Once upon a time, a content creator could generate content, breeze through their SEO checklist, secure a pair of solid links, tweak the look of their site, hit publish, and then sit back and sip their favorite espresso drink while the traffic is flowing in. If this sounds like a fairytale, then maybe you’re one of the thousands of marketers who continue to pursue this exact strategy. Chances are even greater that you’ve found one ingredient lacking: the traffic is not flowing in. Welcome to reality.
If you’re launching content out into the world but not tracking how often — or even if — it’s hitting its target, then you’re wasting precious resources on a strategy you’re not sure is providing any benefit. Perhaps more importantly, you’re wasting valuable time. In other words, the love you’re pouring into your content-related passion project is landing among rocks rather than fertile soil. Your content might be great, but it lacks direction.
Go Full Sail with Content Marketing
If content is your sailboat, then content marketing is the wind. The journey may seem slow at first, but with a dedicated strategy — something to help place the wind at your back — the results will eventually come in waves, and you’ll be grateful you stayed the course. Long story short, you’ll need to engage in content marketing strategies to ensure your content has its desired effect.
Studies show that creating steady inbound traffic through content marketing is a game of numbers. In fact, the sheer volume of blog posts that successful companies have, on average, before they begin to see an advantage rests firmly in the hundreds, by most accounts. In other words, successful content marketing requires a commitment to the long game. In the end, that commitment will yield volumes in inbound traffic. It’s all about the journey, right?
Define Your Destination
Take your vague idea of success and make it concrete. What do you hope to achieve through content marketing? You’ve accepted that you’re in it for the long haul, but that doesn’t mean your destination should be vague. How will you measure your success? Will you measure the number of clicks your content gets, a page traffic benchmark, a particular conversion rate, or something else?
Once you’ve determined your goal, you’ll need to measure your progress. However, even once your content starts bringing in more page traffic, don’t be quick to celebrate early success — stay focused on the destination. That’s how you achieve the big returns. If the success you’re having doesn’t meet your goal, you can still enjoy it but also keep moving.
The Heart of Content Marketing
If you’re familiar with content creation and even copywriting tactics, then you’ve certainly heard the phrase “pain points.” Content marketing is all about finding your target audience’s pain points — those things that will trigger a potential customer to act.
This needn’t be a subversive experiment in human nature. In fact, the strategy may be more wholesomely worded as “win hearts and minds.” If you adopt this phrase’s more positive tone, your efforts will take you further in terms of forging the relationships that are the heart of content marketing. People need to feel personal connections with the businesses they support. Your blog posts and media content should reflect a desire to begin a relationship with your target audience. You want them to want to invest in you to solve a particular problem.
This type of relationship-building will require some research to ensure you’re aware of your customers’ frequent pain points and to inspire the volume of page views you need to get the results you want. You’ll need to perform the keyword research necessary to ensure your posts will populate for relevant searches by the audience you want to target, then supply the quality content they’re looking for once they get there.
Anything Worth Doing…
You know what comes next. Know your goal, build relationships, and stay the course. Consistency in content marketing means consistency with SEO, blogging, and any other type of media you publish as a means of sharing content with your target audience.
Seeing results from search engine traffic takes months. It’s not a matter of plugging in the right words for your first blog for instant success. It’s a matter of using those words repeatedly in ways that feel natural.
Follow Your Narrative
Your content marketing strategy forms an ongoing narrative between you and your audience. Think of yourself as the author of that narrative. As such, you need to monitor the effect your content is having, as it is directly reflected in your bottom line. To put it differently, the health of your business will match the health of your relationship with your audience.
Though there are multiple ways to monitor your relationship with your audience, Google Analytics is a great place to start. When you see the hard data regarding the type of posts driving customer interaction, you’ll be better able to write your narrative, i.e., your content marketing strategy. What content is most effective — your longer, data-heavy posts? Shorter, more personal narratives? Something in between? Monitoring your engagement data will help you double down on what’s working while eliminating time spent on what isn’t.
The Journey of Content Marketing
Remember, you’re embarking on a long journey with a definite destination. Content marketing is not about quick results; it’s about a fruitful, sustained relationship with your customers — an ongoing conversation that will yield results for years to come.
Need more content marketing tips or great content that will convert in the long run? Rely on the professionals at Zero Gravity Marketing. From your first blog post to an ongoing content calendar, we’ll help you set a course for content marketing success. Contact us today to learn more.