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Size Counts When You’re Doing Content

February 11, 2011
By Ray Schultz

Small business owners don’t have time to waste. They expect leads when they post custom content.

Large firms depend less on new customers. So they want loyalty.

That said, the two groups aren’t as far apart as you might think, according to research by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI).

Both, for example, list brand awareness as their leading goal. They send email newsletters in exactly the same proportion. And they have trouble “producing the kind of content that engages.”

But there are differences.

The big guys spend more on content, although it gets a smaller share of their budget. Money is an obstacle at 22% of the large firms and 18% of the small ones.

At the same time, the small fry have a harder time creating enough material, and they’re less likely to do content at all (87% do, compared with 91% of the larger firms). What’s more, many shy away from events, Webinars, videos and print magazines. (Time out for a definition: Small businesses are those with 1 to 99 employees, large organizations those with 1000+).

On the positive side, smaller players are more likely to:

  • Use social media, blogs and eBooks.
  • Produce content inhouse. (They have a good work ethic).

Take these findings for what they’re worth. CMI polled 264 large firms and 322 small ones as part of a broader trend survey. These breakouts may not be valid, although they seem right based on anecdotal evidence.

Here are some stats from the research:

Content Marketing Tactics Used by Large Companies

  1. Articles—83%
  2. In-person events—75%
  3. Social media—71%
  4. eNewsletters—63%
  5. Case studies—62%

Content Marketing tactics used by Small Companies

  1. Social media—84%
  2. Articles—76%
  3. eNewsletters—63%
  4. Case studies—59%
  5. Blogs—57%

Content Goals at Large Companies

  1. Brand awareness—83%
  2. Customer retention/loyalty—70%
  3. Lead Generation—58%
  4. Customer recruitment—57%
  5. Thought Leadership–53%

 Content Goals at Small Companies

  1. Brand awareness—74%
  2. Lead generation—68%
  3. Customer retention loyalty—67%
  4. Customer recruitment—60%
  5. Web site traffic–56%

Metrics Used by Large Companies

  1. Web traffic – 53%
  2. Qualitative feedback – 50%)
  3. Direct sales – 48%
  4. Sales lead quality – 43%
  5. Sales lead quantity – 38%

Metrics Used by Small Companies

  1. Web traffic – 61%
  2. Direct sales – 53%
  3. Sales lead quality – 49%
  4. Qualitative feedback – 42%
  5. Sales lead quantity – 37%

The Top Challenges for Large Companies

  1. Producing the kind of content that engages prospects/customers—38%
  2. Budget to produce enough content—22%
  3. Producing enough content—14%
  4. Lack of buy-in from higher-ups—14%
  5. Producing a variety of content—7%

The Top Challenges for Small Companies

  1. Producing the kind of content that engages—35%
  2. Producing enough content—22%
  3. Budget to produce content—18%
  4. Lack of buy-in/vision from higher-ups—11%
  5. Producing a variety of content—9%

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