Thinking about investing in content marketing to grow your business? You’re far from alone. In fact, most have already jumped on board!
However, successful content marketing is very involved and can be costly. You’ll need a good strategy, channel experts, content creators, and a whole lot of consistency — just to name a few things.
The good news? The money you spend isn’t just an expense. It’s an investment in your brand and business — and it can offer exponential returns if your marketing is done well.
More good news? The initial investment doesn’t have to come out of your own pocket!
Here’s all you need to know about finding a competitive small business loan to fund your content marketing strategy.
How do I get a business loan for content marketing?
A business loan can give you the cash you need to jump-start your content marketing plan. Then, a well-implemented strategy can help you repay your loan. But where can you find a business loan that can be used on marketing?
Here are 10 of the leading names in small business lending:
- OnDeck: Lines of credit up to $100K and loans up to $250K. To qualify, you need one year in business, $100K in annual revenue, and a 600 credit score.
- BlueVine: Lines of credit up to $100K. To qualify, you need $10,000 in monthly revenue, a 600+ credit score, and at least six months in business.
- Fundbox: Lines of credit and term loans up to $150K. To qualify, you need at least $100K in annual revenue, at least six months in business, and a 600+ credit score.
- Fora Financial: Term loans up to $500K. To qualify, you need at least six months in business and at least $12,000 in gross sales.
- Biz 2 Credit: Term loans up to $250K. Most borrowers have a credit score of at least 660, at least 18 months in business, and annual revenue over $250K.
- Kiva: Kiva is a non-profit crowdfunding platform that offers loans up to $15K at 0% interest. However, to qualify, you’ll need to get people you know to lend to you first in an eligibility model called social underwriting.
- Fundera: A platform that matches you with loan products and a lending specialist to help you find the best deal.
- Lendio: A platform designed to help small business owners find the best loan for their needs from 75+ lenders.
- SBA Loans: The U.S. Small Business Administration helps business owners by backing low-interest loans provided by third parties. While the process is typically a bit lengthier than with non-SBA loans, the terms are often more favorable.
Getting a business loan has never been easier! Long gone are the days when you have to go into your bank with a full business plan and plead your case to someone behind a desk. Today, many online lenders are competing for your business. You can apply and get offers within minutes, literally. The tougher task is finding the loan that offers you the best deal.
How to find the right lender for your business
With so many lenders out there, how do you find the right one for your business? Vet them according to these factors:
Each lender has its own eligibility requirements, so you may qualify with one and not another. Being so, it’s important to check what a lender requires before you apply.
Often, they’ll have minimum requirements for your personal credit score, time in business, and annual revenue. They also typically require you to have a business bank account and be based in the U.S.
Interest rates determine how much you will pay to borrow the money. The best lender is going to be one with a very competitive rate to keep your costs down. Check for the starting interest rates lenders offer. However, keep in mind that the rate you get will depend on the risk you present.
The loan term determines how long you have to repay the money and will impact your monthly payment amount. While longer terms lower your monthly payments, they can cause your overall cost to go up because you’re paying more interest. However, terms that are too short can result in higher monthly payments that don’t fit your budget. Look for a lender with a repayment period that strikes the right balance for your needs.
Loan amounts also vary from one lender to the next. Before you start shopping, do your homework to figure out how much you want to borrow to kick off your content marketing strategy. Then, look for lenders offering a range that suits your desired loan amount.
Many lenders charge fees in addition to interest, such as a loan origination fee or prepayment penalty. Be sure to find out if a lender charges fees and how much they will add to your total borrowing costs. (Hint: They aren’t always advertised front and center).
Also, look at the loan products on offer. For example, lenders may offer term loans or lines of credit. A line of credit could be more advantageous if you don’t need all the money at once. You can withdraw funds as you need them and only pay interest from the date of withdrawal. On the other hand, a term loan may be better if you need all the money upfront in a lump sum.
Be sure to do your research and look for a lender with the loan product that best suits your needs.
Many borrowers don’t think about customer service until they need it, which can be too late. It’s best to look up a lender’s online reviews from past borrowers beforehand. Look for generally good reviews and satisfied customers.
Time to funding
Something else to consider is how long a lender takes to fund the loan. If you need the money quickly, this will be a critical factor. Some lenders fund loans in as little as one day. However, others can take months.
Ease of application
Lastly, consider how easy it is to apply for a loan. Many lenders today let you apply online and connect your financial accounts for a seamless experience. Others have clunkier processes that require faxing or emailing documents and manual verification. If time is of the essence, you’ll want a tech-savvy online lender that prioritizes the user experience.
As you browse lenders, keep a checklist of these factors nearby (or you can bookmark this article). You’ll want to find the lender that offers the best overall value — with all of the above considered.
Pro tip: A platform like Lendio or Fundera can help you to apply with many lenders at one time and compare their offerings side-by-side.
Frequently asked questions about content marketing
Now here’s a look at the answers to some frequently asked questions about content marketing.
Why invest in content marketing?
People are spending more time online and want quality content to help them make buying decisions. Consider that 70% of consumers reported that they preferred to learn about a product from an article over an ad.
Creating content meets the needs of consumers and allows you to nurture prospects down each step of your buying funnel. In the recent Hubspot survey of 1,500 marketers, 75% of marketers found that their SEO tactics were “extremely” or “very effective” at helping them achieve their marketing goals.
How much does content marketing cost?
According to Investisdigital, it can range anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 per month, on average.
Content marketing is much more than just publishing a blog post or keeping up a Facebook business page. It’s a complex strategy that uses multiple channels and a complex puzzle of content pieces to strategically get the attention of a particular audience and guide them toward a specific action. There are many pieces to a content marketing strategy, including:
- Content audit
- Content marketing strategy development
- Content creation
- Content optimization
- Content publishing
- Content promotion
- Tracking results and continuously optimizing strategy
Each step of the process comes with a need for individuals with expertise. However, the cost you pay will depend on the size of your company, the complexity of your strategy, your goals, and the level of talent you want to hire.
How can you build a content marketing team?
As a business owner, there are three main approaches you can take when building a content marketing team.
1. Build an in-house team
First, you could bring on an in-house content marketing manager and all of the people you need to implement the strategy, including writers, editors, SEO experts, strategists, and more. However, that can mean a great deal of overhead.
2. Hire an agency
Another option is to hire an agency that specializes in content marketing and has its own team. Then, you can pay the agency on a contract basis to handle the project. However, that can still be rather expensive.
3. Outsource a team
If you want to cut costs, you could piece together your own team of independent contractors who are each great at what they do. Further, you can even take on some of the roles yourself if you want to cut costs further.
There are many places to source freelancers. However, platforms like NDash separate the wheat from the chaff for you. It’s a place you can find highly qualified experts with a proven track record of success.
This piece, “Content Marketing: AboutFinding Business Loans,” is brought to you by nDash community member Jessica Walrack. Jessica is a full-time freelance marketing writer and strategist with eight years of experience specializing in personal finance, small business finance, and digital marketing. She’s been featured on leading financial sites, including MSN Money, The Balance, Biz2Credit, The Simple Dollar, Interest.com, Commonbond, Bankrate, Guardian, and more. Hire her for your brand on nDash.
Want to browse highly-qualified freelance talent? Check out nDash’s talented writers today!