If you’ve been dabbling in content marketing as a small or medium business owner but haven’t seen the results you were hoping for, now is the time to ramp up your efforts. Content marketing is so much more than just writing a blog post or creating a social media update. It’s about developing a strategy and plan for producing and distributing content that will help you achieve your business goals. While it may be true that this is a lot easier said than done, in this post you’ll learn why it’s well worth the effort, especially in 2022. Keep reading to find five data-backed reasons why you need to step up your content marketing starting today.
Top 4 benefits of content marketing for SMBs
Before digging into why you should be focusing on your content marketing in 2022, let’s review some of the key benefits content marketing in general offers to small and medium-sized businesses:
#1 Reduced marketing costs and improved ROI
Companies of all sizes invest a significant amount of money in different marketing strategies like SEO, PPC, paid media advertising, and others. However, some of those strategies can be expensive and are not justified by how much they increase sales. Content marketing, on the other hand, has the key advantage of being more cost-effective than many other marketing strategies, and it’s also proven to be more effective. This translates into a greater return on investment or ROI, which is arguably the most important metric to look at when comparing strategies. In fact, businesses that use blogs for content marketing see an ROI that is 13 times higher than businesses that don’t.
With these statistics, it comes as no surprise that one of the biggest names in the crypto exchange industry, Coinbase, recently launched an entire media arm to manage its content marketing efforts.
#2 A boost in brand awareness
Content marketing doesn’t just boost sales, it also helps increase brand awareness since more eyeballs are placed on your company’s products and services through your content. No matter what industry you’re in, frequently posting content that’s relevant to your niche and that identifies clearly how your brand relates to that content gives your audience a clear picture of what your business is all about. In other words, your content marketing strategy will help build your company’s reputation by showing internet users who you are, what you do, and how you do it, making it easier for them to remember your brand at all times.
#3 Build brand authority
While awareness is about letting people know your brand exists, authority is about being recognized as an industry leader, and content marketing can help you get there. This is because content marketing allows you to stand out from the competition by building a strong identity that people will associate with the topics you cover.
By increasing your knowledge base in your industry and providing insightful and valuable information and answers to questions people are searching for, they’ll begin to see you as an authority in the field.
Proof of the above is that, according to Demand Metric, reading custom content about a business makes 82 percent of consumers feel more positive about it.
#4 Generate more leads and improve conversions
Statistics show that content marketing makes it easier for our ideal customers to find us. This translates into a greater number of valuable leads that drive up conversions. In fact, according to some statistics, SEO-driven content marketing generates 4X more leads than paid SEM strategies.
According to the same source, small businesses can leverage content marketing with blogs to get a level of lead growth 126 percent higher than businesses without blogs. This is because content helps guide users to your landing pages, which, in conjunction with good copy and the right CTA, guides them down your sales funnel.
Top 5 reasons why SMBs need to embrace content marketing in 2022
By now, it’s clear that content marketing is great for businesses, and that if you’re not doing it now, you’re leaving growth opportunities on the table. But why is 2022 the best time to step up your already existing content marketing strategy? Here are the top five reasons why:
#1 There is more competition now than ever before
Content marketing is quickly becoming a more competitive space as time goes by. In 2021, 82 percent of marketers admitted to using content marketing as a part of their marketing strategies which was a 70 percent increase from 2020, and that will only grow in 2022.
Additionally, two-thirds of marketing agencies also reported an increase in demand for content marketing services. If you don’t up your game quickly, you’ll see all your competitors pass you by and it’ll become ever harder to catch up once they do.
#2 People today are hungrier than ever for video content
Content may be king, but not all content is created equal. Video is one of the most demanded forms of content in recent years, with 85 percent of people wanting more videos from brands, according to Wyzowl. This is only confirmed by the fact that YouTube is the second-most visited website in the U.S. by organic traffic according to data from Ahrefs. This means that, if you’re not actively pumping out video content about your brand, you’re already falling behind. You can also translate your videos to reach a global audiance more easily.
#3 The metaverse offers a new highly-profitable playground for content marketing
The metaverse is a virtual reality world that is shaping up to be the next evolution of social media, productivity software, and remote virtual meetings, all rolled into one. It’s a new trend that is here to stay, and it’s changing the way businesses approach marketing in general, not just content marketing. Luxury brands like Gucci, consumer brands like Nike, and even mass-market brands like Coca-Cola have all dipped their toes in it successfully, and it’s time for small businesses to do the same.
The metaverse offers apparently endless opportunities to experiment and try new, more immersive, and interactive forms of content than ever before. Since it’s still in its infancy, it offers the chance to be the first to try new content marketing strategies that, if successful, will give any business, large or small, that first-mover halo that many business owners yearn for.
#4 Running ads is quickly becoming less effective
Users today think differently than they did 10, or even 5 years ago. Direct CTAs like “Buy Now” and aggressive ad campaigns are seen as desperate attempts to generate sales. Consequently, over 85 percent of internet users would rather click on organic search results than on ads, and 47 percent are currently using some form of an ad blocker. What this means is that an ad crafted to suggest buying Bitcoin, for example, will likely be less effective today than a well-written blog post that teaches users how to buy Bitcoin. This shift in user behavior implies that effective SEO content strategies are more important today than ever, which is why 24 percent of B2B marketers have rebalanced their budgets, shifting funds from ad campaigns to content marketing strategies, and you should be doing so as well.
#5 SMB Marketing budgets will continue to shrink in 2022
Marketing budgets have been declining since the pandemic began. In 2020, they fell to 11 percent of company revenue and in 2021 they plummeted even further to 6.4%. According to Forbes, 2022 will see marketing budgets shrink even more, which means that, as a business, you’ll need to think very carefully about how you spend your marketing dollars to make them count. Therefore, it makes more sense than ever to allocate funds to content marketing in lieu of other strategies, since it costs less and yields better results. Also, content marketing revenue is projected to grow over 16 percent in the next five years, so we’ll see even better results in 2022 than we did in 2021.
The bottom line
Content marketing is one of the most important strategies for digital marketers in 2022. This year, we’ve seen an increase in demand for content marketing services and a decrease in ROI from different types of paid advertising campaigns. As marketing budgets shrink, content marketing will be crucial for SMBs to reach new audiences and generate a higher ROI on their marketing campaigns. The trend towards video-based content will continue to grow as well with 85 percent of people already demanding more videos from brands.
Finally, VR and the emerging metaverse offer new more immersive opportunities to interact with internet users, taking content marketing to a whole new level. Businesses, big and small, that are not actively working on improving their content marketing strategies this 2022, are only leaving growth opportunities on the table. All and all, whether applied to big corporations, SMBs or even startups, 2022 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting years in recent history for content marketing.