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Infographic: Which Industries Have the Best Content Marketing?

Storytelling has always been part of content marketing’s DNA. Our co-founder delved into its benefits here and here. Our director of strategy philosophized about it here. Our managing editor considered its complications here.

The reason for such emphatic coverage is simple: Great stories leave an emotional resin on readers, imprinting them in a way traditional marketing copy does not. But as our CMO likes to remind us, storytelling alone is not a strategy. Plenty of brands are interested in telling stories, but that doesn’t mean everyone is doing it effectively. According to a study by the marketing intelligence company Beckon, 5 percent of all branded content accounts for 90 percent of total engagement.

Since we’re in the midst of a heated battle for consumer attention, we decided to break down our internal data to see how different industries were performing in 2017 across three key metrics: average attention time, engagement rate, and finish rate.

The data revealed some interesting trends. For instance, B2B brands got high marks for average attention time, getting users to stay with their content for more than three minutes at a clip, but the average finish rate for their content was 13 percent. That discrepancy suggests there’s an opportunity for those companies to re-evaluate the length of their content. Readers are clearly hooked, but maybe the stories are too long for a given topic. Writers and editors have the ability to produce something valuable that stems beyond an intriguing headline or lede.

In the infographic below, check out how three industries—finance, B2B, and tech—compare when it comes to performance metrics. Welcome to the Content Performance Games. How do you match up?

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Why Visibility Is Key for Content Marketing Success

If you’re a senior manager, it can be difficult—okay, impossible—to know what your team is up to on a day-to-day basis. Is Jim actually “just finishing up” that new product announcement? Did Mary really submit the latest draft of her blog post to Fred yesterday? Larry wants to accelerate the new campaign, so what can we push back on the calendar?

Project management software can be a huge help here. Programs like Trello and Asana specialize in keeping projects on-time, but they’re generalist platforms often used by small, independent teams to focus on specific functions, like design or product. In other words, they’re not built for enterprise-level marketing teams.

That’s where content marketing software comes in. According to software research firm Forrester, one of the core functions of content marketing software is bringing “visibility, order, and insight into countless streams of activity.” Visibility, in particular, proved to be the word that was repeated most by the study’s interviewees.

But what exactly does “visibility” mean? And how does content marketing software help solve for it? Let’s dive in.

Collaboration

One of the biggest challenges of working in an office is collaboration. It’s difficult to know who is working on what and when they’re working on it.

Maybe Fred and Joe are supposed to develop a new PR pitch, but neither know what’s been completed so far. Both build out the entire pitch on separate Word documents, unaware that the other is spending much of the day on the same project. The result is misalignment, wasted hours, and confusion.

Content marketing software is built to avoid these common issues. Take our platform: A centralized system of workflows and calendars makes it easy to create collaborative projects that automatically update. Rather than Fred and Joe working on the same project, Joe would have seen that Fred had already begun. From there, he could comment and add his own contributions.

The result is more collaboration and fewer headaches.

Oversight

If marketers mention visibility, that’s likely a tell that they’re in a managerial position. Visibility is a huge value of content marketing platforms because it helps make a manager’s job easier. Nobody wants dozens of projects floating in the ether. Software consolidates everything into one visible platform.

Take the calendar tool, which makes it easy for me to find out what my co-workers are up to and what’s next on the docket.

Here, you can see that Sunil needs to review a new product announcement, while Erin is working on finalizing a case study. All the other projects are done—no need to walk over to someone’s desk and ask if something is complete.

Accountability

Visibility is also a big part of ensuring that marketing stays accountable. You can find out if Fred is actually doing what he said he did. You can see if the idea Fred pitched in that last meeting was actually as effective as he predicted. And you can identify if Fred is the one responsible for production bottlenecks. (If your name is Fred, I apologize).

Internally, we use our command center to monitor all of this data. Once we find out who causes delays, we message them on the spot to address it. Since the command center was launched, we’ve been tracking and steadily trying to improve our ability to hit deadlines.

