They say good things come to those who wait, and brands looking to build their audience are not exempt from this. Content marketing is a great long-lasting way to generate leads, connect with the audience, boost brand awareness and loyalty, and gain new customers. Still, these great benefits don’t just happen overnight.
Think of it like planting a tree. It’ll look small and skinny for a while, but – during that time – the tree is actually spreading its roots deep and wide. All this happens behind the scenes. But after a while, you witness the tree grow tall and strong, bear fruit, gift you a sturdy branch on which to hang a swing, and offer you shade on a hot summer’s day.
It can take quite a while for the tree to grow. However, when it gets there, you’ll enjoy its beauty and benefits for decades to come.
Just as a tree wouldn’t be able to draw strength from the soil or even grow without healthy roots, a content marketing strategy couldn’t survive without solid foundations. And it’s not just about planting the seed and walking away. You’d need to consistently water the saplings and observe growth to make sure the tree is healthy and growing how it’s supposed to.
Similar to this, sending out one newsletter or publishing one blog post isn’t going to boost organic traffic — you’d have to continually publish high-quality content to observe the growth of your brand and customer base.
With strong foundations, a tree will bend but it won’t break.
So I decided to dedicate this post to all our readers who may be feeling impatient or frustrated with the results of their content marketing strategy. We’ll give you a more realistic idea of what to expect, how long it would take to generate leads and see growth, and what you can do during this time to ensure a maximum ROI.
We are all a bit impatient, no doubt about it. Some of us have even stopped scrolling to click on a “get rich/successful/thin/happy quick” post, only to realize that it’s a scam. It’s true, most products or services that promise overnight success are scams, and even the ones that do deliver, achieve measurable results in a much longer period than what was promised.
Well, we’re not here to lie or to embellish anything. Forcing speed takes away from precision and puts us in unpredictable situations. We can see this happening anywhere we look. Short-term investments tend to be riskier and more volatile, but long-term investments can bring in the ideal passive income without burning a hole in your wallet. Fad diets that promise overnight results tend to be extremely unhealthy, and it’s nearly impossible to keep the weight off once you stop dieting. Using bots to quickly gain followers on social media can get you banned. There’s an endless amount of examples of this phenomenon.
It’s also known as “easy come, easy go.”
Technically, someone will be getting rich. Only it won’t be you.
It’s always a better and more sustainable idea to invest in a solid, long-term strategy. Yes, while the initial growth may be slow, your foundations will be stronger and the results much longer-lasting.
Of course, we couldn’t compare the success rate of content marketing with risky investments and fad diets, because we know for a fact that content marketing works. But you’re going to need at least a few months to see any tangible results. It usually takes 6 – 9 months for a content marketing strategy to really take off. This is because it takes time for audiences and search engines to realize that you’re publishing high-quality content. Once they get it – organic traffic will soar.
Obviously, you can’t achieve this with irregular, lackluster appearances. You need to choose at least one channel and consistently publish new content through it.
In an ROI report, HubSpot stated that around 85% of companies saw an increase in leads and website traffic within 7 months of initiating an inbound marketing strategy. Another report reveals that companies that prioritize their content marketing efforts are 13 times more likely to improve conversion rates than those that do not. Plus, content marketing generates 3 times more leads than traditional marketing.
It’s a pretty straightforward tradeoff. While content marketing is effective (and 62% cheaper than traditional marketing), it takes time and dedication to reap the benefits.
One of the first questions that must be considered is, who am I marketing to? Who is my target audience? Working out your exact customer profile takes careful consideration and refinement.
So, this early stage requires that you decide on the who before figuring out the how.
First, you’d have to define your target audience. There’s your industry in general and your niche in particular.
Ideally, you could find a niche where there’s less competition. A niche that allows you to employ a blue ocean strategy. It is highly probable that many businesses around the globe provide similar products and services, so what is that extra thing you’re bringing to the table? What can you offer to your customer base that other businesses don’t? Is there a blind spot, an underserved or unnoticed group that is just waiting for someone like you?
Choosing an overcrowded niche isn’t the best idea, as there would be more businesses to compete with, so it’s important to figure out what sets your brand apart from others early on.
This demographic was in dire need of a big, pink blockbuster. Who knew?
For instance, a clothing manufacturer targeting European clothing brands may consider sustainable manufacturing, as many brands based in the European Union must check off certain sustainability boxes to sell in their prospective countries. Many of these brands work with suppliers and manufacturers that have acquired different sustainability certificates. It only makes sense for the manufacturers themselves to eventually focus on sustainability.
Another fashion example (it’s my background, after all) would be a brand adding plus-sized clothes to their offering, as it’s both a growing marketing and an unfairly underserved one. For instance, a Gitnux data report says that:
“81% of plus-size women say they would spend more on clothing if they had more options in their size.”
Find these people. Talk to them, create for them.
You have the product and you have the people, but how do you tell the people about the product?
While content marketing can be done in a lot of different ways, one form you shouldn’t skip due to its successful track record is written content. This is simply because it’s the main type of content consumed on the internet. Plus, it’s easiest for search engines to evaluate how well-written content serves search intent.
But blogs aren’t the only type of written content that brands should explore. There are many other formats you could implement into a successful marketing strategy. Newsletters would be a good example, as they are already wildly popular among brands, with 89% of marketers using them to generate leads. Social media posts and landing pages are valuable components in a marketing funnel. FAQs and user manuals help audiences understand the product or service better, so they’re important for customer loyalty and retention.
In short, every type of content has its place in the customer’s journey.
This is all about making sure the seed grows into a sapling. A few things are important to consider during this process, as you really want to nurture this germination and create the right conditions for them to grow and blossom.
The obvious rule is to deliver high-quality content to your readers in well-timed intervals. Waiting too long before putting out new pieces may give the impression of inconsistency to both search engine crawlers and your audience. That’s why it’s best to make a content calendar and start working on pieces ahead of time.
Without a content calendar, you’ll never know how behind schedule you are. We wouldn’t know anything about that. Bei-ng lat-e? How do you pronounce that?
It’s also important to publish content that feels genuine. As writers, it’s our duty and pleasure to connect with our audiences and gain their trust. It truly makes a difference when you connect with the reader on a very human level by making the text feel relatable. We research to understand and empathize with the audience’s pain points, address them in a meaningful way, and have some fun along the way with engaging writing.
Once all of these conditions are fulfilled, it becomes easier to grow site authority, organic traffic, brand visibility, leads, and all that other good stuff. Yes, it starts off slow the first few months, but it’s important to stick it out and stay committed to publishing quality content. HubSpot claims that the secret formula is to publish 2-5 blogs a week to gain maximum ROI. For instance, after publishing 21-54 posts, businesses observe a website traffic increase of about 30%. And more website traffic means more leads and more conversions.
Content marketing is an amazing way to generate new leads, retain old customers, grow authority, and become a name in your industry. However, it takes time and effort to build all that up.
Sometimes life just gets in the way, and you may need to focus on other aspects of a business. Or it may just be that you don’t feel confident in your writing. After all, it takes a lot of work to tailor and execute a successful content strategy.
This is exactly where we can help. We’re here to grow that tree.
Our team of professional writers and editors can help you build an efficient content writing strategy and write pieces that will appeal to your audience. Contact us to see how we’ve helped clients, and what we can do for your business.
Written by Ipek Ozener
Born in Ankara. Based in Istanbul. Studied fashion design and currently enjoys working as a content writer. Loves traveling and attending music festivals.
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