I recently came across and then shared on Twitter a post about how smaller brands generally dominate content marketing. The point here was that smaller brands, who operate on typically much smaller marketing budgets, but greater effort into generating more quality content and in general, great content marketing campaigns from smaller brands are much easier to find than those from big brands. The post was written by Johan du Toit and can be found here.
I’d have to say that I agree with that theory in general, but I do not believe the reason is because smaller brands try harder to do so and are therefore winning a race to great content. In my opinion, big brands simply don’t need or benefit from the value received from content marketing in the way that smaller brands do.
Content marketing provides businesses with a dose of all of the above, brand recognition, credibility / thought leadership growth, leads, backlinks and social mentions for the most part. The power of a big brand alone takes care of the first few benefits in this list, the power of a big budget can typically handle the rest.
For example, take the total annual conference speaking engagements for the average mid-sized IT company. A company like Cisco will produce the same number of conference and event speakers in a day globally. Brand recognition, credibility, thought leadership and more, a fantastic content marketing piece wouldn’t be able to match that level of results.
Other benefits of content marketing such as leads, backlinks and social mentions, organically, most big brands produce a far greater volume of these than what a small brand / medium sized business can manufacture.
To add to this, I also think that if orchestrated, big brands could very easily dominate content marketing. Obviously from the potential reach, but I mean more in terms of quality in this case. A company like Cisco, to use them as an example again, could more easily pool together some of the most respected and recognizable minds in the networking field, probably some of which are full-time Cisco employees, to create a white paper on networking best practices. The smaller business with the same idea wouldn’t necessarily be able to do something like that all that easily, and maybe employs one or two SME’s to the white paper. Cisco likely gets higher quality content in this case, you have a handful of the world’s best SME’s each contributing in a category that they specialize in, versus the smaller number of professionals, spreading out their contributions a bit more.
I think that this is a good thing, if big brands needed content marketing the way that smaller brands do, then the opportunity wouldn’t be there quite as much as it is now for smaller brands.