This is what analysts mean when they talk about visibility: Software that gives you a common environment for planning, production, and analysis. And without it, it’s much harder to succeed.

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How to Build SEO Strategies Effectively Part 3

Consideration 1 – Understand the client

Each business is an entity. Each entity has characteristics. You need to know these characteristics if you’re going to build anything for the company. So, make sure you know the answers to these questions:

  • What’s your company vision? A great vision statement can inspire great things, including an SEO strategy. And why not? If properly developed and executed, the company has already set you up for a better chance of success.
  • What are the company’s core values? Every company can only be so many things to so many people. A well-branded company knows exactly what they are and what they aren’t. Use these core values in your campaign, as they should serve as your campaign perimeter.
  • What is the leadership like? What kind of culture do they cultivate? In smaller companies, the leaders tend to influence the culture. In larger companies, unfortunately, this can get lost. But if you have access to the leadership, spend some time learning about their vision. It should match up to the company’s core values, but sometimes there are more gems locked in their minds.
  • What are the pain points? What things drive the members of this organization to drink? From the customer support to the higher-ups, there are things that knock the company down. How do they get back up? Why are the pains they’re looking to work around? It may not be realistic to interview the whole company, but ideally you can get a representative to answer these.

Let’s pause for a moment.

If you’re at this part of the article, and you’re thinking, “Whoa — why the hell would I do all this to get a few rankings?” then you’re not thinking strategic yet. True, it’s possible these bullets aren’t all relevant to what you’re building, but the bigger your strategy needs to go, the more you need to know your client.

Consideration 2 – Understand the goals

If we’re going to be creating goal-oriented plans, it make sense to start with a smart goal or two. And by smart, I mean SMART. For those who aren’t familiar with SMART goals, it stands for the following:

Specific: This is for the “why” and “how” of your goal. What exactly are you trying to do, and why? If you were a retailer who sells a little of everything, you might have a statement like this:

“At the end of February, we noticed our customers begin researching lawn and patio furniture. Customers are favoring items that look more elegant and can resist weather.”

Measurable: Be very detailed. Are we trying to make money, or are we trying to make five hundred dollars? Are we trying to draw traffic, or are we trying to bring 500 new visits that engage with our website?

A retailer might have a statement like:

“Our goal is to increase organic conversions of the Lawn and Patio section by 15% YOY in Q2 and Q3, with lawn chairs driving 75% of those sales. Target revenue $500,000 in Q2, and $300,000 in Q3.”

Achievable: Make sure you’re grounding your goal in reality. Sure, you can’t control a massive Google update, but using the history of your sales and competitive data, you can make some inferences. You also need to make sure you have agreed-upon goals. Get buy-in before you set the goal in stone, leveraging the thoughts from the leaders, merchandisers, analysts, and anyone who might be able to provide insight into the likelihood of hitting your goal.

Realistic: (There is some blend between realistic and achievable.) Do you have the appropriate resources in place? Does your client have the flexibility to make the necessary changes within the proposed timeline?

A statement to help framing could be:

“We are going to rely on resources including copywriters, researchers, merchandisers, and developers to make on-page changes within the time frame of this plan. We expect to need 40 hours of time from copywriters, 50 hours from web development.”

Time-bound: We will need deadlines for dependencies. Assign due dates to each step of the plan, and keep the players accountable. Make sure you have an appropriate start-to-finish date.

Consideration 3 – Understand the audience

This is critical. If you don’t know what your searchers are looking for, you’re guessing. That’s a bad idea. Especially today, where we have troves of data.

But it’s important to find the stories in-between the numbers. With that said, your audience can’t be measured solely by the 0s and 1s that comes into analytics platforms. I’ve written about this in The Down Side of Analytics in Marketing.

