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Are you wondering about the main pros and cons of content marketing for your business?

It’s no secret that the decision to take on content marketing can be a big one; huge, in fact. That’s why it’s best to get a fuller picture before you even begin to scout out looking at agencies who might be able to help you.

I see so many blog posts talking about the advantages of content marketing, but less about the disadvantages. So, I thought I’d try to provide a fuller picture.

Below, I’ve outlined the main pros and cons of content marketing for your business, to give you a better idea of whether or not it’s a good solution for you.

The pros

First, let’s look at some of the major advantages you can enjoy from a holistic content marketing – or inbound – strategy:

1. More cost-effective than traditional marketing

Typically, content, digital or inbound marketing only costs around a third of what you’d expect to pay for more traditional marketing techniques, and the quality of leads you’ll get in return is also much higher due to the fact most of them will be coming in from organic search.

This makes it a very attractive options for many businesses, as it can provide you with a relatively cheap stream of leads that are more or less ready-to-buy when they finally get in touch with you.

2. Connect with the right people at the right time

Because you’re writing content for your ideal clients (or buyer personas), and you’re matching the questions and phrases they type into Google, you attract the right people to your business at exactly the right time.

Opposed to, say, if you were just paying for ads, or buying a list from some sketchy agency on the internet.

3. Establish trust with your ideal clients

Because you’re providing useful, practical information without being salesy, you’re not only building a connection with your audience; you’re also establishing trust. So when it comes time to make a purchase, who do you think they’re going to come back to?

(Well, you, as long as you’ve done your job right!)

4. Shorten your sales cycle over time

One of the magical things about content or inbound marketing is that over time it can actually shorten your sales cycle. This is because you’re providing all the information your ideal clients need to make a purchase, so they can make more informed decisions faster.

Pretty neat, huh?

5. It builds on itself month-by-month

Did you know that 1 in 10 blog posts you write are compounding? Meaning that they’re still relevant and will continue generating traffic and leads for you in the long-term. You can find out more about compounding blog posts in this blog from Talk Business.

The cons

Now, let’s take an honest look at the downsides:

1. It can take a while to work

Content marketing isn’t a quick fix by any stretch. It’s more of a long-term strategy that can pay off in the long-run – as long as you stick to your strategy and don’t veer off-course.

Unfortunately, the time it takes for content marketing to work can vary from anything between the three-month mark, to even around nine months in. Unfortunately this depends on a lot of different factors, and sometimes it can be difficult to predict.

Pro tip: However, there are things you can do at the beginning of your strategy, like PPC, to keep momentum while you wait for content marketing to take effect.

So, if you’re looking for a quick, easy fix, content or inbound marketing probably isn’t the best solution for you.

2. It can be an investment

Another downfall of content marketing is that it ain’t cheap – many businesses look upon it as an investment. And, the chances are, that investment WILL pay off. You just have to hang in there.

In fact, the average cost of content, digital or inbound marketing is around £2,000 – £6,000 per month.

Like I mentioned in another blog post, there are ways you can cut down the costs, for instance by taking your content marketing in-house, but the amount of training and time required (especially if you don’t have your own marketing team) can be a bit of a bitch.

3. It’s not for everyone

It goes without saying that content marketing isn’t the best solution for everyone. If, for example, you don’t have the time to commit to creating (or helping your agency create) quality content, you’re probably better off looking for another solution.

Similarly, if your sales cycle is less than a week – or more like an impulse buy – that requires very little in the way of research from your clients, then it might not also be the best way to grow your business.

Pro tip: Check out our blog post entitled ‘Will Content Marketing Definitely Work For Your Business?’ to find out about whether it’s potentially a good route for you.

4. It can take a bit of effort

Technically, this is linked to no.3 in that creating and delivering on a solid content marketing strategy isn’t easy. It takes time and effort, even if you’re doing the majority of the work through an agency.

Most good agencies will want to work with you so that your knowledge, passion and experience shines through – rather than just taking what they need from whatever resources they can find on the internet.

This can take anything from two to four hours’ in terms of time commitment per week. But if you’re dedicated, and really care about providing helpful content your clients will love, they’ll know when they read it. That’s the pay-off.

5. You probably can’t do it yourself

If you’re new to the prospect of content marketing, your best bet is to go with a professional, certified agency or marketer who has the right experience, knowledge and certification for the job.

That’s not to say that you definitely CAN’T do it, but it’s so much more than just publishing a few blog posts once in a while. You need a solid strategy and a wide range of skills, from SEO and strategy development, to email nurturing, landing page creation and premium content design – not to mention writing the content itself!

It’s a big undertaking, so you’re going to want to know that your project is in the right hands.

Final thoughts

What do you think about the pros and cons of content marketing? Do the benefits outweigh the disadvantages? Is it really worth the hassle? Well, we think they do, and it is.

But of course, that’s just us.

What’s the biggest thing that puts you off content marketing? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear from you!

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Download the beginner's guide to content marketing