The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) recently issued its B2B small business report which tracks the marketing issues and trends for businesses with 10 to 99 employees. This year, small business marketers reported higher spending on content marketing over the next 12 months and that more than 55% are increasing budgets. In addition, the CMI also discovered that despite gains in marketing spending, many small business marketers are challenged with finding quality professionals.
B2B Small Business Marketing Results
Among the call-out results from report, CMI cited that nine out of 10 small-business marketers are spending their time trying to convert more visitations to their websites – even more so than their larger business counterparts. The Institute noted that website visitation goals are also related to lead generation and that small business marketers felt lead generation was one of the largest goals – even more so than brand awareness.
Also popular this year, is the use of social media in small business marketing plans. The percentage of those using social media tactics grew from 88% last year to 93% this year. Other increases in social media tactics included blogging (77% in 2014 and up to 87% in 2015) and infographics (60% this year over 48% last year).
Finding the Right People
One of the other advantages of content marketing is the impact on the online reputation for a small business. One of the key principles of online reputation management is the impact of your brand reputation on potential new employees.
According to a 2010 Microsoft study, 70% of recruiters and HR professionals have rejected candidates based on information they found online and 85% of recruiters and HR professionals say that a positive online reputation influences their hiring decisions. If you ever wondered how content marketing and hiring can influence your company’s online reputation, simply ask your job candidates how they learned more about your company – no doubt Google played a major role.
Despite the positive momentum this year, B2B small business marketers are feeling challenged. The one issue that comes up consistently for marketers regardless of the size of business they are promoting, is hiring able-professionals to get the job done. Despite many organizations’ ability to structure and operate their team structure, the CMI reported, “The research shows this is one challenge that is not alleviated with a documented content marketing strategy, which is the No. 1 indicator for content marketing success.”
The issue is that CMI said there is no one right way of structuring or operationalize the marketing team, but “you can shift your organization’s mindset,” reported CMI.
In a CMI article that offers advice on hiring marketing professionals, CMI researcher Michelle Lin writes that many are hiring professionals with marketing experience but not necessarily industry-related expertise. Lin reports that many professionals are now the approach that an effective marketing professional truly understands the audience and should look for professionals with “…expertise that’s beyond your product or your category…”
Lin also notes that many experts suggest looking at people who do not just churn out content but are strategizing as well. “Regardless of what role you need to fill, there is something about hiring people who create. Ideas are generally pretty easy to generate, but it’s the execution that is tough (and, truly, it’s the only thing that matters to your audience).”