But I’ve recently heard some chatter voicing the polar opposite. I’ve heard the sentiment to wholly ignore certain data points because they don’t represent the real person. To me, that’s bad advice — directional data is better than the romantic notion of success based on your “gut” feel. Estimated search volume, clicks, and even impressions give credence not only to a keyword, but a bigger theme. This starts to create direction and an understanding of need, which leads to your next few rounds of audience recognition.

Using the available data helps a marketer understand which dollars are more effective than others, and how to identify different audience groups within the buying cycle.

With the demographics and site usage details from GA, different types of users (researchers, comparers, buyers, customers) can be grouped and classified, and the marketing dollars and messaging appropriately tailored.

AdWords and Facebook are further vehicles for reaching the appropriate audiences with more refined messaging. I think it’s important to create personas for your current visitors and the type of visitors you want to attract. It might be valuable to create personas of those you don’t want to attract, to keep in the back of your mind as your content and advertising calendar is being built following the delivery of your overall strategy.

Consideration 4 – Understand the competitive landscape

Without knowing the landscape, you really don’t know what opportunity lies ahead. Understanding your competition’s success allows you to learn from their wins (and mistakes). Reinventing the wheel burns unnecessary minutes.

There are a few competitive tools we tend to gravitate towards in our industry. SEMrush is a fantastic tool allowing anyone to look up a website and get an estimated search visibility and traffic share. Drilling in shows how well pages perform independently. Gleaning through exports can quickly reveal what topics are driving traffic, to which you might replicate or improve your own version.

Backlinks can actually serve as a proxy for interest. In Google’s vision of a democratic web, they considered links to function like votes. Google wants editorial votes to influence their algorithm. So, if we assume all links are potentially editorial, then looking up backlink data can illustrate content that’s truly beloved. Grab your favorite backlink data provider (hey — Moz has one!) and pull a report on a competitor’s domain. Take a look at the linked pages, and with a little filtering, you’ll see top linked pages emerge. Dive into those pages and develop some theories on why they’re popular link targets.

Social media — it’s more than cat memes. Generally, non-marketing folks share content that resonates with them. Buzzsumo offers an easy interface for digging through the depths of social media. Have a general topic you’d like to pursue? Enter it into Buzzsumo and see what you get.

Let the creative juices flow. Look for topics you can improve under your own roof. Even the nichiest of niches can have representation in Buzzsumo.

Maybe this feels a bit too scattershot for you. Buzzsumo also allows you to find and observe influencers. What are they sharing? By clicking the “view links shared” button, you’ll get a display of all the unique pages shared. Sometimes “influencers” share all types of varying content crossing many topics. But sometimes, they’re pretty specfic in the themes they share. Look for the latter in this competitive research stage.

Consideration 5 – Understand the roadblocks

Every company has obstacles. Each one has built its own labyrinth. Don’t try to blanket an existing labyrinth with your ill-prepared strategy; instead, work within the existing inroads.

Reality bites. You could draft up an amazing strategy, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, to which you’re rebuilding an entire category structure of one of the website’s most lucrative lines… only to find out there’s a ticket queue for the necessary resources that’s more than 6 months long. Despite your brilliant idea, you’re going to look bad when the client calls you out on not understanding their business.

The best way to avoid this is proactively asking the right questions. Ask about resource support. Ask about historic roadblocks. Ask to be introduced to other players who otherwise hide behind an email here and there. Ask about the company’s temperature regarding a bigger SEO strategy vs. short, quick-hit campaigns. Don’t be your own biggest obstacle — I’ve never heard of anyone getting angry about over-communication unless it paralyzes progress.

A few final thoughts (from my experience)

It’s time for my Jerry Springer moment.

Not all strategies have to be big. Sometimes your window is small, and you’re forced to build for a distinct — or tiny — opportunity. Maybe you don’t have time for a proper large-scale strategy at all; a tactic or two might be all you can do to carry in a win. Just make that very clear with your boss or client. Don’t misrepresent what you’re trying to build as an SEO campaign.

