A newly released study from small bizcontent marketing platform Matcha illuminates what’s working and what’s not in content marketing for small businesses and e-commerce stores. Uniquely, the research analyzes real content marketing performance data instead of self-reported survey data often found in benchmark reports—providing fresh, bird’s-eye-level insights that other similar reports are often missing.

The firm’s new Content Marketing Benchmark Report, the only analysis of content marketing results specifically for small brands, aggregates data from hundreds of businesses who engage with Matcha to publish content, distribute it on Facebook, and analyze their results. The report’s insights are based on 10,000 articles published, 5,000 Facebook ads managed, and 9 million readers reached in 2018.

What’s working in content marketing? The most effective strategies for small B2C companies

Key findings include:

Readers continue to love listicle-type articles

Listicles score well in reader engagement and promotional efficiency. In an analysis of the best-performing content, listicles represent the best engagement rates, scroll depth, and cost-per-click (CPC) and click-through rate (CTR) on Facebook ads.

Top-performing long-form articles are easy to read

Long-form articles with the best reader engagement had an average of 5.7 images and 4.5 subheadlines, keeping readers’ attention by breaking the text into smaller, consumable blocks.

What’s working in content marketing? The most effective strategies for small B2C companies

Facebook ads promoting content drastically outperform average CTRs and CPCs

Facebook ads featuring content achieved an astonishing $0.19 CPC—89 percent less expensive than the average Facebook CPC of $1.72. At 2.1 percent, CTRs on content ads are more than double the industry average of 0.9 percent.

Licensed content performs as well as original content

Licensed content showed engagement rates comparable to original content. Licensed content allows small teams to publish high-quality articles at a fraction of the cost and time.

What’s working in content marketing? The most effective strategies for small B2C companies

“This report is invaluable for small businesses, particularly in e-commerce. For the first time, they have a research-backed roadmap to grow their businesses using content marketing,” said Fynn Glover, Matcha CEO, in a news release. “Great content is a critical ingredient for acquiring and keeping customers. Now, SMBs know exactly what to expect in terms of performance.”

Download the full report here.

What’s working in content marketing? The most effective strategies for small B2C companies

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Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders.

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