What is Small Business Content Marketing? Today, we're going to be talking about the key takeaways from Content Marketing World, which will inform many small business owners on what they need to know about how to jump start a campaign that will attract visitors to their website. I'm Chad Hill, and I'm joined by Adam Stetzer.

Also available on YouTube.

Hey, good morning, Chad. Over 3500 people from more than 60 different countries attended the sixth annual Content Marketing World conference in Cleveland. We want to cover some of the key takeaways here this morning, Chad. There's some really good information here.

Getting right to it, key takeaway, you need to have a plan for your content marketing. Okay, that seems obvious, but they're saying it and we need to listen to it. Your content marketing needs to have a purpose. Again, these seem really simple as I'm sharing them. We all know content's king, but you can't just mindlessly create and post. You can't phone it in and expect to get results. I think a lot of people probably are still in that mindset. There's a lot of competition out there, Chad. There are over two million blog posts created every single day.

Here are some of the stats from the Content Marketing Institute and the marketing products that they provided in their B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Report. I want to use this to help unpack some of this advice that Chad asked you to comment on why should we care. Eighty-eight percent of B2B marketers use content marketing. The secret's out, right? People will understand this, 88%. But, 30% of B2B marketers, Chad, say that their organizations are effective at content marketing. Only 30%. That's interesting, because last year 38% said they were effective. We're actually seeing more people getting into the game. I guess it makes some sense. People are feeling less effective with their content marketing strategies.

Fifty-five percent of B2B marketers said their organizations are unclear or unsure of what their content marketing success and effectiveness looks like. There's still a lot of confusion out there, even more than half the folks who are engaged in this. Forty-four percent of B2B marketers say their organization understands what they're doing. That's the other half of that. Only 32% of marketers have a documented strategy for content marketing. While 88% say they're doing it, only 32% of them have actually sat down and said hey guys we've got to write down what is our content marketing strategy.

And, 40% of the least effective marketers just have no strategy at all. They're just blasting out content, which is probably why they're feeling like this isn't working and it's working even less than last year.

On average, B2B marketers allocate 28% of their marketing budgets to content marketing. That's probably something interesting to note, as we know our small business customers ask us, Chad, every day how much should I be spending. So, 28% of their marketing budget on average. If you file that down to the most effective people in content marketing, they're allocating 42% of their budget. Those folks who have cracked this and figured out that it works are then ramping it up and putting more money into it. This is not a surprise and not rocket science.

Top three reasons B2B marketers are using content marketing (many should consider white label seo if they can't do a good job themselves). Well, number 1, 85% lead generation, 84% said sales, and 78% said lead nurturing. Obviously, they see the return on investment from leads, from sales, from nurturing, and so those folks who have a good strategy are writing it down and are putting more money into it.

4 Things Successful B2B Content Marketers Do

All right, here are some things they said coming out of this conference that successful B2B content marketers do these following four things:

  1. They understand what successful content marketing actually looks like. That's an understanding.
  2. They document their content marketing strategy and actually write it down so that it's documented somewhere.
  3. They document their editorial mission as separate from their marketing strategy.
  4. They communicate frequently with their teams.

Yeah, Adam, that is some really interesting information, and certainly interesting to see some of the trends going in the opposite way in many cases than you would think as we get further along with content marketing. We wanted to also turn this back and think about what does this mean for small businesses. Because a lot of the people that were probably at Content Marketing World are definitely in larger organizations.

What Should Small Business Marketers Know?

We have some suggestions and some takeaways that we'd like to talk to you about for small business content marketing strategies:

  1. All content should have a purpose. One of the founders of Content Marketing Institute said, "Mediocre content will hurt your brand more than nothing at all."
  2. You need to have a plan or a strategy. Don't just wing it. You want to track, monitor, adjust and evolve your plan.
  3. Your content is not about you. It's about your audience. It isn't about a hard sell. It's about providing something useful. You really should think about teaching and how can you share information and how can you entertain people.
  4. Put the time into the research. Know your audience. Know what they're looking for and how they're looking to consume it. Do keyword research. Those are all critical.
  5. SEO should complement your content. It's not an afterthought or reason to write the content. Audience is first, but always think about the search engines and the SEO value when you're writing your content and publishing it especially. Look at the topic and not just the keywords there.
  6. Don't be afraid to promote it. If you're ashamed to share it on social media, it probably means that you need to go back to the drawing board and do a better job with your content. Again, target those audiences so that you can get the maximum reach to that content so that you can accomplish some of the objectives that Adam laid out above.

That's what we have for today. Thank you again for joining the Weekly HubFeed. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel, drop a comment on our blog, and we'll see you next week.