I understand that some SEO agencies and departments are not built for the big SEO campaigns. Strategic work takes time, and speeding (or scaling) through the development stage will likely do more harm than good. It’s like cramming for a test — you’re going to miss information that’s necessary for a good grade. It would be my pleasure if this post inspired some change in your departments.

Lastly, it’s important to remember that paralysis by over-thinking is a real issue some struggle with. There’s no pill for it (yet). Predicting perfection is a fool’s errand. Get as close as you can within a reasonable timeframe, and prepare for future iteration. If you’re traveling through your plan and determine a soft spot at any time, simply pivot. It’s many hours of upfront work to get your strategy built, but it’s not too hard to tweak as you go.

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How to Build SEO Strategies Effectively Part 1

The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

I read The Art of War in college, written by the Chinese general Sun Tzu (author of the quote above). While his actual existence is debated, his work is often considered as brilliant military strategy and philosophy. Thus, The Art of War is often co-opted into business for obvious reasons. Throughout the book, you’ll realize tactics and strategy are not interchangeable terms.

– A method or plan chosen to bring about a desired future, such as achievement of a goal or solution to a problem.
– A plan of action or policy designed to achieve an overall aim.
– The art and science of planning and marshaling resources for their most efficient and effective use.
Source

These definitions vary slightly, but the essence is the same. A strategy is not constrained by size or application but promoted by planning and effectiveness. Let’s be honest, the word “strategy” is a term that isn’t always used the same way in the English lexicon (or our industry).

On the other hand, tactics can be isolated or serve as components in your strategy. They are actions you would impart as a step in the plan, or used as a stand-alone, typically with limited resources.

For some this is straightforward, but for others new to marketing or traditionally focused on tactical work, a strategy can be a difficult concept that requires practice. Perhaps understanding the purpose is key to dividing these terms. Let’s try this:

“The purpose of a strategy is to identify goals and build a plan of attack towards achieving those goals. The purpose of tactics are for smaller goals that could feed something bigger.”

Before you read on, please note: this is not an article devaluing tactics over strategy (despite the Sun Tzu quote). My goal is to inspire thought that can help you be more effective as a modern SEO, and possibly consider a strategy where you haven’t before.

 

 

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How to Build SEO Strategies Effectively Part 2

A military analogy

I find analogies go a long way in describing lofty concepts. I could easily go with a football or legal example, but a military example might be the most comparable to what we do in marketing. And because I know my audience, I decided to go with Star Wars.

The Galactic Empire thought they could take over the galaxy with fear and brute force. They developed plans for a space station with firepower strong enough to destroy a planet. Under the command of Governor Tarkin, the Death Star was created. They tested the completed Death Star on Princess Leia’s home planet of Alderaan, which gave Obi Wan Kenobi shivers.

However, the Rebels put together a counter-strategy. Piecing together intelligence about a deliberate design flaw, and developing a plan featuring waves of small battalions, the Rebel ships would take passes at the target. They would work together in designed waves to equally defend and attack during this campaign.

As basic as that scene was at the end of Star Wars, it’s a strategy nonetheless (albeit a small one).

Confusion of strategies versus tactics — a real-world example

To make this a bit more relevant to SEO, here’s an email shared with me by a prospective client. They were looking for a new agency after they received this from their current agency:

I object to several things written here. Guest posting is a tactic, not a strategy. There is no plan here, just an action. A measurable or attainable goal is never made clear.

We need to do better. *desk flip*

Selling the SEO strategy

Whether you’re an agency, consultant, or in-house at a company, getting buy-in for an SEO strategy can be challenging. SEOs tend to rely on the support of several different departments (e.g. developers, copywriters, business managers, etc.), usually with their own predetermined goals. Enter the SEO to add more complexity.

There’s often a top-down marketing strategy already baked before you get to pitch your SEO work, to which you may find opportunity on a battlefield where access is not granted. It’s reckless to assume you can go into any established company and lob a strategy onto their laps, expecting them to follow it with disregard to their existing plans, politics, and red tape. Candidly, this may be the quickest way to get fired and show you’re not aligned with the existing business goals.

