Is Content Marketing Worth it

Is Content Marketing Worth It in 2024?

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By Tomislav

Key Takeaways

Core Strategy: Content marketing is about prioritizing customer needs and value over direct sales, thinking like a media company to build trust and attract organic business.
Effectiveness and ROI: Achieving a positive ROI requires patient, strategic execution, balancing informational and sales-oriented content based on search intent. Measure success through audience engagement, backlinks, and increased traffic.
Budgeting and Challenges: Start with a manageable budget, focusing on time and effort, and adapt as results show. Overcome challenges like algorithm changes by building independent platforms and repurposing content.
Long-Term Benefits: Consistent content marketing leads to brand building, authority in your niche, improved sales, and targeted traffic, demanding long-term commitment and strategic planning.

Is Content Marketing Worth It for Your Business?

Businesses across various sizes and industries have successfully implemented content marketing.

Content marketing revolves around providing value, being consumer-centric, and solving people’s problems – essentially, putting the customer first.

When simplified, its effectiveness becomes apparent.

Major brands like John Deere utilize content marketing for positive outcomes.

John Deere’s The Furrow, launched 120 years ago, focuses on aiding farmers with information, only mentioning their company occasionally.

John Deere, a leader in agricultural machinery, chose to also be a major media presence in agriculture, building trust with farmers.

The key lies in thinking like a media company, not a salesperson.

By prioritizing audience value and organic business attraction, content marketing can be effective regardless of your company’s size or industry.

It’s also effective for personal brands and authority figures.

What Does It Mean to Think and Act Like a Media Company?

Thinking and acting like a media company in content marketing means producing useful content regularly for a targeted audience.

It’s about not being sales-oriented all the time.

While sales-oriented content is essential, making sales is crucial to stay in business.

The key is knowing when to be sales-oriented and when to focus on providing information.

Consider the search intent behind the keyword or topic to determine this balance.

Search intent, the motive behind a search query, falls into four categories:

For commercial and transactional search intents, being sales-oriented is appropriate and valuable.

In these cases, your audience expects and needs sales-oriented information.

Conversely, with informational search intent, sales tactics are less effective.

Here, the focus is 100% on delivering value with no expectations.

This is where you build trust and relationships, letting the “media company in you” shine.

Is Content Marketing Cost Effective?

Achieving a positive ROI is vital for business survival.

I empathize with the challenges you face as a business owner.

So, I’ll be direct. Content marketing is ROI positive only if:

  • Your execution is spot-on, creating content your audience wants and needs
  • You’re patient, as it can take months or years to see significant results
  • You recognize content creation is either labor-intensive in-house or costly when outsourced
  • You commit to publishing high-quality content amidst fierce competition
  • Consistency in publishing is maintained, a factor even search engines consider
  • You’re willing to master the nuances of the platforms where you publish your content

Thinking content marketing is a quick, easy solution for business success is a recipe for failure.

However, if you’re prepared for the sacrifices and committed to building a long-term online presence, content marketing might be your ideal path.

How Do You Measure Effectiveness of Content Marketing?

Measuring the effectiveness and ROI of content marketing isn’t as direct as with ad campaigns.

Having 1,000 page views on a blog article within a month doesn’t directly translate to leads or sales.

While general conversion statistics exist for every industry, true insight comes from creative tracking.

For instance, using different links for the same Sign-Up Form in various content pieces can pinpoint which drives the most sign-ups.

Or, if your CTA encourages a phone call, using unique virtual numbers for each content piece can track the source of customer calls.

Ultimately, you know your business best and will likely recognize new customers not linked to traditional marketing like paid ads.

Subtracting the number of customers from traditional marketing from your total customer count gives an estimate of those attributed to content marketing.

Indicators of successful content marketing include:

  • More audience engagement
  • More backlinks
  • More social shares
  • More social mentions
  • Increased traffic to your domain

How Big of a Budget Do You Need to Start with Content Marketing?

Reaching 1,000 people through Facebook Ads has a specific cost.

Facebook, like magazine ads, requires monetary payment for audience access.

However, content marketing can start on any budget, even zero.

Content marketing involves time and effort in exchange for results.

A larger budget can accelerate production, but there’s a cautionary note:

Because content marketing needs a diverse skill set, starting slow and learning is better than spending quickly and making costly mistakes.

Content marketing’s flexibility shines once you’ve mastered the basics, allowing you to scale up effectively.

How Do You Set the Initial Content Marketing Budget Without Jeopardizing Your Business?

Don’t pour your entire marketing budget into content marketing abruptly; it could be detrimental to your business.

A wise approach is to allocate a sum to content marketing that you can afford to see no immediate return on investment (ROI) from, without impacting your business operations.

For instance, if you invest $5,000 in content marketing and don’t see results within a year, it shouldn’t lead to your business’s downfall.

This strategy allows you to focus on creating consumer-centric and useful content without the pressure of immediate performance.

As results begin to emerge, you can then gradually increase your content marketing budget.

What Are Common Objections Marketers Have with Content Marketing?

Even seasoned marketers encounter challenges with content marketing.

One major hurdle is the ever-changing search and social media algorithms, which can severely affect content marketing outcomes.

For example, businesses reliant on Facebook’s free organic traffic suffered when algorithm changes drastically reduced organic reach.

The key is to build your own website and email list, ensuring control over your traffic sources.

Dependence on external platforms is risky; they can change the rules unexpectedly.

Another concern is the difficulty and scalability of producing high-quality content, as opposed to the relative ease of running ads.

More content demands more staff, leading to higher costs and potentially straining ROI.

A strategic solution is to maximize the value of your content by repurposing it.

For insights into effective content repurposing, see my article “17 Content Marketing Types and How to Repurpose Them.”

Measuring the effectiveness of content marketing also presents a challenge, as it doesn’t always provide immediate, tangible metrics like traditional marketing efforts.

Content marketing is more about long-term goals such as brand building, increasing awareness, establishing trust, and nurturing customer relationships.

What are the Benefits of Content Marketing?

If you’ve delved into this far and are committed to using content marketing to enhance business outcomes, brace yourself for an exciting journey.

Anticipate a challenging year full of doubts and hard work.

However, with consistent and improving execution, you’ll see substantial benefits such as:

  • Brand building and heightened brand awareness
  • Establishing authority within your niche or industry
  • Boosting sales and lead generation
  • Reducing costs per sale or lead
  • Enhancing SEO
  • Attracting targeted and organic traffic

For additional insights into why content marketing is vital and its impact on your business, I invite you to read my detailed article on the subject.