Content marketing is an incredibly powerful game changer. It can completely turn a startup into a big business, keep a big corporation on top of their game, and make an ordinary product go viral in a matter of hours.
As a result, content is loved and used by many. As of 2017, the overwhelming majority (89%) of B2B marketers use content marketing in some form as part of their marketing strategy.
There’s even a report that 51% of companies are planning to have an executive in their organization this year, who will be directly responsible for an overall content marketing strategy.
While increase in content marketing adoption is a good thing, there’s a problem:
Not much marketers get appreciable results off of content marketing. It seems everyone is doing content but not a lot of rewards to show for it.
As a content marketing expert and SEO specialist who’s worked with dozens of businesses all over the world on their content marketing strategy, I regularly receive emails from new and potential clients telling me how that they’ve been doing content marketing for some time but see no returns and now need my help.
But why is it so? What could the problem be?
Well, turns out the problem lies with some marketers themselves. And it’s quite common.
Let’s pull back to where it starts…
The Problem with Some Marketers
See, some marketers actually think that “content marketing” is simply all about creating content. They think once they create content, users will find the content, read it, and do whatever it says. They think organic traffic will go through the roof while people will come in and convert into paying customers.
But guess what? That’s dead wrong!
Content marketing doesn’t work that way. That’s a way to continue the “if you build it, they will come” fallacy. And it’s bad for business.
Content marketing failure is mostly caused by the immense immaturity found today in content marketing.
As you can imagine, how well marketers execute their campaigns varies. Their content marketing maturity levels are different.
As you can see in the illustration below, only 6% of companies are considered sophisticated and 22% mature.
What’s the proper way to do content marketing?
It’s unbelievably elemental yet not many get it. To understand the proper way to do content marketing, you’d first have to understand the component parts of content marketing.
The Main Components of Content Marketing
At its barest, content marketing involves two main parts:
- Content creation
- Content promotion
Here’s the thing:
Some marketers only do the creation part of content marketing but not much of promotion.
Here’s what you need to know:
Content marketing success isn’t guaranteed when you click publish. Content promotion is the secret ingredient.
Why? Because no matter how great your content is, if you don’t put it out there for people to see and consume, it will fall flat.
If you do a lot of promoting, but just a little of creating, then you are probably going to be more successful than a company who does a lot of creating, but a little promoting.
Content promotion is just as important as content creation. In fact, the quickest way to kill your content marketing is to do nothing after you create your content.
As an expert who’s worked on the content marketing of many companies, I’ve seen many businesses make this mistake, and usually, I’ll give them this advice:
Always remember the ‘marketing’ in content marketing.
You might say:
“But we do put up our content on social media platforms yet we still do not get much results”
Understand that when I say promotion, there’s more to it than just putting up a post or two on Facebook. We’re talking intensive and aggressive promoting here. I even recommend the 80/20 rule of content marketing.
The 80/20 Percent Rule of Content Marketing
As a guide, you ought to follow the 80/20 rule of content marketing implementation. This means putting in 20 percent of time into content creation and 80 percent more time into promoting that piece of content. That’s the way to get maximized returns on your content marketing investments.
Don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean neglecting creating great and fresh content. Regular, fresh content is vitally important, both for you and your readers. Without great content, you wouldn’t have what to promote in the first place. However, promotion is integral if your content must go places and get you some impressive metrics.
It feels nasty every time I see a business complain that content marketing doesn’t work for them. Unless you’re the Huffington Post or Wall Street Journal, people aren’t going to just start reading your content en masse.
That’s primarily because the Internet is a crowded place with lots of noise. While your content may be awesome, there are still so many pieces of content out there that are equally great and waiting to be found.
In fact, as of 2015, roughly two million blog posts were reported to be published every single day. If you really want to have an idea of how much content is being created daily, check out One Second on the Internet. It’ll really put this phenomenon into perspective.
With this mind-boggling amount of content on the Internet, the only way to cut through the noise and stand out is to build and implement an extremely effective promotion strategy that can get eyeballs on your content. There is no two ways about it; you have to work hard and smart at it because it takes a lot of work but it’s worth it.
As a hint, the important thing to remember about content marketing is that half the work is creation, the other half is promotion. So if you aren’t doing any content marketing promotion, adjust your approach to spend a solid proportion of your time on promotion.