The right content marketing strategies can bring in exponential results for your business. If you’re ready to build relationships, increase your authority, and educate customers with awesome content, incorporate a little marketing into your business model.

Of course, it’s not enough to just say that content marketing is a necessity. Why is it so important? How can you get the most value from your marketing efforts? These three simple tips will help you keep on top of your game and guarantee that your business doesn’t fall victim to the changing industry.

1. Focus on More Than Content

Content alone will only get you so far. Filling your blog with a variety of material is what helps increase authority and welcome engagement from your readers. Content means a lot of different things, such as white papers, research, gated content, and guest posts.

For example, take a look at white papers. If you include white papers on your blog or offer exclusive access to one for email subscribers, you may see a significant jump in views. Research shows that 61% of business owners share white papers with their colleagues. Additionally, in 2018, consumers trust blog posts and podcasts as their go-to methods for educational purposes. So, articles aren’t the only way to go anymore.

Business owners recognize this shift in consumer attention as well. Helen Croydon, the founder of Thought Leadership PR, doesn’t think that creating content alone will lead to any business. She does, however, think content creation brings an increase in your authority and brand. “Anyone can churn out a blog for their website in order to alert Google their site is active. But very few people understand the principles of storytelling enough to make their content useful to those who come across it,” she said.

In order to make your content useful, you should recruit writers who understand the material. As we just learned, consumers still prefer blog posts as one of their top methods for learning new skills. So, an unhelpful blog post could lead to a loss in sales and viewership. According to Croydon, blogs that don’t get to the heart of the issue or listicles are telltale signs that blog content has been churned out by a non-professional writer.

Since she used to be a journalist, Croydon also believes that business owners need to create thought leadership rather than content. “The first is a product, that can be easily ignored. The latter is a strategy” she said. “Thought leadership articles aren’t promotional but informative and add genuine value to the reader. But they’re way more effective because the reader will remember you, and even better, trust you.”

2. Adapt With the Industry

That said, content marketing has evolved. Oftentimes, business owners wonder whether content marketing is even worth it anymore. Some even argue that the entire practice is dead and shifting towards different strategies, like influencer marketing.

But, content marketing isn’t dead, it’s merely changing. The old ways of doing content marketing may have been retired, but that doesn’t mean your business can ignore the practice. Rather than giving up on marketing altogether, reflect on your strategies and see if you can make improvements. If you discover roadblocks in your traffic or lead generation, ask yourself:

  • Is my content really as valuable to my target audience as it can be?
  • What is my competition offering that I’m not?
  • Am I attracting the right people on social media or with my content?

Even with talk of the industry’s death, Content Marketing Institute’s 2017 research revealed its importance for businesses. They discovered that 88% of B2B marketers consider content marketing an important component of their organization’s marketing strategy.

With all of this in mind, some business owners prefer to shift their focus to other methods. Take Alexander Porter, the head of content marketing at Search it Local. Porter says that it’s still possible to achieve brand recognition and traffic, but it’s “increasingly time-consuming and challenging in content-saturated space.”

Instead, he focusses on upgrading his content and thinks others should follow suit in 2020. “By that I mean, take your old content, find out what was having minor ranking success, and upgrade it. Look to add layers of value,” he said. “Since you published your content, what has changed in your industry? What experts can you speak to with inclusions of their commentary? What stats are now out of date? Consider contacting prominent micro-experts in a roundup and add their input.”

Porter believes these two have a dual effect on improving your previous content and allowing you to rank for keywords you already target. “But it will also create valuable relationships with industry experts who may share your content,” he said. “By including their opinions and encouraging them to share your upgraded content, you’ll benefit from a hit in traffic. The positive user signals on-site all contribute to better SEO rankings.”

3. Remember Progress Takes Time

With content marketing undergoing significant changes, it’s tough to keep up with the industry. Marketers with years of experience still spend good chunks of their time monitoring current trends.

Regardless of which marketing strategy you decide to deploy, remember that progress takes time. Neil Patel’s research shows that businesses should expect to see results after 6-12 months. This isn’t to say that your marketing efforts will increase traffic by triple digits. But, solid tactics should bring in some traction after about six months.

Aqsa Tabassam, the growth marketer for Brandnic agrees with this. “You can’t expect miraculous results within a few months or even a year,” she said. “Instead of boosting my traffic with paid ads, I found it more fruitful to focus on quality content marketing.”

Tabassam added that her main focus was to retain consistent organic traffic with her content. So, in addition to content marketing, she also focusses on evergreen blog posts. With this strategy, the older some of her content gets, the better it does.

In the end, she believes that content marketing is for patient and optimistic people. “It takes courage but pays off in the long run,” she said. “Apply smart content marketing strategies, be patient, keep going, and get ready to see results.”

Final Thoughts

Content marketing can do a great deal for your business. Keep in mind that it takes some patience, but the proper strategy should bring in results after 6-12 months. You’ll also want to ensure that your business keeps on top of the latest content marketing trends and doesn’t fall by the wayside when further evolution occurs.