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    | 5 min read

    Content Marketing Is a Commitment, Not a Campaign

    The prospect of quick and easy returns can be a real temptation in the marketing world. Everyone wants to run the campaign that immediately brings in leads and gives the company's bottom line a huge boost. However, the reality is that successful marketing requires diligence, skill, and, above all, patience if you want to see results.

    This is especially true of content marketing.

    Unlike pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns and other paid initiatives, content marketing is a long-term campaign. It requires a significant investment of time, energy, and resources. Nevertheless, when properly executed it can yield unsurpassed benefits for your company in terms of generating highly targeted and qualified leads for your sales funnel.In this article, we provide answers to the common questions most business leaders have about content marketing:

    Are you ready to dig in? Let's begin with the reason why we're talking about content in the first place:

    Why Is Content Marketing So Important?

    The fact is that content marketing offers one of the highest ROIs of any form of digital marketing today. Even though it usually takes a while to build momentum, exceptional content can generate more traffic and leads than even the most well-designed paid search campaign. Here are some stats to back this claim up:

    • According to a 2017 study by the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing generates 3 times more leads than paid search advertising.
    • Leaders in the field of content marketing experience 7.8 times more site traffic than companies that have not yet invested in this channel.
    • In 2019, it took 65% more time to write a blog compared to 2014 (3 hours and 57 minutes compared to 2 hours and 24 minutes). Why the difference? Marketers are investing more time in crafting high-quality articles and long-form pieces for their target readers.
    • 7 out of 10 marketers are actively investing in content marketing.

    This graphic shows a content marketing website with organic traffic growth over a 90 day period

    What do the above figures and this organic traffic growth example teach us? Simply put: content marketing is an important piece of many companies' overall business strategy because it works. Still, it requires effort to leverage content marketing into sustainable growth. Like they say: no pain, no gain.

    Why Is Content Marketing a Marathon Instead of a Sprint?

    Sometimes company executives approach content marketing with unrealistic expectations. They may think that once a few pieces of content are uploaded to the company website, leads will start pouring in, and profits will soar.

    If you are harboring even the tiniest notion that content marketing works that way, get rid of that thought immediately. The fact is, successful content marketing requires two key ingredients: high-quality content, and long-term commitment. Here are 3 reasons why it's important to stick it out with any content marketing program:

    Content Marketing Doesn't Generate Leads Quickly

    At least not in the early stages of implementation. Actually, it could take anywhere from 3 months to a year or more for you to start seeing tangible results from your content marketing program. The timeline will depend on a lot of factors, including the nature of your product, your content's reach, and the makeup of your target audience.

    Here's the bottom line: if you abandon ship after a few months, you may never see those results you expected. If you're patient, you'll likely find that it was well worth the wait.

    Content Marketing Can Yield Compounded Returns, Year Over Year

    One of the wonderful things about content marketing, (and one of the main reasons why it requires a long-term commitment), is that it slowly builds momentum over time — often without the need for a bigger investment of time or money.

    momentum-builds-with-content-marketingTo illustrate this principle, imagine that you publish 200 blogs in your first year of content marketing, and they generate 1 lead apiece for a total of 200 leads. In your second year of content marketing, you publish 200 more blogs that also generate 1 lead apiece. How many leads will be generated by year's end? 400 leads: 200 from your first year's catalog, and 200 more from your second year.

    This "snowball effect" of compounded returns could go on for years — but only if you're willing to stick with your content marketing strategy through the lean times. 

    "Reputation-Building" Is a Crucial Aspect of Content Marketing

    It takes time for a business to build a solid reputation among consumers, both in the real world and over the Internet. Content marketing plays a key role in establishing and maintaining credibility for your brand, in two important ways:

      1. High quality content, delivered consistently, will enhance your reputation among prospects looking for accurate information. Over time, you'll become known as an industry leader, and a trustworthy source of guidance.
      2. As you continue to publish valuable articles that earn shares and back-links, Google's SEO algorithm will begin to consider your website as a "domain authority." In other words, when your content and the content of a competitor are both equally relevant to a specific search query, the tiebreaker will go to you, and you'll get the higher ranking. When content marketing builds website domain authority it effectively "lifts all boats" enabling many articles you have published to gain increasing traffic and leads. So in the compounded returns example above, an article that generated one lead per month might later generate two per month. 

    While we're on the topic of Google rankings, let's talk more about:

    What Are the SEO Benefits of Content Marketing?

    Content Marketing is a Commitment, Not a Campaign

    One of the primary goals of any content marketing program should be to gain an SEO advantage. After all, ranking high on Google means a lot of exposure for your company, which in turn means the opportunity for a high volume of lead generation.

    Here are a few major SEO benefits that come from sticking with content marketing for the long haul:

    • Higher relevance. The more pieces of content you upload, the more opportunities you have to rank for specific keywords. In this regard, many companies use a "pillar page" strategy to boost their SEO scores: they publish a primary article or piece of content on a topic, and then use that page as a foundational "pillar" which branches out to several more articles with a narrower, yet still relevant focus. When your content is optimized for high value keywords, your site's relevance (both to Google and to your prospects) will soar.
    • Higher authority. As mentioned above, consistent, high-quality content will eventually result in your site becoming a domain authority. Google will give your site preference over competing sites that have equal relevance but less credibility.
    • Higher traffic share. Ultimately, the main SEO benefit that a strong content marketing program will deliver is a higher volume of traffic to your site. Of course, more visitors to your site mean more leads, and more opportunities to convert those leads into customers.

    Why Do You Need a Content Marketing Strategy?

    content-marketing-strategyTrying to implement content marketing without a strategy is like trying to run a marathon without a finish line. Yet, that's exactly what many marketers do. Even though the importance of content marketing has been clearly established over the years, only 39% of marketers have a clear and documented content strategy in place. That means over 60% of marketers are driving blind, hoping they'll achieve the desired results without actually having a plan on how to get there. It's like throwing spaghetti against the wall to see which pieces stick. As most content marketing experts will tell you, if you just create articles about random topics you will achieve random results. 

    In simple terms, you need to have a content marketing strategy in place because it can help you to answer these 6 key questions:

    • Who? Who are your high-value prospects? Who are your "ideal customers?"
    • What? What pain points does your target audience have? What are their biggest motivations and concerns? What content are they most comfortable with? 
    • How? How does your product or service solve your consumers' problem? How should you position your brand for maximum effect?
    • Where? Where should you deliver and share your content? Where are your target users' "watering holes" on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram)?
    • When? When should you deliver new content to your audience (daily, weekly, monthly)?
    • Why? Why would your target consumers buy from you? Why is your brand unique? 

    When you have the answers to the above questions in hand, you'll be able to develop and deliver content that truly hits the mark — and yields exceptional ROI.

    The bottom line about Content Marketing

    Of course, it's not necessarily easy to develop an effective content strategy, or commit to a content marketing program year after year. Fortunately, there is help available. Reach out to our team of friendly content marketing experts at Bristol Strategy today to learn more about how you can successfully commit to content marketing, and see amazing results from your efforts.

    Request a Content strategy to generate opportunities for your business