Online Content Marketing – It’s about the Long Game

We’re often asked how long it takes to get a return on investment from online marketing – especially for one of the critical building blocks of online marketing: content marketing.
Content marketing is the consistent creation and distribution of valuable, relevant content such as blogs, e-newsletters, videos, whitepapers, infographics, case studies, etc. through various online channels.
Content marketing is a lot of work and requires on-going investment, so naturally business owners expect they will get business results from these activities.
As with online marketing itself, content marketing requires a long-term commitment. It’s about doing the right things over a sustained period of time – focusing on stringing a series of solid hits together instead of counting on hitting one out of the park. Your content will build momentum as you go.
This approach of “slow and steady wins the race” is reinforced through recent research by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), whose most recent 2017 B2B and B2C studies show “marketers need to give content marketing time”.

Highlights from CMI’s 2017 Content Marketing Reports:

  • 63% of B2C marketers say approach to content marketing is more successful than 1 year ago
  • 74% of B2C marketers report having either a documented or verbal content marketing strategy (note: a documented strategy is most effective!)
  • 85% of top performing marketers deliver content consistently over time
  • 89% of B2B marketers are using content marketing
  • 85% of B2B marketers cited content creation as a factor contributing to their success in the past year

It’s clear content marketing is on the increase because B2B and B2C companies recognize the value of developing credibility with their prospects and customers by imparting their insights and subject matter expertise.
For the full story, check out CMI’s 2017 reports:

Why Does Successful Content Marketing Take Time?

successful content marketing takes time
The research unambiguously shows that good content marketing takes time; it can take 12-24 months to see the payoff.
But why?

  • Building a smart strategy based on your business goals
  • Testing various distribution channels (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Email, etc.), determining where your audience is, and discovering how they want to engage with you
  • Experimenting with different types of content, titles, formats, and topics to determine which will be most successful for your business, industry, and audience
  • Measuring the results of your content marketing efforts
  • Creating a strong backlog of content to build credibility with search engines, prospects, influencers and customers

A Quick Real Life Example

We practice what we preach. An important element of our content marketing strategy is to provide blog content to third parties that target the same audience as Core.
A recent guest blog post we wrote was viewed by a business owner that was looking to replace his current online marketing provider. This is an opportunity we would have never considered targeting because of the niche nature of the business.
Within two weeks we secured the client – likely a multi-year commitment worth tens of thousands of dollars in revenue. This is not the story of a “quick hit”; we’ve been at this for a while! But our commitment to developing on-going quality content, and distributing it through various channels such as third party partners, has definitely paid off.
If you stick with it, content marketing will help you achieve your revenue and growth objectives. But you need to manage your expectations. Remember, it will take time to realize tangible results. Once content marketing (integrated with your other online marketing activities) picks up momentum, you can expect a consistent and sustainable impact on your revenue growth.

Core Online Marketing is an outsourced online marketing agency with expertise in content creation, content distribution, SEO, online advertising, and much more! Contact us or sign up for our free online marketing seminar (soon to be a webinar!).
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Ben Molfetta
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