Want content marketing to work? Be ready for a marathon run
As content marketers, we are often approached by businesses who want content marketing programs designed to achieve quick results. And even though people are coming of age with their understanding of what content marketing is, I am sad to report that the current state of affairs isn’t very great. Most businesses understand content marketing as something that will either lead to quick results or a race that has to be run once.
Most brands and the top management do not understand that content marketing is a long-term game. And even if they do, most CEOs are in a dilemma on whether they actually want to commit to a longer-term thing.
So What should be done
Here is one thing to remember – if you are a brand looking at embracing content marketing then do not look for quick fixes. As the CEO, do not ask your marketing team to produce immediate results or short-term results. You must be in it for the long haul.
As a content marketer and a strategist, I have found that the best way to work around this is to make sure that your client understands what content marketing actually means. Also, we make it a policy to not work with businesses that do not have the time or patience to understand what real content marketing and are always looking to cut corners on what is actually needed.
Over time, we make sure that if we are working with a brand which requires content marketing, they understand the following –
1. Content marketing – understanding the whole picture
Brands often want to invest in content marketing without understanding the real deal. Hence it’s important to convey that content marketing is not just about creating some pieces of blogs and articles in a month and pushing it out through your owned media. Or it’s not just about doing SEO or SMO and targeting some 10 or 30 keywords.
Content marketing works as a whole. You cannot create just create content and not plan how to distribute it. You cannot create random content based on certain keywords and market it to just everyone. You will need a content strategy that will define what needs to be written and how it is to be written and a marketing strategy that will define how that entire content set will reach the targeted audience and set the inbound traffic wheels working.
So get the understanding correct and make sure the top guys are willing to invest that time and money into the whole process.
2. Content Marketing is not a quick fix
Get this thing sorted right at the start. What does the brand want and how much time does it think it can invest in getting the results.
We have heard answers like – “I need XXX amount of sales in 3 months because I am launching a product.”
“I think content marketing is trendy. Our CEO wants some content written because he feels it will get us some traction before this summit we have next month”
“What is the ROI on this monthly investment that you want us to make. I finally want my products selling. I want my stuff to sell fast.”
If you hear the above answers, your client probably does not understand a thing about content marketing. Content marketing is not just a quick race that will lead you to the victory stand. It’s not something that you do quickly that will get your products to sell fast.
Content marketing is about building trust about your brand, product, services. It’s about creating brand awareness among the target audience. It’s about providing value to your users and establishing that belief in your brand. It’s about connecting with your target audience without pushing for sales.
3. Its okay to start small as long it is done in the proper way
Sometimes, certain businesses will understand the full thing, but the top management might not be prepared to go the full hog without seeing the results. In such cases, it’s okay to start small – like a certain line of the business or a certain product.
Make sure you are working small but working with the basic set of content marketing ammunition – a proper strategy, buyer persona mapping, content creation according for all channels and platforms to be used, a content distribution and promotion plan, and tracking of metrics. Without the implementation of the whole plan, results will not be achieved and it might be difficult to see the big picture.
Content marketing is difficult. The results need time. And clients need to be ready to give the buy-in time. But once the results start coming, there is no stopping it. So are you ready for the marathon?
Want to know more about content marketing for your business?
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