If you want to succeed at content marketing, you have to start with quality content.
It's the solid foundation you need before you execute your campaign. If your content's no good, you won't get anywhere.
But there's another side to the equation, and that's promotion.
That's the hard part, really.
Creating truly great videos, blog posts, or infographics is no small feat itself.
But then, you have to find ways to get that content in front of the right audience, at the right time, in the right places.
If you neglect promotion, your campaign will inevitably fail.
Sure, there are rare instances where someone influential stumbles across your work and it “goes viral.”
But don't act as if that's ever realistically going to happen. It's a one in a million shot.
“Build it and they will come” doesn't work in a crowded online marketplace.
You have to actively promote your content if you want to find an audience.
In a recent blog post, the Content Marketing Institute explains how ignoring the promotional side of content marketing is a common cause of failure.
Pay attention to promotion
What do content marketing teams ignore the most?
“Promotion,” Kirsten says. “Content marketers still think, ‘If you write it, they will come.’”
Yes, she acknowledges, wonderful content over time eventually may get SEO results.
We launched Smarter With Gartner in part because the social media team had sizable followings across channels through which we could promote our content.
Over time, we added SEO, selected paid and social promotions, and backlinks on media channels to grow the audience.
As you invest in the right mix of promotion, consider your balance of quantity vs. quality content.
“There’s no set answer on frequency,” Kirsten says. “Defining a quantity goal out of the gate is the wrong approach.”
The best approach to promotion is to test, evaluate, and refine your mix over time to understand the right quality-quantity mix based on your competitive set.
If your competitors publish a high volume of content, you’ll need to increase content production – ensuring that it’s of as good or better quality – to compete in a noisy content marketplace.
If not, ensure that you’re creating quality content that will earn you search engine authority and credibility, and eventually visibility, over time.
These steady paid, earned, and owned content contributions to brand revenue and identity are a key attribute of Level 4 content marketing maturity.
You can read more about planning a mature content strategy over at the Content Marketing Institute.