To begin, I would like to tell you about a story that the ancient Mayan tribes used to pass on from mouth to mouth. It is the legend of the Dwarf of Uxmal.
In ancient times there lived a lonely woman. Late in life, the gods took pity on her and gave her a son. The baby was a dwarf, but according to an ancient prophecy, he was to become the new king.
When the child grew up, the current king of the city recognized who he was. He did not like the fact that he had a competitor, so he began to give the dwarf impracticable tasks. Much to the king’s dismay, the dwarf was able to perform them with brilliance.
The king died of grief, and the dwarf began to rule the city. The king-dwarf built a big and beautiful city, and his people loved him very much. Even after the king died, people remembered him and erected monuments in his honor.
So what does this have to do with your content approach? With the help of this Mayan legend, I wanted to metaphorically show that small companies can achieve a lot if they take the correct course of action.
In our article, we will discuss how companies of different sizes should deal with content marketing, because every business should behave by taking into account the nuances of its size.
We will discuss why it is important to deal with content marketing based on the size of the company and give you some practical advice.
How Businesses Differ in Size
There are three types of company sizes:
- Small businesses
- Medium businesses
- Large enterprises
Gartner defines small businesses as organizations with fewer than 100 employees and less than $50 million in annual revenue.
An example of a small business may be Apixio, a data science company for healthcare. According to Owler, Apixio has 50 employees and an estimated annual revenue of $1 million.
Gartner considers those companies that have from 100 to 999 employees and makes a profit of more than $50 million, but less than $1 billion in annual revenue as medium businesses.
For instance, Zuora, a SaaS billing and payment company, is a mid-sized business. According to Owler, Zuora has 566 employees and an estimated annual revenue of $100 million.
Gartner defines large enterprises as the companies that have more than 999 employees and makes more than $1 billion in annual revenue.
Take IBM, for example. Owler estimates that IBM has 377,757 employees and an estimated annual revenue of $76.3 billion.
Why It Is Important to Differentiate Content Marketing Approaches According to a Company’s Size
- Companies of different sizes have different goals
The ultimate goal of a startup is building brand awareness.
Taking this goal into account, startups will aim their content marketing efforts at the creation of their brand identity and the development of a unique voice.
They will strive to stand out of the crowd and away from other similar companies with the help of their distinctive writing style, visual materials, and so on.
For large enterprises, it is more important to aim at new target audiences because they are interested in entering new markets and expanding their area of influence.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, large enterprises have several target audiences. The average number of audiences is 6, but sometimes they may target up to 10.
Thus, one of the additional goals for large enterprises is to stay at the same high level of business despite fierce competition among similar giant companies.
Actually, we all know that the ultimate goal of every enterprise is the world domination. (Source: wikipedia.org)
Because of its different goals, startups and enterprises have entirely different approaches to content marketing. The experience I got while building Kraftblick also supports this claim.
Companies of different sizes have different budgets
A small business usually doesn’t operate by expending large sums of money; the inverse is true for a huge corporation. This fact influences businesses in the following way:
Firstly, the budget directly affects the number of the employees and, in particular, specialists who deal with content marketing.
According to the “2017 B2B Enterprise Content Marketing” study by the Content Marketing Institute, the vast majority of large enterprises have specialized departments that deal only with content marketing:
At the same time, small businesses may consider hiring professional writers which can cost them a pretty penny.
That’s why startups may prefer to save money and delegate content production to an existing employee who already has a lot of other responsibilities. So an ordinary programmer, marketer, CEO or CMO may be involved in content marketing.
Secondly, startups may not have enough funds to produce various types of content such as infographics, videos and more.
To make high-quality video content, for example, you need a studio and expensive equipment such as a professional camera, and other technology.
Only companies that can afford certain risks and have enough funds can attempt to produce more complex types of content.
- Companies of different sizes have different opportunities for content distribution
Read more: How Startup Companies’ Blogs Should Differentiate from the Blogs of Enterprise Companies. Part II
Unfortunately, even if a company has ready-made and high-quality content, this does not mean that potential customers will see it.
Because of the lack of funds, many channels of content distribution may be inaccessible to small and little-known companies.
Some channels like banner advertising, for example, require larger investments.
So, if you want to place a banner ad on a popular search engine such as Yahoo!, you will pay between $20 to $50 per 1,000 times your banner ad is displayed.
Consequently, if you want to get 100,000 impressions from Yahoo!, you will have to pay no less than $2,000.
But not all companies have a tremendous amount of funds, nor can they afford such expenses.
What Should Small Businesses Do to Succeed in Content Marketing?
