It’s hard to believe but we’ve finally reached our much sought after goal of having over 100 original posts in our blog.
For many, this insignificant milestone is not worth a second of recognition or notice. And although I may not be Jay Baer, John Jantsch, Joe Pulizzi, Chris Brogan, Heidi Cohen, Arnie Kuenn, Brian Halligan or any of the other online marketing gurus that I follow, getting to this point has taken a significant amount of effort.
Yelling and selling is so over.
With the rapid ascension of social media and so many new digital distribution channels, the bar has been lowered (as well as the costs) for just about any business or brand to become both a publisher and media company to attract prospects and new customers. Yet, with so many of the physical and logistical hurdles removed to accomplish this task, we’ve come to respect that consistent and considered content creation and distribution is anything but a piece of cake.
Content creation in a structured Content Marketing program is a pull strategy based on marketing by attraction. It’s about being present when and where you need to be to deliver relevant, educational and sometimes entertaining information for your customers and prospects.
When those people come to you, rather than the other way around, the advantages are self-evident. They’re interested, open and receptive because they’ve self-selected to engage. By presenting them with the considered, quality content that you create, you can fuel brand recognition, establish credibility, create trust and foster loyalty. The end result is long-term value delivered by these assets which will be permanently attributed to you and your brand once they’re published on the internet.
What’s all of this effort worth?
We get the doggy sniff long before prospects ever talk to us.
How do we know? They’ve told us on our contact form, in phone calls, on social media, and in person. More than ever, everything you do online is visible and provides an opportunity for someone to either consider and engage with you or dismiss you. We know that if and when we’re getting checked out online, we’re continually providing the best experience and content that we can for those doing the sniffing.
Our SERP’s continue to improve.
How do we know? We frequently query keywords and long tail terms that we’ve targeted in Google and other search engines to see how we rank and if our content actually gets found. Interestingly enough, we’ve learned that the more we publish, (using best SEO practices of course!) the faster our content gets indexed by the search engines and the better it ranks. What it means to us is that if your publishing frequency declines, so could your content’s ranking.
Our community of followers and fans keeps growing.
How do we know? We pay attention to the dashboards and use tools like Hootsuite, Google Analytics, SharpSpring, Twitter Counter and Klout to watch if the graphs are moving up and to the right. In our experience, the correlation with consistency and publishing frequency keeps the line moving in the right direction. Consider that broadening your reach of your content to a wider audience is as important as increasing the volume and frequency of your publishing.
Better results follow improving fluency.
How do we know? After discovering WordPress a number of years ago, this powerful and continually improving platform has truly democratized publishing for the rest of us. And with nearly 20% of all new domains on the Internet built on WordPress, the future looks very bright. The reason is that the world’s largest community of developers and enthusiasts will continue to add features and connections to this amazing open source environment that will simplify creation and distribution of the content that we want to share. The more that we know about and use WordPress, the better online results we enable for our customers and for ourselves.
The numbers don’t lie.
How do we know? We use tools like SharpSpring that measure the marketing effectiveness of our website. They provide easy to understand measures and rankings of important factors like website traffic, SEO, blog quality, social media, mobile marketing and analytics. These tools also provide insights on how our site is faring against the competition. Only by looking at and continually evaluating all these interconnected components of our online marketing can we make course adjustments to improve our performance.
Publishers and media companies are always on deadline.
How do we know? More than ever, we guide ourselves and our clients by a content calendar. This essential document ensures that we know what we will be publishing when and that we’ll never stop. As a quick reference roadmap, the content calendar provides the direction and outlines the topics and resources that we need for our content. And once we publish and deploy, the results of efforts draw prospects and customers to our site. This creates the opportunity to capture leads and engage through social channels directing our prospects back to our site.
Where to from here?
There is growing support that successful content marketing can replace (or at a minimum compliment) more traditional forms of advertising and marketing. Because content can spark customer engagement at all stages of the buying cycle, it supports relationships and inspires up-selling and cross-selling too.
Therefore it makes sense that those considering Content Marketing and the investments required for publishing and distribution need to be aware that it’s much more than writing a hastily joined together 300 word something that hopes to get a backlink or two. The more structure and effort you invest in creating quality content, the more likely it will get the attraction and additional reach that you seek.
What we’ve experienced is that the real secret of Content Marketing is: DO IT. And for the patient and persistent, it works. Next stop, a content inventory of 4 figures!