Content Marketing Myth 5
No, just creating content does not cut it. You need to serve it on a platter to your readers and make sure the plating is done well!
One of the silliest things I have heard is how just publishing content will get someone traffic. In fact, some even go on to claim that it will get them a huge audience, a big subscriber base and start generating leads. I’d like to categorise all of this under assumptions.
Think about it for a second.
How exactly are you hoping for your target audience to find your piece of content?
Say you’re writing an article on ‘content marketing best practices’. You’ve made sure you’re sharing the best of tips and tricks that haven’t been covered before. But the truth is, there are already thousands of articles around the topic that have been published way before yours and are ranking way higher than yours.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t be writing an article on that topic. It’s only to say that your job is not done at publishing that piece. That’s just step 1!
The only way you can get your audience to read that content piece is to take it to them. It’s like walking over to your friend and handing them a book you want them to read because just making a recommendation is not enough.
Here where I’d like to introduce you to the 80-20 rule that often gets sidetracked in the zeal of wanting to create more content.
Let’s start this off with the one thing everyone needs to hear – whether you’re just starting out or you’ve already created hundreds of content pieces – Content without marketing is not content marketing; it’s just content.
The 80-20 rule basically says (and has proven to work) that the secret to building an audience is not creating more content (told ya!). It is how good you are getting at taking your content to more people.
Simply put, if you’re spending about 20 hours a week creating content and then marketing it – and struggling to see the results you expect, re-strategize. Focus on spending about 4 hours creating ‘valuable content only’ and then the rest of the 16 hours promoting it – aggressively, if I may say.
But if your business runs on creating more content, cutting back on your frequency to apply the 80-20 model may not be a bright idea. In that case, you go back to your content calendar to identify what is the goal behind that content piece.
Then you apply the 80/20 rule to only those pieces that have the potential of going viral. That is, the content you’re creating with the goal of tapping into a new audience and nudging them to share, comment or engage with it in some way.
This is again not to say that you shouldn’t focus on promoting other pieces of content. It is just to say that you need to focus on what brings you sureshot value and prioritize, if the 80-20 is hard to implement in your current strategy to achieve long term success.
Confused? Here’s are the two things I suggest to all those struggling for time and wanting to implement the right mix of creation and promotion:
- Follow the rule exactly and cut back on the amount of content you’re creating
- Stick to your content calendar and use the 80/20 rule for only the best of your work
Sounds much simpler now, right?
The thing is that the 80/20 rule isn’t for everyone. But the importance of taking your content to the reader is applicable to all.
For example, you’ve built an app that enables online store merchants to add a video on their product pages. That’s a great feature! But your audience doesn’t know about it or the importance of it, to start with.
Now you don’t need to go 80 to promote this piece of content. Simply look for online communities and groups where your audience is frequently asking for tips to increase sales on their store.
Plug your content piece into an ongoing conversation or start a new thread introducing your topic – mind you, not the product – you’re not going to post a sales pitch!
This might not get you 1000 visitors in a month. But this will ensure that the 50 you get on your site, are your ideal audience and are more likely to convert when nurtured.
So your content creation and distribution strategy may differ from what other companies are doing. But don’t forget to include distribution because without marketing, your content can only do so much.
Before I move to the next section, I’d like to introduce you to another tactic that works beautifully when it comes to marketing your content – syndication.
It simply means reaching out to sites or people that may have written a similar piece of content or something around the topic previously. And then requesting or suggesting them to add a link to your piece of content as it brings more value to their readers.
This does two things – gets your content piece a fresh audience from an already established site. Two, it works wonders for your search engine optimization (backlinks people, backlinks).