Instead, you need to find your areas of opportunity that work with the company’s business goals, not against them. Effective marketers don’t try to be a square peg in a round hole. Get to know the players, the existing playbooks, the silos, and the available gaps.

It’s not about being a yes-man; it’s about best playing the hand you’re dealt. You simply can’t successfully sell a strategy until you know where your strategy will fit and support the current business goals.

Before you begin mapping out the strategy

If I’ve done my job, you’re eager to put pen to paper, but you still have digging to do. Get your shovel.

Some people are better suited to design plans in a non-linear fashion. If I’m writing anything, be it an article or a piece of music, I’m bouncing back and forth throughout the piece as inspiration strikes. But for others who are more straight-minded and less frenetic, a reference of considerations and characteristics might be helpful.

Enter the mind map. Simply stated, a mind map is a visual representation of concepts and connections. As defined here, it is a visual thinking tool that helps to structure information, helping you to better analyze, comprehend, synthesize, recall, and generate new ideas.

It’s your sketch pad. Jot down all the ideas, concepts, and relationships you can possibly think of.

Think of this document as a living communication between you and your client or boss. It is a document you should refer to often. It keeps all parties on the same page and aligned. I recommend sharing it in a collaborative platform so updates are shared between all viewers without having to constantly send out new copies (nothing sucks the life out of efficiency faster than “versioning” issues).

There’s no shortage of things to consider in your mind map. Here are a few common items from my experience:

  • Timeline details
  • Details about the industry or different channels
  • Other marketing learnings
  • Customer/visitor details
    • Demographics and psychographics
    • Details about the customer journey
  • Competitive details
  • Product demand details
  • Current search visibility

My fellow marketers, this is not an exhaustive list by any means. Gather all the information that is meaningful to you.

Drafting the strategy

At this stage, your initial gathering is complete, so now you’re on to development. Hopefully you’ve had some visibility and buy-in by your clients or boss to date, so it’s crucial to keep that momentum going. Don’t build a strategy in a silo.

Remember, a strategy is a plan. A plan has steps, dependencies, and future considerations throughout. I think it’s very important for your team and the client to “see” the strategy in a visual format, and not just conceptually. Use a spreadsheet, slides, or Word document — whichever tickles your fancy. At Greenlane, we’ve been using Google Sheets:

If you work in an agile framework, the strategy is going to change. Everyone should be able to see revisions to the strategy with an indication of what’s been changed and why. That’s a benefit to documenting every important detail.

Earlier you put together a mind map to put preliminary ideas on the table. You considered things that you’ll now need to thoroughly scrutinize. Here is a list of considerations to hold your SEO strategy against. Make sure your final draft of the SEO strategy can clearly speak to each of these.

And since we’re on a Star Wars kick already, I present my dusty childhood toys (recently found in my mother’s basement).

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Why Defining Content Campaign Success is Harder Than It Sounds

JULY 15, 2016
Content marketing has quickly become one of the most important digital marketing strategies out there. But how well does it really work for brands? An overwhelming number of content marketers couldn’t actually tell you. In fact, 55 percent of B2B marketers don’t have a clear picture of what content marketing success looks like in their organization.

The reason? Content marketing has little to do with the bottom line. It’s about creating awareness, offering value and building relationships to drive behaviors that produce ROI.

I know firsthand that content marketing is a bit messy to measure. Here are a few factors that contribute to a content marketing campaign’s success.

Focus on your defined audience(s).
Content marketing is about offering value to a specific audience. So a big aspect of defining success is understanding how well you’re speaking to this core group. If you offer a diverse range of products and services, it’s likely you’ll have several unique buyer personas to target. I recommend defining success by evaluating your reach to, and impact on, each of them.

Does your content offer provide value to the right groups of people?

Make sure your content is relevant.
You need to be sure that you’re delivering the right information at the right time to the right person.

