Earlier today, I highlighted Shafqat Islam’s predictions about content marketing in 2014. But what about small businesses? What will their goals and challenges be with respect to content marketing? The B2B Content Marketing Trends report released by the Content Marketing Institute late last year reveals the unique challenges smaller enterprises face as they try to optimize their investment in this format.
SMBs understand the importance of content marketing but at least 34% say one of the biggest challenges they face is a lack of time. While their larger counterparts have developed an entire document content strategy (66%) and a person who oversees the content strategy, SMBs are struggling to determine who they can assign this task to. In some cases, the issue is a matter of expense. For example, only 28% of large companies produce their content completely in-house. However, 66% of small companies take on the task themselves.
A good content marketing program also means coming up with fresh material on a regular basis. Only 5% of large enterprises note that producing content is a challenge. However, it’s the second most urgent issue for SMBs with 13% of these enterprises claiming that generating a sufficient volume of content is a challenge. In addition to coming up with new content, marketers must also make the information engaging to current and prospective customers. At least 8% of SMBs are struggling to produce engaging white papers and videos.
Last year, the 2013 Lead Generation Insights report from Business.com revealed that SMBs rely on specific types of content to bring in new leads. White papers (25.3%), webinars (17.7%), and case studies/interactive product demos (15.6%) are considered the most valuable forms of content for SMBs who need to connect with prospects.
As SMBs engage with users who read or view their content, they are also collecting information. They believe the most valuable data they can glean from these interactions include the purchasing time horizon (51.3%), company size/employees (30.5%), and industry (29.1%).
If you’re working with SMBs to help them develop their content marketing strategies, what are you suggesting as top priorities for 2014?