PROMOTING SMALL BUSINESSES IN THE NEW WORLD – HOW TO SURVIVE AND GROW
Published July 15th, 2022 by Annika Bansal
The time when paid traffic sources could bring a guaranteed profit is long gone. CPC (aka cost per click) advertising now requires a significant chunk of the company’s budget, amounting to 90–100% and sometimes even a whopping 200% of the revenue. The reason behind such a dynamic is that larger companies fight for market share and not profit, leaving small businesses few options and at a huge competitive disadvantage. The only affordable traffic source left for small and midsize businesses in this harsh new reality is content marketing.
It is an especially pressing issue in the American market, which is oversaturated by relatively cheap venture capital money. It allows companies to attract new customers while not promising returns, with the sole purpose of keeping the company share bubble constantly rising. This system has crippled small businesses, which operate for net profit and are simply not able to compete with corporations. People are forced to close down their family companies and apply for jobs at the very corporations that have destroyed their business, letting go of their little project and the American Dream. However, such a trend harms not only small businesses but also customers since the fewer actors there are in the market, the less diverse this market becomes. This, in turn, results in a gradual and steady decline in service quality, which we all encounter on a day-to-day basis. After all, the consumer’s product choice is limited to what corporations offer them!
Our most resourceful entrepreneurs have found a way out of this daunting situation by turning to content marketing. Content marketing is the fastest-growing marketing approach in the advertising industry, with today’s competition over content being so intense that it has become a challenging endeavor for small businesses. Small businesses have traditionally been implementing two main strategies in their content marketing. The first one entails filling up social media with cheaply made, low-quality content, which in some way allowed companies to stay in the public eye. The second strategy is to create expensive, high-quality content but post it much less frequently, retaining fewer users but with a higher level of engagement. Medium and large businesses hire giant teams for content creation and bear immense costs to keep the content quality high. However, despite overfunding, corporations fail to provide the customer with what matters the most – diversity, which the modern, sophisticated customer is constantly after.
There is some more exciting news for small businesses here. The young talented videographer Natalia Kleinotskaya has recently developed a third strategy that not only combines the advantages of the mentioned strategies but also has little to none of their flaws. The core of this strategy is content batching for small businesses. Natalia has crafted and successfully implemented the new video content format: it involves creating a batch of 10—15-second videos combined in a conventional ‘miniseries’ by a content plan. Filming diverse themed content for a client usually requires a pre-agreed script and is done in one shooting day, with the filming equipment set up only once. After that, the content is edited and handed over to the client in a ready-to-publish format according to the content plan.
The batching approach to content production reduces the expenses of small businesses tenfold and allows them to stand out from competitors who are still implementing outdated strategies. Another important aspect of this approach is that the company posting such content ends up with much higher view rates due to a higher virality of this content. That is because social media algorithms prioritize regularly posted high-quality content and promotes it through organic growth, which spikes the number of views. At the same time, the series format encourages users to keep coming back to see the next part. The proposed strategy allows small businesses to not only compete with corporations on equal terms but even beat them by cutting expenses and increasing company efficiency.
Unfortunately, the good news ends here – the country has experienced a record shortage of independent, qualified videographers this year. One of the major factors to this problem is that newly graduated talent receives job offers from large film and video production companies that provide them with decent salaries and career prospects. It is indeed a great opportunity for these young people, and one can only be happy for them; however, this does pose new significant challenges for small businesses.