Most people think that if they invest a ton of money into marketing that they will see immediate results, which, in all honesty, can be true. Content marketing is one exception to the rule, though. It can often be very cost intensive and yet the results tend to be very slow. If you’re looking for a quick marketing fix, a content marketing strategy is not it.
Fully understanding how content marketing works and how long it should take will help you to better integrate it into your plan. When publishing content, you may notice an initial spike in traffic results and social engagement, but for content marketing to pay off you have to understand it is all about the long game. One good piece of content can be the driving force behind the traffic and leads that your company has been searching for – but how long until you can expect those results?
First, your content has to be valuable. If you have content that adds value to your audience that’s the first step in the right direction. Next you’ll want to share that content on your website, social channels, and elsewhere. For content to provide SEO results it has to rank in search first. It can often take months for that to happen. Lets explore:
After you publish something awesome, a few things need to happen that tell search engines your content is valuable and relevant to online search users. Here’s what this typically looks like in a nutshell:
- Relevant, high-quality websites link to your content.
- Your content starts ranking in search.
- People start clicking on your content in the search results.
- Site visitors send signals to search engines that they like your content(such as spending a lot of time on the page, leaving a comment, bookmarking the page and so forth).
- Google rewards you with higher rankings.
- Steps 1 to 5 keep repeating.
The above process happens gradually. From there, your content can start ranking higher in search engines, more people will see it, and you’ll see benefits such as a sustained lift in traffic, conversions and brand awareness. As you continue to publish content, this process keeps happening over and over again.
I like to think of it as an equation:A lot of work up front + sustained effort = compounding SEO benefits
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So the questions we all want to know are:
- Is content marketing worth it?
- How long does it take for content marketing to work?
My personal opinion on the first question of worth is that 100% yes, content marketing is worth it. If just one piece of content pays off it can be a sustainable traffic driver to your site and that is icing on the cake. Content also never dies, so even if your content is paying off now, at any moment it could blow up. The time it will take depends on the searchability of your site as it stands when content is delivered to the public, how valuable your content is, and also how relevant. I think for an awesome piece of content that really helps the end user and for a site that is small without a lot of visibility we might be talking about a year or more, but the time you wait is well deserving of the payoff. If you are interested in learning more about how to create a content marketing plan or want to make your website more easily found in search, contact Advantage Internet marketing today for help.