Three wrong ways that slow down your content marketing
By Sebastian Neis
The time has come! The big content marketing initiative for your brand will be launched shortly. Several months have been invested into conception and development. The marketing team and the agency have done a vast number of analyses, meetings, brainstormings and workshops. Everyone is excited and can hardly wait until the elaborate design goes online. Everyone is sure it will be a great success – they left nothing to chance during the production. What could possibly go wrong, when you have such first class content?
A lot! The following describes three wrong ways that will ensure your content marketing doesn’t succeed and what it actually takes, besides good content, to be successful.
1. No distribution
If you have good content, customers will come by themselves. So just invest everything into the production of content and everything is going to be just fine.
The truth: Content should be understood like a product, which is supposed to be established on the market – therefore, content needs to be launched just like a product, since even great content needs equally great promotion. The correct distribution strategy finds an effective way for your brand to find potential customers faster and to achieve more interaction. Netflix is a master in marketing their own content, for example, by successfully using native advertising. This is how a partnership with the New York Times led to a high-class story production about female inmates in the USA. The Story was published not entirely coincidentally in parallel with the second season’s premier of „Orange is the New Black“ – a Netflix series that deals exactly with this topic.
2. No measurement of success
The produced content is of such high value that we can be sure it will have the right impact on our target group.
The truth: Only regular measurement allows you to constantly produce content that excites the target groups and meets strategic goals at the same time. Unfortunately, many agencies are too sure about their work and miss the opportunity to integrate regular performance reviews in their content marketing strategies.
It is the only way to find out which content has a true impact on a brand’s strategic goals, how individual content performs in comparison to each other or in what part of the costumer journey it develops its maximum impact. As Google phrased it once: „Data beats opinion“. In the interest of your customers, it is necessary for agencies and other service providers to dig a little deeper at this point.
3. No patience
If the content marketing initiative isn’t already commercially successful in the first few months, it failed. Time to invest the marketing budget again in other proven methods.
The truth: Content marketing is an ongoing learning curve and needs a long-term commitment and patience. Joe Pulizzi (founder of the Content Marketing Institute) interviewed start-ups around the world that had successfully used content marketing. The conclusion of his interviews: „On average, it took between 15 and 17 months until platforms could actively show revenue gains because of the approach.“ All success stories had in one thing in common – that they didn’t initially focus on the financial success alone but on what their target groups really wanted. That’s how they managed to sustainably build up a large audience, which was followed by commercial success. Obviously, many things can be accelerated due to a decent marketing budget and the right strategy but it will never happen overnight.
Good content is always only one side of the coin – the shiny side, which can distract from the equally important flip-side: An apposite distribution strategy, continuous success measurement and a little patience to look at content marketing with a long-term view. Only when both sides come together will content marketing be able to have a strong and sustainable impact.