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Content marketing is a great way to inform consumers and guide them towards your products or services. Unfortunately, content marketing requires time, energy and most of all: money. So, is it realistic to plan for content marketing on a small business budget? This depends, of course, on what the business is trying to accomplish and how savvy they are about SEO, but the answers might actually surprise you.
What is Content Marketing?
For those who aren’t aware, content marketing is posting content on the internet in the hopes that those reading it will buy something, either from the sidebar if the products or services are online, or from the store, which they will be enticed to travel to after they have read something.
Content marketing comes in all shapes and sizes. Content marketing can be anything from a 140 character tweet to a 2000 word blog post, but the goal is essentially the same. The intent is to get the consumer to do something after reading. That could be buying something, signing for an email list or simply viewing another page (and another round of ads) as is the case with most “Top Ten” websites. Cracked.com is a good example of this.
How Much Does Content Marketing Cost?
Asking how much content marketing costs is sort of like asking “how much does a bottle of wine cost?” In both cases, it depends upon the person selling it to you and the quality that you want. There are ways that you can estimate your cost. Internet marketing firms like The Social Savior give you a quote without any obligation so you can see just how much it would cost to start doing content marketing yourself. You might find that content marketing will actually save you some money.
The Benefits of Content Marketing
There are some pretty great benefits to content marketing. If you are thinking about doing it, and you wonder just how much it would help your business, here are some of the benefits that you might not even have thought of.
#1. You get more traffic
When you do content marketing you get more traffic to your website. Every time you publish something you get more content indexed for your website, and that means that with those new keywords can bring in new visitors. The more content you have, the more visitors will be able to find you through keywords. Of course, if you optimize for certain keywords that have high traffic but low competition you will be able to use your content marketing even more effectively.
#2. Engages your target audience
You have a target audience in mind for your products and services. When you write articles or blog posts about those topics, you are writing for that audience. You are engaging them in conversation and building a relationship with them. Building that potential customer base that is already engaged is something that will help your business far down the road.
#3. Increases sales
Obviously, if you are using content to bring in people to your website, sales are going to increase, particularly since, as mentioned in #2, you are writing for an audience that is already interested in your products and services. If you are publishing your articles on your website, you will get more search engine keyword results, and that will bring in more visitors. If you are publishing on another website and linking to yours, you will still have visitors coming through, plus the benefit described in the next item.
#4. Builds up natural links
Content marketing means that more people are going to link to your website, and that’s a good thing. When you get natural links, Google likes you even better and starts moving you up the SERPS. It might take a while to get somewhere where you’ll get noticed for the big keywords, but you’ll definitely get a boost in traffic from the smaller keywords.
#5. Builds your brand
When you do content marketing, you are putting your name and any visual tools (like a logo) out there. You are letting more and more people know about your products and services and that means that you build your brand a little bit, one article at a time.
#6. Establishes you as an industry leader
If you do content marketing, you’ll start to establish yourself as a knowledgeable and competent company (or person) and people will begin to trust you further and consider you an expert in your field and a leader in your industry. This translates directly into more sales.
#7. Content marketing actually saves you money
If you examine the cost of content marketing against the cost of television, radio or print advertising that you were doing previously, you will find that you spend far less on content marketing, and get a much better return that lasts forever instead of just while the ad is run on the radio or television.