Recently, I’ve had many clients come to me and express concern over content marketing and the return on investment it will bring to them. These concerns range from the issue of having any return on investment at all; to how much money they’re going to get, right down to the last penny.
As this conversation is now a common one, my answer is becoming clearer and clearer:
Your company will only get a return on investment that is directly proportionate to the amount of effort put in.
If that sounds a little casual, I apologise.
It’s still true. The more work you put into the content, the better the results. So a client who comes to me and wants five blog posts over two months and expects 200 new subscribers by the third month is severely misguided. And so is the client who thinks she will get a good amount of traffic if she only ever posts once a week (she will, but it will take a lot of weeks).
The Internet is no longer the fun and exciting place it used to be. Instead, it’s monopolised and exploited. It is no longer a new frontier that anyone can claim with a little bit of hard work. If you want to have any impact at all with your content marketing, meaning traffic and return on investment, you need a full campaign that projects months and even years ahead.
What great content won’t do for you
You could have the best content in the world, but it will never, ever do any of the following things for you.
It won’t compensate for low frequency
If I wrote like Ernest Hemingway once a month for twelve months I still wouldn’t get a single iota of interest on my traffic. That’s because Google and everyone else who is involved in your traffic is only ever looking for volume.
No one would ever visit Disneyworld if it had just one ride.
The answer? Post often, and publish often
It won’t disguise the fact you don’t have a strategy
Some great pieces that are not connected, but are instead just random collections of thoughts vaguely linked to your industry, will not establish your presence or build engagement.
The answer? Settle on a theme or two, and then hammer those themes with good content.
It won’t bring you a sale the first time you do it (or the first five times)
This is a killer for most companies. They are convinced that a few good pieces of content will secure a sale, and bring that famous ROI. This doesn’t happen. We are talking about a series of high quality posts that are marketed well, not a few good posts.
It’s not the content marketing, it’s you
The fact is that anyone can write. Seriously, anyone can. But can your company write and add value in the long term? If it can’t, don’t bother with content marketing. It will never work for you.