This content was originally posted on rso-consulting.com.
A great content marketing experience is a lot like falling in love – it happens over time and it takes a good deal of work. But, if you do it right and persevere, the end result can be life changing.
The idea of developing high quality content as part of an online marketing strategy has been around for some time, at least for online marketers. It’s what we have been urging clients to do, because we saw how it was influencing not only website traffic and SEO, but also social media engagement, time on page, and conversions. Just like a good mother hen would say, we knew what was best for you.
But now that Google and Facebook have confirmed their algorithms give preference to high quality content, more of you are listening. Which is a good thing, because it means you have the opportunity to improve your online marketing ROI by giving your audience what they really want – timely, well organized content that solves a problem, answers a question, and just generally helps them in some way. You are ready to put content out there that resonates with your audience so that they will, in turn, like you and buy your product or service, right?
Wrong. Sort of.
Here is what many clients view as a solid content marketing strategy: you put your content out there, be it on a blog or whitepaper or what have you, and you share it on all your social media channels (yay, people have a chance to see it now), and you sit and wait for the conversions to roll in. But wait, where are the conversions?
The Reality of Content in Online Marketing Strategies
It would be great if we could put one or two really useful pieces out into the universe and get millions of views that also converted to sales, sign ups, etc. (If this has worked for you, we’d love to hear about it in the comments.)
The reality of content marketing is that it takes a lot of grooming; people aren’t just going to read your content for the first time and immediately solicit you. In other words, it might be love at first sight but it won’t be lucrative. Hopefully, what will happen is they will read one of your pieces for the first time and love it, and then want to come back for more of that dopamine-inducing dialogue.
If you continue to deliver high quality content, then over time these loyal readers will begin to think of you as a thought leader in your industry. They will start to trust you and even look to you first for relevant information, they will see you regularly sharing on social media, and they will notice you showing up on search engine results. Eventually, when that magical moment comes and they realize they do really need what you are selling, that is when all of that brainpower and wordsmithing you put into your content pays off. (That magical moment, by the way, can take anywhere between 7 and 20 instances of consuming your content.)
So, in the meantime, focus on creating the type of content that truly speaks the language of your audience and reflects your brand personality. It will probably take some trial and error to figure out what will take off and what will take a nosedive, but anything worth winning takes work. Be authentic, and you stand a chance at being the authority.