Given the week, I devote as much time to content marketing for my own business as I devote to client work. The blog posts and newsletters (and the social media posts that accompany them) involve careful thought and hours of consideration and refining.
This isn’t a bad thing. I would much rather put as much time and thought into my content pieces as necessary to ensure they deliver a genuine, sound (and, hopefully, helpful) message. But not everyone wants to devote the same energy to content marketing efforts.
In yesterday’s post, I discussed where the value of content marketing lies. I noted that content marketers must accept that they will be in their line of work for some time (months or years) before they see any results from their work.
For some small business owners, this is a hard pill to swallow.
I get it. When the success of my business depends on getting my name out there and securing repeat customers, any marketing efforts that don’t produce immediate ROI may seem hardly worth their expense (monetary and otherwise).
Every type of marketing, though, has its purpose.
Some marketing efforts are designed for quick responses. Take, for instance, the ten budget-friendly marketing options that John Pearson describes in his recent post. These options, many of which rely on pounding the pavement, spreading news by word-of-mouth, boosting visibility with logos, and offering incentives, are perfect ways for small businesses to create avenues for instant and repeated discovery.
But after the initial introduction (the flyer in the café, the coupon, the quick “hi, I’m here” chat) or even the sixth or seventh visual contact, something must pick up where these marketing efforts leave off. Something must go deeper than surface-level promotions to connect with customers for the long-term.
This is where content marketing comes in. Consider, for instance, a monthly newsletter that offers helpful tips and tells customers of new resources, the weekly blog post that relates to customers’ problems and perspectives and establishes you as the expert in your field, the video or e-book that walks a customer through a process from beginning to end.
Content marketing builds a notable presence. It continually reminds customers why your business exists. It shares with them the value of your service or product. It encourages them to consider your business apart from someone else’s. It prompts them to come back.
We all want our businesses to be first and foremost in potential customers’ minds. And, yes, we want to see an immediate return on our marketing efforts. The gradual impact that content marketing makes, however, produces the long-term results every business needs to be successful. Spend the time and effort (and, if you don’t wish to create the content on your own, money). Content marketing is worth its expense.