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As your content marketing strategy pays off, you might be tempted to increase content production to keep the traffic, links, and leads rolling in. After all, if a little content is good, more must be better. Businesses commonly scale out their production rapidly, especially if they’ve been granted a significant bump in resources to make it happen.
However, content production isn’t exempt from the rule of diminishing returns, and you may find yourself plateauing or losing money if you scale too fast. Instead of ramping up production, take the following steps to make sure you’re ramping up results instead.
Content creation is the most visible step in the marketing process. You can easily quantify creation time, creation cost, and performance expectations. Granted, content creation is something visible, but at the end of the day, what matters is not what you have, but what you do with your resources.
Often, companies are left with “too much content” because they put quantity over quality. You might find plenty of amazing work on their blogs, but most of that work is underperforming. As a result, the bulk of the content is quickly forgotten and never seen again.
If you’re going to scale your content, scale out instead of up. Create content with a strategic promotion plan to involve influencers and build relationships. This approach will open up your blog to new audiences and collaboration opportunities. After the connections side, make sure each piece comes with a curation aspect that drives qualified traffic from across the internet. Not only will this check make your content team happy when they see how many people read their work, but it will also make the sales side happy when they see a bump in leads.
Image via Flickr by markleslie1
As you scale out your content and create pieces with specific micro-promotion strategies, you also need to consider the purpose of the content you’re creating. The audience members visiting your blog will get caught in multiple steps of the sales funnel. You will meet first-time visitors looking for marketing help, mid-funnel leads trying to compare your strategy to your peers, and clients that want to learn more about their options. All three of these segments need specific content.
However, not all content will correlate directly to lead generation. Some pieces — such as comics, videos, and games — will generate significant shares and traffic to your website, but few leads. Others — such as webinars and e-books — might not go viral, but they will engage your audiences and move them deeper into the funnel.
As you approach each piece of content with a creation plan and goals to measure success, attach a marketing plan to make your goals happen. This way, you will get the most out of your site strategy and better understand how your customer acquisition process works.
Another benefit to crafting strategic content instead of ramping up production is the increase in happiness within your team. Companies that scale content rapidly often leave their team members floundering and struggling to come up with fresh takes or new ideas. Once a team gets burned out, ideation sessions can slow to a crawl, content creation can suffer, and the audience can start to notice patterns in the content.
Instead of scaling up dramatically, expand each piece into something promoted and highlighted like an e-book or podcast. Not only does this focus help you, but it also shows your team members that you care about the hard work they put into the creative process.
You’ll find good news for companies that have produced content to the point of burnout or have created several new pieces of content that don’t completely cover the subject. You can repurpose your existing content in a way that will drive new leads and traffic instead of leaving material to wallow in your archives.
The ideas above are only a few ways that you can revamp old content. Whether you’re breaking down lengthy pieces into bite-sized digestables or combining short bursts into an ultimate guide, you can repurpose your existing content.
You can easily get addicted to fast viral success through content creation, but content marketing requires a long-term plan. We recommend setting goals for traffic, links, shares, leads, and revenue over the course of six months — and possibly a year depending on your industry.
Start with sharing and setting traffic goals for the first 48 hours. This time period allows you to measure whether people take interest in your content. Next, measure links two weeks and three months out so that you can see if the content piece continues to organically drive traffic and show up in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
Tracking your pieces over a long time period also teaches you what works for your goals. One article might not generate much traffic at first, but it could build hundreds of links over time. Both types of content are important, and both should be recognized for the work they do. Tracking will also allow you to give feedback to your team and guide them through the ideation process to create smarter content.
You might be tempted to push your limits by scaling content to a level you can barely handle, but you could end up with a poor product. Ask yourself the following question: Are you creating TV dinners or five-star courses? One of these choices is more memorable than the other, and what’s memorable will produce better reviews, returning customers, and results.