So you’ve just hit “Publish”. All those days, weeks, maybe months of planning. DONE. All those internal debates. DONE. Hooray. Here we go......But wait... Days pass. Then weeks. Your view count is still in the double digits. Is ANYONE coming?
A new year looms. Against a backdrop of a global pandemic, market volatility, and economic uncertainty, it’s time to think seriously about budgets.
It's also now incumbent on marketing to demonstrate dollar returns. Content marketing strategies have to be ever more efficient with spend. If you want to impress your CEO and CFO with stellar ROI, achieving more with less is key.
Think beyond creation
If you relate at all to the melodramatic hypothetical situation in our intro (don’t worry, we’ve all been there), it’s probably time you change gear. Creation is not the be-all-and-end-all in your content strategy. What’s the point of spending all that time and money producing the content if it’s sitting idly on your website?
Because content can only provide value if people, y’know, actually see it. We say everyone needs to stop spending more money churning out more content, and instead think about how you can get the most out of each piece. Especially in an age where new media has it such that the internet is awash with content, most of it frankly quite rubbish, the imperative is to create fewer pieces of high quality, actually-useful and in-depth content, and then focus on really getting it out there.
Choose your channels
In an ideal world, as soon as your amazing piece of content comes hot off the figurative press -BAM!- it hits your distribution networks at full speed and -BOOM!- into the hearts and minds of your target audience.
But if that was always the case, would you still be sitting here reading this?
Most companies don’t have Kardashian-sized followings on social media or databases hundreds of thousands strong. And that’s okay. While it takes time to build these assets, brands can turn to earned and paid channels to distribute content to a wider audience than their own.
Using earned channels means borrowing someone else’s audience – whether an industry influencer with an engaged following on Twitter, a journalist who writes for a relevant publication or even collective users of social networks à la social sharing. Of course, these methods of distribution are out of your control and unpredictable, but can be hugely successful if executed well. And one of the simplest ways you can do so is to keep earned distribution in mind when creating the content in the first place – how do you induce a vested interest in sharing your content?
Paid distribution brings the benefits of being quick to the draw and reliable, and these days it’s common to only pay when you get a click. Digital advertising platforms also have increasingly precise targeting options, which is great for reaching niche audiences. The obvious downside to this type of distribution is that it costs money, and it’s only a short term solution compared to building your own relationships. However, your time and money invested in the production of the content is also wasted if no one reads it, so don't be afraid to amplify it through paid channels to make it worthwhile.