Getting started with content marketing: 3 different frameworks for SMBs to set the right expectations

So you finally decided to embrace content marketing for 2018. That’s great news!

But do you really know what to expect in terms of investment? As we stated in a previous post, content marketing works… success is proven, but some upfront investment is required. Of course, it will depend on what you’re trying to achieve with content marketing (get better rankings, get more traffic etc.)

So how to have a clear view on this?

Here are 3 different frameworks to help you understand better what’s the minimum investment you can make to prove the value of content, and get you set up with the right expectations.

1. The SEO content strategy

How it works:

  • Build an SEO plan based on researching topics you want and can rank for.
  • Define a content plan.
  • Recruit corresponding resources.
  • Produce that content.
  • Distribute it for SEO results (backlinks, social…).

Expectations, risks and costs:

This plan will require an upfront investment in original content creation.

Success will be more organic traffic to the website, which is usually the best type of traffic (but again assuming you’ve got your topics right at the research phase as traffic doesn’t always equate revenue).

SEO is hard: success will depend on the quality of the upfront research and the quality and expertise of the writers.

Who it’s usually for:

Companies with transactional sales that can benefit from search traffic most (short sales cycles).

When brand awareness in itself is an objective (as opposed to revenue generation).

Your free resource to get started

Your guide to creating unicorn content by discovering and capitalizing on topic trends

2. The B2B lead generation content strategy

How it works:

  • Define buyer personas.
  • Map the buyer’s journey in funnel stages.
  • Document their topics of interest throughout the buyer’s journey by conducting interviews with customers and the sales team.
  • Define a content plan.
  • Recruit corresponding resources.
  • Produce that content.
  • Distribute it for conversion (social, social selling, email, retargeting…)

Expectations, risks and costs:

This plan will require an upfront investment in original content creation.

Success will be more MQL’s (marketing qualified leads) with a direct impact for the sales team.

Distribution has a cost: in highly competitive markets where vendors have embraced content marketing, the risk is to produce metoo content that will require content distribution efforts to generate results and that need to be factored in in the budget (tools, ads…).

Who it’s usually for:

B2B companies with a focus on demand and lead generation.

Companies where there is a strong demand for measurable ROI of marketing investments.

Your free resource to get started

How to design a content strategy that generates leads from day one

3. The SME-driven curated content strategy

How it works:

  • Start creating a culture of content by involving the team in content curation.
  • Learn what resonates with your audience with marginal efforts and investment.
  • Scale when you have content/market fit.

Expectations, risks and costs:

This plan is more progressive as the upfront investment is much smaller than in #1 or #2.

Success would be less ambitious initially (a more dynamic web presence but primarily a way to engage website visitors and email subscribers). But over time it’s about “learning by doing”: not just because you’ll see what topic and content resonates with your audience (without having to produce it) but also by getting everyone internally involved in content marketing – something that can be key if you believe that over time, your SME’s are the ones that will make your content more unique.

Success will depend on SME’s being really involved.

Who it’s usually for:

Companies where nurturing contacts and engaging website visitors is an objective in itself.

Companies with doubts about content marketing results but are looking to get their feet wet at marginal costs.

Your free resource to get started:

Content curation formats, benefits and technologies

 

If you want to get 30 effective techniques to master content marketing along with valuable insights from 10+ influencers like Mark Schaefer, Rebecca Lieb, Lee Odden, Jason Miller or Ian Cleary, download our free eBook now!

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About the Author

Guillaume Decugis
Co-Founder & CEO @Scoopit. Entrepreneur (Musiwave, Goojet). Engineer-turned-marketer. Skier. Rock singer. http://scoop.it/u/gdecugis

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