Three Key Factors in Your Content Marketing Success
Content marketing is a proven powerhouse marketing technique, so why do so many people feel like they fail at it? I have found three key factors go into the success of a content marketing strategy. They are: consistency, visibility, and value. Let’s break it down …
Yeah, I know this was the ONE thing you were hoping was NOT on this list. Honestly, me too. Consistency is hard. I fail at it regularly. My clients struggle with it as well. All small business owners do. The only businesses who get this factor right most of the time are businesses with a good, dedicated content creator on their staff. But what do you do when you have to run a business and create content? I hear you asking, be patient, I’ll get there soon.
What do I mean by consistency here? Simple: creating and publishing content to the public domain (your website, social media, curated sites, etc.)
Consistency is so important for two reasons: humans and robots (algorithms). Humans, we, have developed brains that automatically seek patterns. What does it take to make a pattern? Repetition. Place the pattern in a naturally disruptive environment such as social media or a search engine and you need more repetition for people to be able to pick your message out of the ten thousand other companies jumping up and down waving their hands shouting, “look at me!” and “over here!”
Now, back to the question of how the hell do you do this and run a business? I wish I had a magic content creation genie I could sell you, but reality is it just takes sheer will and determination. Having an overall strategy helps because it puts bumper rails around what you create and gives you a solid direction that fits in with your overall marketing strategy. Next, a plan – written out and printed out and hung up somewhere you will see it every day is hugely beneficial.
My most powerful suggestion after you have a strategy and a plan is to batch like a badass. Batching is the practice of creating multiple pieces of content at one time. To do this, you will block off several hours on your calendar, sequester yourself where you can work (I happen to love coffee houses in non-Covid times!) and then create like Schroeder playing the piano! Finally, repurposing content is key to your sanity. We’ll talk more about that next under visibility.
The best, most intelligently created content will never gain its full potential if it’s not seen. Visibility is absolutely critical. Consistency will help you with your visibility by pleasing the robot algorithms, but you cannot depend on that alone.
The first rule of visibility is that you need to publish your content more than once. Don’t write an amazing blog and just put it on your website! Email it, Facebook it, put it on Linkedin! Put it EVERYWHERE you think a customer might come into contact with it! You can also drive visibility by buying social media ads around a piece of content. But I want you to go even beyond that … let me explain.
One of the most common mistakes I see content creators make is not getting the maximum mileage out of their content. If you’re doing content creation right, you should be putting a lot of time and effort into what you create. It should have extreme value to your target market. Many creators make it this far — they produce an outstanding piece of content with an amazing impact potential for their audience — and then they publish it once, on Facebook, and give up when no one responds. NO! Don’t do this! Instead, aim to ride that content pony you trained up all the way until it wins the big show!
When you create a piece of content like this, I refer to it as anchor content because we will throw “lines” of related small pieces of content out into the wild to drive people back to it. Let me give you an example: You create a guide to solving Problem A. It’s an awesome guide. It’s really valuable and beautifully done. It has everything — graphics, advice, actionable steps, and more. Now take your guide and mine it:
- 10 quotes (those go on Twitter)
- five short written content pieces (those go on Facebook)
- five visuals (pair them with the Facebook quotes and also put them on Instagram)
- expand out an article on why the guide is important, publish it on Linkedin and Medium
- hunt up the questions people ask on Google and Quora around the topic of Problem A and write up answers to them—publish the questions and the answers on your website, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram
- give a webinar around the topic of the guide, push the invite out on all your social media and then get the people who register on your email list
- send out an email to your list with the guide in it
This list (which could be expanded by the way) has at least 27 publishing (visibility) points. That means 27 slots on your consistent posting calendar filled. If you play your cards right with a good piece of well-thought-out content, you can get an entire month’s worth of posts on all your social channels done.
I hear you now, you’re saying, “but won’t that be beating my customers over the head with this Problem A guide?” YES! And that’s the point. Remember above when I said, humans need consistency to engage? In our noisy world, it can take 33+ (yes 33+!) times seeing something before we connect. Our 27 visibility points above isn’t even there yet. If you’re still worried, watch your newsfeeds for repurposed content and ask yourself if you feel like any of those companies are bothering you or beating you over the head with their message? Chances are, if what they are publishing is relevant to you and valuable, you don’t care even if you notice it’s repetitive.
The final factor in successful content marketing is value. Everything above is for naught if what you’re offering is not valuable to both your customers and your business. Content marketing is essentially about two results: transformation for you client and revenue for your business. If your content has value, it should check both of these boxes.
Always begin with your customer. You should be able to give a solid WHY for every piece of content you create and that why should relate directly back to what it does for your customer. If you can’t answer definitively why your customers should be reading, viewing or consuming the piece of content you created, it probably doesn’t have value.
That said, if at least a reasonable percentage of the people who are transformed by your valuable content don’t connect with your business, then we can’t call your content marketing strategy a success. Gone also are the days of offering something for nothing content. It doesn’t work — for you or the person who consumed the content. You didn’t get business and it is very likely the person who got the “free” answer didn’t do anything with it because there was no follow-up or action. Bottom line here: always provide your consumer with their next best step and what your business can do to help them accomplish that next best step. Some people will not follow through, others will not be ready, and for others, that next best step might not be right for them; BUT for some people, it will be exactly what they need and those are your content marketing success stories in the making!
Just to Review: Your content must be transformational to your consumer and provide revenue potential to your business.
If you feel like you need help with your content marketing strategy or creating the content itself, reach out to me for solutions.
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