I recently watched a Hubspot Academy discussion with David Meerman Scott on content marketing. Throughout the hour long conversation, several topics were discussed that expanded my thoughts on how to view blog content for business. We already know marketers who blog are 13 times more likely to generate an ROI on their website. Still, a roadblock may exist when it comes to the bottom line of blog content expectations in relation to business expenses of time and money.
How Do You View Your Content?
David Meerman Scott presented an interesting suggestion about how companies are held accountable for the expense of marketing content. He explained that in budgeting content is placed in a column as an expense. Let’s say your budget has a monthly line item for content. Since there is a monthly expense, an expectation of monthly earnings in response to that expense exists.
Scott suggests content should be shifted over to the asset column. His point was that just like a patent; blog content has the ability to continually work for business. Search engines will pull content relevant to a search request 24/7. Even if your blog post was written a decade ago, it could still work for you by attracting customers to your website.
Inbound marketing is a process that can include slow growth. It’s an investment in quality marketing that targets the buyer who needs your services or products. Viewing marketing content like a blog post as a long term investment may help someone to shift their view of a blog expense. This can help to avoid spending money for vanity metrics in the form of paying for a post to be advertised just to obtain a certain social media statistic and hit a monthly goal.
How Do You Choose Your Content?
Even if you shift thinking to see blog content as a long term investment, there are still decisions to be made regarding content topics. Not all blog content has the same life expectancy. There is content that is specifically relevant to what is going on today, like something that addresses current events or a specific trend. This content may feature something that will attract someone to your website right now, but not stay relevant long term. Classic content can be considered a blog post that will be just as helpful in a year or more as it is today.
For example, the Parks Services might create content about the solar eclipse that is happening August 21st, 2017 which will be really popular in the weeks around the event. Since the eclipse only happens every so often (the last one of this type was in 1918) the blog post may not draw in as many readers in the years to come. On the other hand, content about camping safety or specific things to know about that park will likely attract the right people to the parks services website.
So your choices of content to invest in are:
- Write content that is relevant short-term
- Write content that is relevant long-term
- Write a combination of both long and short term relevant content
The answer I’m going to suggest (as did Scott) is to choose a combination. Writing quality content takes a lot of time. But, Scott suggests that if you find you have something to say about a current event, you should create that content as well.
Writing a post about a trending topic may attract a person to your website who wouldn’t have found you via a traditional search. They may find some additional content of yours that they like and possibly even convert to a buyer.
Is My Idea Worth The Time?
The traditional way promotional content is marketed is to write the blog post or create an infographic and then push it out on social media and email. If you are not sure there is interest in a specific blog subject, one idea that was suggested might be worth exploring. Scott suggested pushing a thought out first via Twitter to see if it garners a response. He called this a ladder method, and whether you start with social media or not, this idea may help you focus on content your readers are most interested in.
Before spending hundreds of hours on a subject creating an e-book or a video presentation begin at the bottom rung and work your way up.
Consider this list:
- Printed Book or Video Lecture Series
- Video Presentation
- Blog Post
- Social Media
It’s going to be much less costly to toss an idea out on social media to see if it gathers a response than if you start in the middle and launch a video presentation that no one is interested in. I think there might be another benefit of putting a concept out on social media. This might be a great way to get a conversation started on a subject others aren’t yet discussing. You may find that your content presents a different angle and answers more questions than it originally would have if you just sat down and began to write.
Time and time again small businesses are finding that the inbound method is helping to attract new people to their company. This is often done using free tools available on the internet! Having a blog is a great tool to draw people in continually. That being said, it is important to be patient as you consider your ROI with content. Just because a post doesn’t have a thousand views on the first day does not mean it was a wasted effort. What’s most important is investing the time to develop content that attracts the right person to your website so that a relationship of trust can begin to develop.
If you are having a hard time figuring out the best content strategy, let us know! We are ready to help you develop a marketing strategy for your business by focusing on the right analytics for long term growth.