Yes, I’m guilty.
Guilty of promoting the importance — nay, the necessity — of producing interesting, original content for business owners who want to nail online marketing. I go on and on about the amazing results you’ll see from consistently publishing blog posts and promoting your content. I, and other marketers like me, shout from the rooftops that creating blog posts, case studies, emails, landing pages, videos, infographics, and all sorts of digital content is critical to attract, convert, and delight your customers.
Alas, we often talk less (and in a much quieter voice) about the hard work and lengthy amount of time it actually takes to make content marketing work well for any business.
I love this video by Rand Fishkin of the SEO giant, Moz, for its clear and straightforward explanation of how content marketing really works.
He dispels this commonly believed myth:
It’s easy to convert website visitors into customers quickly. All you have to do is create and promote fabulous content that people are going to love.
That sounds exactly like what content marketers say all the time, doesn’t it?
Yes. No doubt about it. It sounds just like what we promise.
Almost. There are two words that need to come out of those sentences, though. If we’re being completely forthright and honest, the words “easy” and “quickly” are not part of how content marketing really works.
Check out the video below to see why, then read below for more scintillating thoughts on the subject.
He’s Right About Content Marketing
As Rand says, it takes a lot of trial and error to discover what content your audience is going to love.
Even after you find the magical well full of content ideas your audience adores, the likelihood of someone reading a blog post or experiencing a single piece of content and then automatically signing up to buy your product or service is nil. None. Nada. It never happens.
Instead, we make deposits into our audience members’ trust banks with each piece of content they find to be valuable to them. A few important qualifiers are in that sentence: People must find your content, and it must be valuable to them.
But when you nail that part, you’re finally on your way, right? At last! The cash register is going to start ringing like crazy!
Not so fast. You’re on your way, yes, but you’ve got a long way to go. You have to repeat the entire process, over and over again. Create content that provides value. Make sure your audience finds it and loves it. Then, do it again.
And again and again. And then do it some more. You get the idea. It’s a long game that not many businesses have the stamina to maintain.
It could take years. But, eventually, you start to gain name recognition. You build your brand through positive associations. Your audience learns they can rely on you for quality information. They trust your business.
Then, and only then, is when you’ll finally make the sale.