Sometimes our customers use our platform to create a one-off document of only a few hundred words. Other times, it’s a comprehensive content strategy that goes on for months, even years. We learn a little something on every project, but it’s the ones that get renewed year-in and year-out that really show us the full potential of content marketing.
1. Content marketing actually works
I know, you’ve been told that a lot. But here’s the thing – most marketers only believe that content marketing works because they’re told by other, more experienced marketers. That means that, when they first put real money on the table, it’s a big leap of faith. The first year can sometimes feel like you’re just throwing cash down the drain. Seeing the results add up over the long term is an experience that every digital marketer needs to have at least once in their career. When you see how a little bit of expenditure each week can add up to a huge return much later, you start to have confidence in the process.
2. There is a secret to success
Some content marketers tell you its quality over quantity. I’m here to tell you that it’s neither. The real secret to success is consistency. You need to be posting week in, week out over a long stretch of time. That’s the only way to build enough regular organic traffic to start boosting your SERP rankings. You’ll read a lot about how X content outperforms Y, but none of it will work without that crucial ingredient.
3. One type of content outperforms the rest
Ok, you twisted my arm. There IS one type of content that we’ve found performs markedly better than other posts: long-form FAQ posts. This style of post involves targeting specific questions that are commonly asked about a subject and writing comprehensive answers to them. When we tried this, each post performed noticeably better than posts of a similar length – roughly 1000 words. Our theory goes that these posts attract searchers with a variety of different objectives to the same post, thus boosting their overall appeal. Try it out and see if it works for you.
4. Keywords aren’t that important
Before your SEO specialist gets a heart attack, let me explain. Keywords targeting is and always will be a crucial part of the SEO process. However, if you’re picking your post topics carefully, those keywords will emerge organically as you build a compelling conversation around your subject matter. It’s your content and the way it connects with your audience that drives a successful content strategy, not the numbers. That’s because keyword search data doesn’t always offer you information about search intent. A careful analysis of consumer behaviour will.
5. Distribution is undervalued
Distribution is generally as undervalued in the content marketing space as keywords are overvalued. We learned this the hard way. After six months of posting content to the blog and seeing very little traction, we only really started seeing results after we started posting content to relevant communities. You need to be proactive about grabbing attention to get the content ball rolling.
6. A long-term vision is key
When you’re posting regularly for three years, there’s a lot of trial and error involved. Some posts will do great, whilst other posts simply won’t resonate. As you go through the learning process, you’ll begin to understand the kind of value your content generates for your audience. This is the point at which a long-term vision will start to develop. When that moment happens, commit to it. That’s when you’ll begin to establish your blog is the go-to content producer for that specific value outcome. If you ever reach that point, you’ll know you have a valuable content channel.
To discover more about how content marketing works, get in touch with the team here at Contentoo. We’re always excited to speak with marketers still developing their own approach to content.