Too many companies fall short with content because they fail to invest in the long term. But you’ll never see the results you want by just posting a few blog posts and hoping for the best. In fact, marketers typically don't start seeing results from content marketing until after six to nine months.
Many factors play into a successful content marketing initiative: a great strategy, clearly defined goals, high-quality writing, and testing new tactics. But above all, you have to give content time to create a ripple effect.
Let’s take a second to borrow a foundational idea of investing and finance: “A dollar today is worth more than a dollar a year from now.” Because money appreciates through interest, any amount of money you have today is worth more than the same amount received in the future.
Content also continues to deliver over time, unlike traditional paid advertising. What happens over the course of a year that makes the content you create today more valuable than it would be if you wrote it a year from now?
Here are five benefits that start to build momentum from the moment you publish a piece of content:
When you start building your content strategy, your audience reach is zero — or close to it. As you begin to write and circulate content, you’ll gradually build a group of followers and subscribers who are genuinely interested in your ideas. This makes for easier distribution and provides opportunities to create more consistent touchpoints through social posts and emails with prospects.
As you build an ecosystem of high-quality content, people in the industry and your target audience begin to take notice. Valuable content earns links and recognition from other high-quality sites. This not only generates traffic through direct referrals, but it also increases domain authority, boosting your organic search rankings.
Now that you have more content on your site, you’ve increased the number of pages that Google can index, giving you more opportunities to rank in search engine results pages for relevant keywords and amplify organic traffic. And as your content ranks higher and higher in search results, you'll naturally attract more visitors to those pages over time.
By publishing content, you’ve strengthened the connection between your brand and your industry online. You have a platform for adding value to your audience, getting your company’s perspectives and opinions published, and communicating your story.
Content also doubles as resources your sales team can use to educate and nurture prospects. When your salespeople can back up their conversations with detailed and thoughtful content, their words will carry more weight. And when audiences see your guest posts in respected industry publications, another layer of credibility and trust is built.
With each passing day, content continues to provide immense value to your marketing strategy and company. Let's look at a few types of content and how they have continued to drive long-term value for our business.
Our marketing team published an interactive content strategy checklist in June 2017. Within the first month, this piece of gated content was downloaded 43 times, generating 12 new contacts.
Fast-forward to the one-year mark, and this piece had been downloaded 563 times and generated 130 new contacts. But that's nothing compared to the results now.
As of Dec. 10, 2020, our interactive content strategy checklist has been downloaded 2,271 times and has generated 925 new contacts for our business. It has even been directly linked to a closed sale.
In September 2018, we published a blog post outlining important marketing terms that every marketer needs to know. Within the first month, this blog post was viewed 995 times, and the calls to action within the blog post led to our company garnering 10 new form submissions and two new contacts.
Fast-forward to the one-year mark, and this article had been viewed 7,341 times and led to 21 form submissions and 12 new contacts. Plus, it influenced three closed sales.
As of Dec. 10, 2020, this blog post has been viewed 46,322 times and has generated 141 form submissions and 119 new contacts.
Our team published a guest post in Inc. in July 2017 discussing free content marketing tools that marketers should be using. Within the first month, our website saw 334 sessions and 60 new contacts as a result of this article.
Fast-forward to the one-year mark, and this article had generated 892 sessions and 125 new contacts.
As of Dec. 10, 2020, this article has brought in 1,969 sessions, as well as 333 new contacts — 64 of which have come in just within the past year.
As you can see, content can yield big dividends in the long term — but you have to be willing to give it time. Giving up after a few months of publishing will only stifle your content’s potential and deprive your company of opportunities and impactful content marketing ROI. Stick with your investment, and don’t get discouraged if the results don’t pan out as soon as you’d anticipated. In time, the payoff will be well worth it.