The value of content is a debatable topic between marketing teams and leaders. Why? Simply put, because it is expensive and time consuming to produce. Leaders want to see immediate results and they want attributed ROI that proves the effort is worth the investment. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way when it comes to content.
A well-executed long-term content strategy impacts results, no doubt, but ROI may be difficult to attribute. That doesn’t mean content is not worth the investment, and it may take pointing out some of the long-term benefits content can have to win backing.
It starts with a plan.
It all starts with a plan. Having a solid strategy and a reliable team to execute on the plan, is how companies get great results from content. Content needs to be delivered consistently and ongoing to get the most value from the effort. It needs to be strategically placed, sliced and diced, and topical. Results won’t be seen tomorrow, or even in a month. The best results come over time, a compounding value from ongoing efforts.
Here are five ways investing in a long-term content strategy can pay off for your organization:
1. Content creates authority and relevance
If ranking higher in Google Search is on your list of to-dos, investing in a long-term content strategy is needed first. Content is the best way to grow your authority on a certain topic, and also your relevance to the search keywords you want your organization to be associated with. Google’s algorithm seeks out authority and relevance as two main ranking factors when it comes to SEO. The higher you rank, the more people will see your brand. So, if you want to move up in the rankings, investing in a long-term content strategy needs to be at the top of your to-do list.
2. Planning keeps you on course
The value of a long-term content plan cannot be overstated. Being consistent is key to higher ROI over time. But, in all businesses there are likely to be unplanned events that pop up, such as PR issues or product launches. These events can be distractors. Having a solid plan in place ensures that after such events, your organization will be able to realign back to its original goals. When organized in a long-term plan, a one-off event should not have a noticeable impact on your overall content strategy or its results.
3. Create content for every buyer stage
Are you creating content for everyone in your audience? A long-term plan should encompass each step in the buyer’s journey, for each buyer persona in your marketing plan. Content addresses the buyer’s needs during the phases of awareness, consideration and decision. Each buyer persona in your marketing plan may have different needs during these phases, so be sure to have content that addresses the variety of needs. Being organized in your content strategy helps ensure you’re not leaving anyone out or leaving any dollars on the table.
4. Create content beyond marketing needs
A long-term plan can help you integrate content that spans outside of marketing. This type of content can help maintain and grow existing customer relationships, and communicate changes or value. Be sure to include content that supports cross-sell/up-sell efforts, customer service, thought leadership and industry news. A well-rounded content strategy will include content in relation to these topics that grow continued loyalty and enhance existing relationships. These efforts will save future acquisition costs, as maintaining a customer is cheaper than obtaining new ones.
5. Get free marketing
Creating regular shareable content is like getting free advertising. The more your content is shared across social media channels and news outlets, the more eyes are on it. Grow reach by creating shareable bits of content. According to this Twitter Business article, 85% of shared content contains 1,000 words or fewer. This may mean you need to integrate short-form content into your long-term strategy. By increasing your audience size, you have a better opportunity to increase your content’s ROI.
Keep the content faucet running
As you can see, content can truly pay off. This is only five ways of many that a long-term content strategy is worth the investment. Whether your goal is to optimize for search or spread awareness about your brand, content is a key method for achievement if executed from a well-organized plan. Keep the content faucet running and be patient to realize the compounding impact to your bottom line.
If you need help with content development or strategic content planning, reach out! I’d love to help your organization grow!