Content marketing finally received the attention it deserved last week. Recognizing the importance of content marketing for businesses, the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) not only released an official definition for content marketing, but also released research analyzing how B2B companies are employing content marketing.
The IAB’s B2B Content Marketing report: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America 2014 makes two things clear:
Content marketing is extremely valuable for small businesses
Small businesses aren’t reaping the full benefits of content marketing
Small businesses are investing in content marketing more and more
*Small businesses are 35% more likely to have someone dedicated to overseeing content marketing than large enterprises
*Small businesses are increasing their content marketing investment at a significantly higher rate than large enterprises (15% higher).
Content marketing provides equal opportunity to small and larger businesses alike and costs less than traditional advertising. Hence we’re seeing greater investment and commitment to content marketing coming from smaller businesses with more restrictive budgets.
Small Businesses aren’t reaping the full rewards of content marketing
*Lack of time was cited as the biggest challenge for small businesses engaged in content marketing.
*Producing enough content was the second most cited challenge small businesses
Both top cited challenges come down to lack of resources. Combining the two stats paints an alarming picture in which half of the small businesses surveyed lacked the resources needed to fully engage in content marketing.
With so much attention given to growing lean, there’s something to be said for the age old adages “jack of all trades and master of none” and “time is money”. As an entrepreneur one half of your time is invested in building a great product or service, and the other half is spent distinguishing your business from the pack. Wise investments of time and money must be made in order to grow your business.
When it comes to content marketing, simply sharing information about your business’ product or service is not enough. A lot of research must be put into building a solid content marketing strategy. For instance, one must strategically decide which social networks to be present on and understand how each environment will affect engagement with content. Reporting and analytics must also be embraced in order to reap long term benefits from your content. This can be a lot for small business owners to master and balance with effectively managing their time.
If you’re sharing content via social media, content sharing platforms like Slideshare or blogs and have no clear strategy in place then you are part of the 50% of small businesses who aren’t reaping the full potential of content marketing.
It’s time for you to consider investing in someone who can effectively enhance your content marketing strategy.