There is no getting around it – effective content marketing is hard; damn hard. It can be quite elusive and take a lot of time to pay off, if it does occur. And it can get very expensive. But through all the trials and tribulations, for some, it can really pay big dividends.
Whether it is text, images, graphics, videos, or a combination of elements, most highly successful pieces of content didn’t come without laying the groundwork to distribute it. While social networks have made dissemination much easier, it sure helps to get a boost from your existing followers through a variety of networks such as Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.
Successful sustained content marketing can lead to a big boost in social media followers, blog comments, and much greater visibility and brand recognition. This awareness and community development can be leveraged in multiple ways by a business.
The High End Article Marketer
For example, in the SEO sphere, larger agencies that have built up their following and contacts over the years may be able use their status to have more visibility and stature to get highly sought after valuable links from authoritative sites for clients.
With their position, which may be built in part through their content marketing, these companies are more likely to have connections with major websites and have access to providing them linkable content.
These types of high value links can go a long way towards building up a companies credibility, notoriety, and the search rankings of a client’s website. After all, relationships are the new currency of the Web. But this approach requires significant resources and may not be the best fit depending on your business or the type of content you are producing.
The Visual Marketer
Today, online marketing is become more like offline marketing. You need a compelling message, creativity, brand awareness, and an awesome product or service to succeed. Madison Avenue has gone online.
Brands are starting to wake up to the fact that generating unique and compelling content is the key to winning online.
– Tom Critchlow, Distilled
With the recent Google algorithm updates and blog network de-indexing, traditional link building SEO is not as powerful as it once was. In some respects with these changes, the SEO industry has becoming the content marketing industry. Online marketing isn’t really about just getting links anymore. It’s about creating buzz and exposure through which links are a byproduct.
Companies that want to create content marketing campaigns are often better suited to market a graphic or video than an article alone in terms of accomplishing marketing goals. But high quality graphic and video can again be expensive to produce and you often need a well-greased distribution channel (i.e. large social network followings) for it to have an impact.
The Bootstrapped Content Marketer
Sometimes marketers produce viral content through a little planning, practice, talent, luck, and timing. But this requires a lot of hard work and usually some artistic talent to occur. These days content is more likely to go viral if it has an interesting graphic or video, as this can also enhance its sharability.
Even when the fortunate content marketer hits a home run with a piece, they usually have laid some decent groundwork for it to occur. They have likely had a few singles and double along the way, playing some small ball SEO. Partner with someone who has had some degree of success.
With this approach, you have less of a chance of success, but your costs will likely be much lower. Don’t kid yourself into thinking you can become an overnight content marketing sensation, as the odds are slim.
The vast majority of content marketing fails, just like many offline ad campaigns. There shouldn’t be any illusions that successful content marketing requires a certain industry position and visibility or a lot of things to align to occur.
And frankly, I’m getting sick and tired of hearing about how the time for content marketing is now, as if it is the way for the masses to do SEO. It can work but for most it is not some magic potent that is going to bring a cascade of links.
These are your content marketing paths should choose to accept your mission. Choose wisely.
Author: +Jason Nelson