Here are some useful tips when considering content marketing for small companies.
- Focus on blogging
As mentioned above, sometimes small businesses are not able to produce complex types of content, e.g. video and audio content, because of their small marketing budgets.
In this case, small businesses should consider one of the cheapest and extremely effective types of content – blogging.
According to Hubspot,
“Businesses that blog regularly witness their monthly leads rise by 126% more than those who don’t.”
Moreover, blogging allows them to improve their ROI which is especially important for small companies when looking for investors. Only a few investors will deal with a company that does not repel its marketing costs.
State of Inbound claims,
“Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to achieve a positive ROI on their efforts.”
That’s why posting on the company blog should certainly be a priority for any small business.
- Know the target audience
Read more: Scheduling Blog Posts Efficiently (Kraftblick's Editorial Calendar Revealed) [Infographic]
To create relevant content, you need to know what your readers want to read about and what types of problems they encounter.
The Content Marketing Institute reports,
“Gaining a better understanding of the audience was one of the top five priorities for UK content marketers in 2016.”
46% of all the respondents named this as their goal.
One of the ways to study your target audience is to monitor the content of competitors with the help of analysis tools such as Buzzsumo, Ahrefs, and others.
These resources allow you to find out what competitors’ articles are most popular, and consequently, which topics are of particular interest to your target audience.
Liam Fisher says,
“A successful content strategy hinges on painstaking research.”
All you have to do after you have done the necessary competitor analysis is to submit the discovered topics under a different and appealing angle to avoid repetition.
What Should Mid-Sized Businesses Do to Succeed in Content Marketing?
Here is what mid-sized companies should do:
- Outsource content creation
“Lack of human resources (42%) and lack of budget (35%) are key barriers to content marketing.”
A good idea may be to outsource content production.
Sujan Patel, a growth marketer and entrepreneur, confirms that,
“If you don’t have the skills, time, or inclination to produce content in-house (and you don’t want the expense of employing someone full-time), you’re going to be outsourcing it.”
Today, outsourcing is becoming a widespread practice.
“54% of brands don’t have an on-site, dedicated content creator.”
The only problem, in this case, is to find qualified freelancers or a competent agency that can produce high-quality content.
- Sponsor content promotion
More and more businesses are beginning to very actively promote their company, services, and products.
According to the latest Orbit Media Studios survey, there is a 60% increase in the number of content creators promoting their content via email and a 3x increase in the number of paid promotions used to boost blog traffic over the last two years.
Generally speaking, there are a number of paid options to promote content.
The Content Marketing Institute states that the three most popular means to promote content for B2B content marketers are Search Engine Marketing (66%), print or other offline promotion (57%), and traditional online banner ads (55%).
Companies can also promote their content with the help of social media. The choice of a social media platform depends on the specifics of the industry.
The LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community report claims that the top five most effective social media platforms to promote content and engage audiences are LinkedIn (82% effective), Twitter (66% effective), YouTube (64% effective), Facebook (41% effective), and SlideShare (38% effective).
B2B businesses should mostly employ LinkedIn as their target audience resides there.
According to Inside View, LinkedIn generates more leads for B2B companies than Facebook and Twitter.
What Should Large Enterprises Do to Succeed in Content Marketing?
Taking into account the specific goals of large companies, here is what they should do:
- Develop and invest in close relationships with writers that live and breathe content
Large companies should entrust content production to the best specialists who are well versed in what they write about.
The Content Marketing Institute says that finding trained content writers is one of the biggest challenges for all large enterprises.
One way to find skilled specialists is to look through the authors of the articles on top business and tech resources such as Forbes, Techcrunch, Venturebeat, and the like.
While looking through them, an authors’ specialization should be considered as a crucial factor when contemplating on making a job offer to one of them.
At the same time, it is extremely tough to interest them. These authors are highly proficient, and many companies offer them various jobs. So you need to make your offer extremely attractive in order to engage these authors.
The best writers can also be found on various top lists. For example, here is a list of the best tech writers of 2016.
To get leads and achieve success it is necessary to consider the size of the company when engaging in content marketing.
Here are the main findings to consider when thinking about content marketing for companies of different sizes:
- Small businesses should primarily focus on blogging as a cheap and effective marketing mean as well as studying the peculiarities of their target audience to create only relevant content.
- Mid-sized businesses should outsource content creation to save human and financial resources and sponsor the promotion of their content to keep up with their competitors.
- Large enterprises should develop and invest in close relationships with publishers or agencies that live and breathe content to be competitive.
In your opinion, does the size of the company affect its approach to content marketing? How, and in what way, does this influence turn up? Please, share your thoughts with us.