Successful Content Marketing is Not Magic: 3 Steps to Real Results

Molly Bruno

Written by Molly Bruno on Wed, Mar 04, 2015

Instant gratification can be nice. Who doesn’t love to binge-watch their favorite Netflix series exactly when they want? While more things adapt to our must-have-right-now lifestyle, there is a downside to getting what we want on-demand. As we learned very early in life, working to earn something can provide a more profound reward. So, how does delayed gratification apply to content marketing?

While content marketing has the ability to provide incredible results, it typically occurs after a strong foundation is established. One of the main misconceptions that can set marketers back is the idea that amazing content is all that’s needed for success. While engaging, fresh content is at the core of successful content marketing, it is only a part of the process.

CMI_MarketingMagicRabbitHere are three steps to take to move from hoping for a magic wand to embracing a strategy that provides results.

Step one: Stick with a strategy

Marketers today are creating more content than ever, but that’s half the battle. Success barely stands a chance without a strategy. While 83 percent of marketers report to have a content strategy, only 35 percent have documented their strategy.

Operating without a strategy can be stressful, and actually cause more work than taking the time to develop a strategic plan. That’s why a well-defined and documented editorial content strategy is paramount in beginning and maintaining successful marketing efforts.

Start by:

  • Conducting keyword research
  • Creating relevant buyer personas
  • Knowing your audience and understanding their needs
  • Establishing tangible goals for each piece of content (who is it for and what do you want it to achieve?)

With solid planning, marketers can establish an approach for all content from blog posts to social media messages and begin sincerely practicing content marketing.

Step two: The magic word

What’s the magic touch to your plan? The content, of course. Regardless of your industry, every business has an opportunity to tell a story and engage their audience through content. Because producing content that engages prospects and customers is one of the biggest challenges businesses face today, sharing information that people are searching for is essential.

Whether you create content in-house or work with a content marketing agency, an up-to-date and engaging website, blog and other premium content is what brings qualified leads to your business.

As content builds on itself, it can garner real, quality results over a long period of time. If it feels like it is taking time to get the ball rolling and make an impact, that’s not a bad thing. While your efforts need to eventually take off, the time planning, generating, perfecting and measuring content is key in getting your footing and making sure you meet goals.

Step three: Measure results and maintain your momentum

Like a business strategy, you rarely put in place to never evaluate it again. The same goes for your content strategy. It’s essential to measure content performance with a content publishing and monitoring platform such as HubSpot and routinely look into what is and what is not working.

  • Could a long video that isn’t getting much traction be more effective broken up into a series?
  • Are people visiting your site, but not staying to explore it?
  • Would one social media platform serve you better than another?
  • Are blog posts getting a lot of views, but not driving many conversions?
  • What pages of your site are people most interested in?

Though it’s easy to get hung up on one method, content marketing requires flexibility so it adapts and changes over time.

Work your magic

Remember, timing is crucial in content marketing. Just as the results from a social media post can be tracked in a day, a new downloadable guide may require months of monitoring, tweaking and promotion to gauge success.

Like wishing for a magic weight loss fix, hoping content is the quick solution to all of your marketing woes can be challenging. Instead, develop a thoughtful and calculated content strategy for the right audience to produce measurable results from content marketing.

Do you want to know if your content marketing is delivering results for you? Download our latest guide that shows you how to prove your content ROI.


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