We want results, and we want them now. Whether it’s a new diet, a fitness routine or even a dating app, we are more impatient to see results than ever before. This need for speed is what researchers like to call “instant gratification”. Thanks to advanced technologies and real-time communication, we’re increasingly impatient and expect positive outcomes immediately.
However, like trying a new diet or finding the right one, there are certain things that take time to flourish. One of those things is content marketing, which can include: blogs, infographics, social media, eBooks, podcasts, and even memes.
The Internet is a machine that is always on and pumping out millions of pieces of content every day. So, it’s going to take a while before your content moves up the search engine ranks, and you start seeing the rewards from all your marketing efforts.
However, there are a few characteristics of content marketing that can increase your chances of reaching the top a little faster.
Consistent, High-Quality Blogs
What makes a blog “high-quality”? For one, you need consistent, excellent writing that is original and free of grammar and formatting mistakes. But, that’s the bare minimum. You also need content that is valuable and interesting to your target audiences. Test this by asking: Is there a market or a need for it? Would people value it so much that they’d share it with their network or buy it?
Also, well-crafted blogs are usually evergreen. Evergreen means that it can be re-purposed for years after it is produced, because the information will still be relevant and valuable. This quality is vital, and it can cut the cost of marketing.
Many other traditional marketing efforts that you pay for, like paid search ads may get you traffic━as long as you are pumping a constant stream of money into them. When you turn that money pump off, the traffic stops with it. On the other hand, if you have high-quality, evergreen content, it could generate traffic years after being posted.
For example, a blog that is one, two or even three or more years old can still show up in top search results and get clicks, without pouring any money into it.
Engaging Social Media Marketing
Posts that just sit on your blog may generate content, but if you’re not sharing it anywhere else, it’s like the tree falling in the woods. Social media is one way to distribute your content to a network of people. Of course, if you haven’t built up a community on social media, you’ll need to nurture the channels that you use and wait patiently for them to flourish. In other words, you need to wait again━probably not what you wanted to hear.
Many marketers and businesses confuse advertising and sales efforts with their social media marketing. However, social media is about building relationships and an active community. Eventually, those relationships could lead to increased exposure and sales, but that is not the main goal. With that in mind, there are some key tactics that you can use to increase the performance of your social media content.
Vary the channels that you use, so that it fits with your audience and message.
For instance, more B2B businesses are using LinkedIn to post blogs and seeing success. However, a fashion business that is B2C probably wouldn’t perform as well. Instead, they would likely see more results by utilizing visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Using a mix of channels helps you avoid putting all of your “eggs into one basket”, but make sure you choose your channels wisely.
Stay ahead of trends and performance.
Like search engines, social media channels are constantly changing their ranking algorithms, which means that you have to stay on top of the latest updates. Track your posts, analyze their performance through reach and engagement metrics and adjust accordingly.
Search Engine Optimization
What is one of the primary benefits of all your blogs, social media and other content marketing? It improves SEO, which can boost your Google ranking and the amount of organic traffic to your website.
Not only is it increasing the amount of traffic on your website, but it’s also improving the quality of traffic. The people that are coming to your site have been brought here by content that reflects who you are and what you do. These are your target audiences, the people that are most likely to be interested in and benefit from your services. This all means that they are also more likely to result in a conversion than someone who just happened to click on an ad. But, you still need to have the right elements in place to create that conversion.
To do this, focus on your inbound marketing campaign layout.
What is inbound marketing? The term confuses many people. Part of the reason is because it often gets confused with content marketing, but there is a difference.
Content marketing is essentially a subset of your overall inbound marketing campaign. It includes those pieces of content like newsletters and blogs, but it also focuses on how your users interact with your content.
The idea behind inbound marketing campaigns is that you are producing quality content, SEO and other communication and tactics to bring people to your site. Once they are there, you need to have a landing page or process in place to engage them, keep them there and usually perform some type of call-to-action, whether it is signing up for email newsletters, downloading an eBook or joining your Facebook page. When done well, inbound marketing has huge benefits. For one, leads from inbound marketing cost 61% less than those from outbound.
When should you start seeing all this hard work pay off? It varies, but in most cases, it is somewhere between 6 months to a year. If after that time, you still aren’t seeing any significant results, it is time to reevaluate and change your strategy.
Track your progress.
Even though content marketing takes more time to see results, that doesn’t mean that you just sit around, twiddle your thumbs and hope for the positive benefits to roll in. During this time, you should be tracking all of your efforts on a regular basis.
As you go along in your blogging, social media and other content marketing efforts, it is important to have some reporting system in place. You should analyze and take note of what types of content get the most clicks, shares or other key performance indicators (KPIs) for engagement. Take those cues to help you improve your results and craft more effective content and strategy in the future.
Content marketing takes a lot of TLC to develop, but once it does, you’ll finally see the benefits of all your hard work. But don’t give up too soon, and remember that you don’t have to do it all on your own. For marketing support and advice, feel free to contact us.