By Erin Pittman
We’ve become a society who loves, embraces and even often expects instant gratification. In the days of instantly downloaded e-books and files and everything else you can immediately put your hands on, it’s easy to understand why.
When it comes to content marketing, skeptics first ask, “Does it really work?” This is often naturally followed up with, “How long will it take?” While content marketing certainly isn’t “old school,” you’ll have to tap into your old-school patience to see results.
Why Content Marketing Takes Time
First of all, content marketing involves creating content. If you’ve ever sat down to write a quality blog or article, you know this isn’t an instantaneous process. There’s research, brainstorming, SEO keyword research, organizing your thoughts, a little writers’ block and the actual writing that goes into it. Then you factor in the editing and time it takes to post your piece online. And don’t forget to promote it on social media, too!
All these steps apply to each piece of content you create. It takes time to reach your customers, build a following and have Google recognize you as credible on your subject matter! And it takes many pieces of quality content to get there. Stay committed for the long haul and know that if done right, small businesses often see results from their efforts at about the six to nine-month mark.
So, if it takes so much time and effort, is content marketing still the answer? Oh, yes. It definitely is the answer. Look at any of the big corporate players, and you will find content marketing as a big part of their overall marketing strategy. If you’re ready to get started, here are your first steps:
- Identify your customer personas. This is a fancy way of saying “figure out who your customers are.” Do some demographic research so you can target them with the types of content and topics that will interest them.
- Decide what sets you apart. What’s special about your company? What do you have to offer your customers that competitors don’t?
- Set goals. What do you want to accomplish through content marketing — increased revenue, a set number of followers, both, or maybe something unique to your business?
- Create an editorial calendar. Plan out content topics and your strategy for at least the next three months. List out blog and article topics, determine when you’ll send e-newsletters, decide if you’ll create videos or e-books, think about using sponsored articles in local publications —and determine who will do the work.
- Track your progress. Return to your goals and determine how your content marketing is helping you reach them.
And rinse and repeat! Content marketing is ongoing, just like the rest of your marketing plan. Dig in, get committed, put in the work and be prepared to see your success … just down the road a little ways. Remember, content marketing wouldn’t be such a big deal if it didn’t work! For information on how Prince William Living can help make the process easier, contact us.
“Your Words Mean Business” provides insights and tips to business owners, organizations and professionals seeking to better their performance and increase their bottom line through sharpening written and marketing communication skills.