Why Does Content Marketing Have To Be So Damn Expensive?
If you’re a newcomer to the startup ecosystem, welcome! It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
If you’re hustling your way to success, then good on you. Know also that your struggles are other lean business owners’ struggles as well.
Shoe-string budgets are hardly uncommon for startups.
More and more people are breaking away from their jobs to follow their passion and they don’t necessarily have the resources, knowledge, tools, or access to fund their startups comfortably.
Marketing can become a scary burden in those early days: You could either do it yourself (read: time and patience), or have the monies to onboard a marketeer, or outsource your marketing.
We’re big believers in the power of content marketing, and it’s un-flippin’-deniably great for most businesses, BUT it can seem like a pretty time, resource and cash intensive effort.
So let’s answer a few questions first before we get into the deets.
Is Content Marketing Even Relevant?
Yes, it’s more relevant now than it ever has been!
According to research by Curata, 74.2% of companies say content marketing increased their lead quality and quantity.
Interestingly, the more businesses realize content marketing is exactly what the doctor ordered, the tougher it’s going to get seen and heard online. Basically: you snooze, you lose.
What is Content Marketing?
There is some confusion around content marketing or content creation in particular. Content marketing, to some people, is just pushing out blog posts and sharing them on social media.
While others think of it as a more structured process where the end result mirrors the return on investments.
Some business owners that want to dabble in content turn to a freelancer who writes a few articles out every month.
The problem with that approach is it lacks strategy, marketing KPIs and it’s hard to measure impact; if there’s any at all.
So after three months of posting blog articles, business owners tend to conclude that it isn’t going anywhere and so, sadly, they discontinue and label content marketing as something that ‘just doesn’t work’.
Let’s see, shall we?
Content = Ambassador
Thanks to social media and changing trends all over the world, the way a business talks to its customers has changed dramatically over the last decade or so.
With the pace we’re developing stuff at, the platforms and formats for communication will likely change and evolve over time. But one thing is constant: showing your brand is present and approachable is paramount.
A proper content marketing strategy should focus on building an identity for your brand, something that says, “Here I am, I want to help!”, in a pool of other businesses.
It’s hard when you get started, but a consistent presence with useful, relevant content IS going to pay off. Your customers will notice you always seem to be around to answer their questions when they ‘Ask Google’.
The Content Writing Effort
While it is possible to go the inexpensive way and hire freelancers, without a strategy, they could simply churn out an article or two every day to increase your output and call it a day.
Content without a strategy isn't completely worthless, it'll still get you some of those keyword benefits, perhaps pull in a few readers here and there, but will it help you grow your brand and community online? Unlikely.
To create an enjoyable, educating, and unique piece, which is also SEO friendly, requires sweat and tears. Sometimes literally!
What we’re saying is, research and credible sources can take hours, if not days. Factor in time for proofreading, and then for analytics. Take a look at what’s working and what isn’t.
Why You Need A Strategy
Serving up high-quality, relevant (to your audience) content on the right platform, in the right format at the right time is at the heart of any kickass content strategy.
You should be able to answer these questions when you start building your strategy:
1: What are your marketing goals? How can content help?
2: Who are your potential customers?
3: Who are your competitors?
4: Keyword Research
5: Are you choosing the appropriate tactics?
6: Which channels are right for your brand and your audiences, to increase your exposure?
So, according to some data and numbers, it’s actually estimated that content marketing costs 60% less than traditional marketing.
According to a report by DemandMetric, 86% disregard TV ads and 70% would rather learn about a brand through their content.
750 words later, our point is: ‘Expensive’ is subjective. Content marketing is expensive when it doesn’t do it’s job.
It’s expensive if you’re creating content or getting content created without a strategy.
It’s expensive if it’s going unread, unseen, unheard, undiscovered.
Content marketing is an all-in effort. If you go all-in, it’ll reap you some serious rewards. Ask these guys.
Want to content market, but not sure where to get started? Reach out to us to help your business with some solid marketing goals in focus.
We love talking about content and content strategy, so just strike up a conversation and we’ll chime in!