organizations, nor implement productive content marketing practices, based on a sheer lack of available resources. On the surface, it’s hard to argue with this kind of reasoning.

If you’re willing to dig past assumptions and start working with hard facts, it doesn’t take long to see that this disadvantage isn’t only overstated, it’s virtually nonexistent.

According to research offered up by Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, over 40 percent of small businesses and the marketers that represent them consider themselves to be effective at reaching out to audience members, compared to only 28 percent of their larger counterparts.

There’s also the fact that 25 percent of small businesses feel comfortable handling and implementing metrics that measure return on investment – a full 10 percent more than those who fall into the bigger brand designations.

However, these two stats simply scratch the surface when it comes to explaining the favorable positioning of smaller brands in relation to their larger brethren. For instance, Pulizzi found that bigger organizations face more technology related challenges, a lack of vision in terms of “buying in” to the content marketing process from corporate leadership and a surprising knowledge deficiency regarding the theory and application of content development skills.

As all of these issues come together, it’s no surprise that the big brand representatives polled by Pulizzi’s team pointed to an inability to create engaging content or provide a variety of different offerings to target audiences. Simply put, just because a brand or marketer operates on a smaller scale doesn’t mean that these campaigns face greater challenges due to size and budget constraints.

Leveraging Your Strengths

By this point, it makes sense for the discussion to turn away from how smaller brands can catch up to their larger counterparts and instead focus on how these same organizations can make the most of their situation. While larger firms and teams grapple with the aforementioned efficiency issues, the smaller, nimble members of the community can rely upon an inherently more efficient approach that’s both flexible and adaptable.

What goes into the efficient approach that gives smaller brands an unexpected advantage? At the top of the list, according to Susan Tucker of Business 2 Community, is making the most of both audience research and current trends. Larger organizations struggle to assimilate data into their operations and expedite the content process, so differentiating your approach by keeping a finger on the pulse of the audience and building content that matters to these viewers is a strong course of action.

From here, Search Engine Watch’s Adam Stetzer offers up a few ideas to help boost the immediate impact of your content, as well as generate some extra value later on down the road. A good example comes in the form of “newsjacking.” Instead of simply blogging about generic topics, this tactic places your brand at the center of the digital discussion by offering industry-oriented insight and responses to the latest relevant news stories.

The best part about adding newsjacking to your campaign practices is that you now have the ability to return to engaging stories as new developments and facts hit the web. Like any other repurposing tactic, attacking the creation process on this “recyclable” axis limits the strain on your marketing resources and helps contribute to a more streamlined, efficient approach.

The big key here is that regardless of how you handle the task of generating content, it’s important to find the “sweet spot” where engaging subject matter and efficient methods intersect. If you can do this, all while dispelling the misguided notion regarding the “small business disadvantage” myth, there’s no reason to think that content campaigns of all shapes and sizes can’t hang with – and surpass – the “big boys” of their respective industries.