Content Marketing Guide
Content marketing is the new marketing in the online marketplace.
Paid advertisements still work, but because online ads are so affordable for any size business, users are suffering from ad overload. About 198 million online users (37% market penetration) as of 2015 use ad blockers, and the numbers are rising rapidly.
Content, on the other hand, flies under the ad blocking radar, so you have a better chance of scoring a hit. At the same time, the costs of producing content for marketing is about 60% less than paid ads, and generates three times more leads.
Thus, there is an increasing focus on content to achieve the bulk of marketing goals, whether it is to promote a product or increase brand awareness, because users want something in return for their attention, and that is relevant information. In other words, if you want to get noticed, you’d better have something interesting to show or to say.
And that’s the conundrum. One survey shows that consistency is a key factor in customer satisfaction, and this applies to content to no small degree. On the other hand, about 60% of all content marketers churn out content at a daily basis. That’s about 2 million blog posts a day, a whole lot of competition for attention. How can you stand out?
It all boils down to achieving the right balance of quality and quantity. There is no hard and fast rule for this for all content marketers. Many factors can affect the frequency, type and goals of content you create, such as your target audience, your budget, and your business strategy. What does seem clear that you can’t afford to go to extremes on either side of the spectrum, literally and figuratively.
Churning out daily posts requires a lot of resources, as does top quality content. Sure, you can post content fast if you don’t bother too much about relevance or value, but that won’t really get you anywhere you want to go.
On the other hand, posting a really great article once a year is not an effective marketing strategy, either. You might get a lot of attention and get referenced a lot for a little while, but it would be short-lived if you don’t follow up with more content within a reasonable time.
The obvious solution is to find the middle ground, which is different for each company. You have to decide how often is often enough, and how good is good enough for your purposes. You should keep in mind, however, that the quality of your content has more impact on satisfying the needs of your target audience and the indexing algorithm of search engines. Consistent and current posts do come into the equation, but not as much as you may believe. Here are some points to ponder when debating the quality vs. quantity issue.
You can always reuse original content
When you hear “content,” most people think about text articles. However, there are many other forms of content, some of which are even more effective than text along.
Infographics, for example, are shared three times more on social media than other types of content. You also have several platforms you can use to deliver your message, such as blogs, email, and social media.
You can effectively use the same content, say a really good blog article, and reuse it in different forms on different platforms. You can create a video for YouTube or Facebook, condense the information in an email, upload photos on Instagram, and so on. You might have enough material in it for two weeks or more of daily posts if it has enough meat in it. Think of it as a delectable Thanksgiving turkey , which yields enough salad and sandwiches to last you a month.
It makes sense, then, to put a lot of effort into creating the original content, because quality content gives you better return on investment than a mediocre one you will use once, maybe twice on the outside.
You can republish authoritative content
They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. Chances are, you are not the highest authority on all types of relevant content you can post on a regular basis, so there is nothing wrong in republishing content from authority or trusted sites that you think will provide value to your audience.
The beauty of curating content from such sites is you get better engagement from your audience as well as other sites. Promoting others (not your competitors) and giving them credit in the post as well as external links can make you more popular if you curate ethically.
Of course, you shouldn’t exclusively curate content for your posts, although occasionally that works for some sites. In general, however, you should mix it up.
The ratio will depend on your business goals. If you have a good idea for content, then create. If you don’t, or you come across some really great article, then curate. The bonus of this strategy is that you don’t have to spend as much time on content creation otherwise, and you give your audience what they need and want consistently.
You can spend more time promoting great content
Search engine optimization has gotten so much attention that many authors forget optimization doesn’t stop at content creation. Once you post content, you shouldn’t dust off your hands and trust that your SEO tactics will work passively. If you devote time in promoting each post you publish, you won’t have to publish as much.
A good example is Social Triggers. Site owner Derek Halpern learned the hard way that working more doesn’t mean working well. In the case of blogs, he pointed out that new blogs with a small audience will not benefit from more content if there is no promotion.
The way to grow a blog was to spend some time in creating one piece of high quality content, and then promoting it as far as it would go before creating another one. Halpern has made it his strategy to post once a month, and promote it extensively. This was so effective his site audience has grown to 100,000 visitors in two years.
Finding the sweet spot for the quality and quantity of your content for marketing is something only you determine. However, you may want to focus more on quality because of the points just mentioned. It may take some time to get results, but acknowledging that more is not always better means you are definitely going in the right direction in content marketing.