Am I Wasting My Time With Content Marketing?
Are you looking to get lots of traffic back to your website? Are you judging your content marketing success based on the number of visitors you attract? If so, yes, you are wasting your time with content marketing.
Content marketing is NOT about quick returns or getting tons of referral traffic back to your website. While that’s all fine and dandy, the ultimate goal of your content marketing strategy should be relationship building.
Relationship building… WTF? That’s right, content marketing is all about developing trusting relationships with consumers through content. I know, your boss could probably care less about you making friends with someone. They want to see a steady stream of traffic back to the website. Besides, how do you measure the ROI of relationship building?
The Wrong Way
Let me explain. We know that the first stage of content marketing consists of the creation and publication of content. The reality for most marketers, however, is that we rarely get a whole lot of views or interactions with the content unless we amplify and promote it online. This is where we started to get into trouble.
In order to make our bosses happy and inflate our egos, content marketers starting using sensational headlines to encourage people to click on our content. And guess what, it worked! By using a bit of clickbait, we were able to attract tons of traffic back to our websites. The boss was happy and you could give yourself a pat on the back.
But wait. There weren’t a whole lot of conversions happening. As a matter of fact, most of that traffic was bouncing (up 95% in some instances) and time-on-site was abysmal. So now the boss is upset again. “Why aren’t they buying our widget?” he wants to know.
No one’s buying the widget for a couple of reasons. The first, is that most of that traffic probably has no use for what you’re selling. The only reason they landed there was because you tricked them. How can we tell? Just look at your bounce rates and time-on-site. People are bouncing faster than a bunny on crack. As soon as they realize what you’re about, they leave. What’s the point of even sending them to your website? On top of that, I’ll bet you were paying a CPC rate and shelled out money for each of those worthless visits. What a waste!
The second reason no one purchased is because they can probably purchase the same thing from five other companies. Why would they choose yours? I’ll tell you why. If you develop meaningful relationships with them, they have every reason to purchase from you.
The Right Way
It works like this. Let’s say you create a piece of content and someone finds that content valuable. They’ll read it and probably move on. Let’s say that same person stumbles across another piece of your content a few weeks later. This time, they recognize the brand and the author, since they read your last piece. Again, they find value in the content, but now something special starts to happen. The reader makes a mental note of the author and brand and you begin to leave an impression on them. A few weeks later, same thing. Now you’re starting to leave your mark!
In addition, if you continue to create content that is valuable for that reader, they will want to follow you simply because they like what you have to offer. People are constantly looking for things that entertain, inspire, educate or inform them online. By creating content that suits their needs, you are offering your readers value. When you offer your readers valuable information, you begin to develop a trusting relationship with them. As you continue to nurture this relationship with additional content, the relationship grows and they begin following your brands and telling their friends about you. Now you’re building lasting relationships. In turn, you gain loyal customers who are more likely to convert once they enter a buying cycle.
As I stated before, content marketing is not about quick returns. Instead, its all about building strong, trusting relationships with prospective customers. In turn, when they are ready to buy, they’ll buy from you. And not only will they buy from you, but they’ll tell all their friends about your awesome brand and encourage more people to follow and buy from you.
If you're using content to build relationships, it's certainly worth the time. Relationships get the buy button clicked.