When the Olympics kick off this year in London, all eyes will be on our representative athletes as they compete to be the world’s best. I always love watching the Olympics, if only to enjoy seeing so much talent in one place. The more I think about it, the Olympics are a great model for scaling and expanding your conversion marketing strategies. Take a look at what I mean, and how you can apply the dedication of an Olympic athlete to your business with surprising results.

In the Olympics, athletes can come from all walks of life and serve all sorts of different industries and purposes before they begin training. In fact, there are restrictions as to how many professional athletes can compete at the Olympics: only three professional players are allowed on men’s soccer teams, for instance. The road from amateur to Olympic success is a long one, and once these determined athletes start training for their events, they’re dedicated solely to improving their skills, and won’t stop until they’re the best in the world. Their skills apply to a wide variety of competitions, and you’ll often see the same athlete compete for many similar events.

Take Usain Bolt, for instance. The Jamaican sprinter holds the fastest 100m sprint time in history, and shows no signs of slowing down this year. His skills helped him take home gold medals at the 2008 Beijing games in the 100m, 200m, and four-by-100m relays. The world expects him to repeat his performance again this year—except his rivals, who hope he’s slowed down enough to give them a chance.

Michael Phelps is another example of mastering a skill and applying it across a wide range of competitions. His swimming prowess helped him take six gold medals home in the 2004 Athens Olympics, and another 8 golds from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Over his many years of competing and training, he has become the model competitor for many different swimming events.

Go For The Gold In Your Event, Then Try For Others

If you know how blogging for business works, even on a basic level, you should see what I’m getting at by now. These athletes spend a long time perfecting their techniques and maximizing their efficiency and effectiveness in their events. They began as true amateurs, and with years of dedication, determination, and analysis of their past results, they’ve identified their strengths and weaknesses over time and have worked tirelessly to improve themselves.

This is exactly how content marketing works. Instead of many marketing practices, where an idea is powered to completion then forgotten about for the next big idea, content marketing takes time to perfect and test, over and over again. Any business, from the small brick-and-mortar shop to an international conglomerate, starts at the same place with their content marketing: the amateur level. They develop the initial content and then continually “train” it with improvements and optimizations that make it produce the results they want.

If your content marketing is your website’s athletic performance, you can think of your business website’s analytics data as past performances. Does your small business need to attract more traffic than last month? Perhaps your content marketing needs to be refreshed with better link building, more keywords, or additional attention-grabbing multimedia. Are your promotional campaigns underperforming? Your data will tell you if you can make any additional enhancements or improvements for next time.

If You Can Succeed Once, You Can Do It Again

In athletic terms: if you can ace the 100m dash, you can surely ace the 200m dash as well. Once you’ve used your analytics and site feedback data to improve your content marketing, and you are seeing the ROI and conversions you really want, you’re ready to scale these strategies up, into new markets and wider fields. Your past success will give you a game plan for expanding into these new markets. Not all promotional plans will be simple copy-paste jobs from one market to the other, but the general strategies you’ve succeeded with in the past will help you quickly target and optimize your content for the future.

Paying attention to your online content performance and constantly enhancing it over time is the key to content marketing success. A good content marketing strategy that brings in results will be worth the extra time and effort spent developing it. Michael Phelps brought home more gold medals in 2008 than he did in 2004, thanks to his training and continual improvement over time. Your business can pull off similar feats of greatness: once you’ve developed strategies and techniques that produce gold-medal results, you can use your strategies as a blueprint to aim higher and find success in broader markets.