You can do this by tracking the buyer journey and aligning the most relevant content to each segment at each stage in your sales cycle.

Track the level of engagement.
Engagement is another important factor in determining the success of content marketing. It can tell you how well your content resonates with your target audience and how capable it is at driving people to action.

Some metrics you should consider paying attention to are:

Consumption (Average time on page, pages per session)
Social shares
Comments
Measuring engagement will help you define your campaign’s success overall. Plus, you’ll have opportunities to improve your success by producing more engaging content.

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4 Essentials to Wring Results From Your Content Marketing Budget

Are you confident that your content marketing budget for 2016 is sufficient for your needs?

Or maybe this is the better question: do you even have a content marketing budget? In many companies, content marketing simply gets rolled up into the general marketing budget. This means that even if there are funds available, it may be hard to justify larger spends, request a budget increase or accurately calculate ROI specifically for content marketing.

In larger organizations, CMOs are more likely to have a dedicated budget for content marketing. According to recent research from the CMO Club, marketing budgets are on the rise in 2016, and content marketing is the primary area where this increase is being spent.

Because we’re seeing this increased investment in content marketing (which incidentally, the Content Marketing Institute confirms), I thought it would be helpful to provide a primer on how to plan your content marketing budget for 2016 and beyond. Following are four strategies or considerations to keep in mind.

1. Consider budgeting by customer journey rather than by channel.
Perhaps the most common approach to budgeting for content marketing is to break costs down by the three primary marketing channels: owned, earned and paid. Allocating funds to each channel tends to make the most sense and may appear to be the simplest way to break down costs.

However, organizations are increasingly moving away from this model (which I’ll outline in more detail below) in favor of budgeting according to the entire customer journey. According to the CMO Club, CMOs are finding it more effective to allocate costs in this manner: “[T]oday’s CMO is much more focused on investing across the entire customer journey from discovery to advocacy – with an understanding that journeys have changed dramatically.”

So, what does this mean in terms of hard numbers? On average, marketing budgets are being allocated as follows: buying stage (21 percent), discovery stage (20 percent), learning stage (16 percent), trying stage (16 percent), advocate stage (14 percent) and use (13 percent).

Related: 6 Content Marketing Tips for Non-Sexy Industries

CMO research: marketing is a buyer journey not a destination

The customer journey model you’re using doesn’t have to look exactly like this. However, it should be differentiated from a simplistic buying cycle (e.g., awareness, consideration, purchase) which doesn’t take into account the post-purchase stage.

It should also be noted that you shouldn’t be afraid to change direction mid-year, and pivot, especially when using a new budgeting model. According the the CMO Club, many CMOS are seeing the benefits of shifting focus as they see the success or failure of different strategies: “Marketers are testing the waters by experimenting across tactics and buyer stages. In a sense, they are initially putting bets on every horse at the start of the race, but leveraging agile approaches to reallocate resources to the leading “horses” mid-race and increasing their chance to win the day.”

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6 Reasons to Invest in a Content Marketing Strategy Right Now

MAY 5, 2016
You’ve heard about the potential benefits of content marketing, but how much have you actually invested in a strategy? If the answer is “very little” or “zero,” you could be missing out on significant benefits. Content marketing isn’t a fad; if implemented properly, it has a demonstrably powerful potential return compared to the minimal up-front costs.

Related: 6 Tools to Develop an Outstanding Social Media Marketing Strategy

Still, if you’re apprehensive about investing in a content marketing strategy, you’re not alone. Many business owners think that content marketing doesn’t work for their industry, but they’re mistaken. You may think that you’ll invest in a content marketing strategy “someday,” or you may be distracted by other priorities. But, the fact of the matter is, you have much to gain by investing in a content marketing strategy — and waiting any longer could actually be hurting you.

Consider these motivations:

1. Breadth of return
First, content marketing has a high ROI, partially because of how many different areas it influences. Consider the breadth of the return here; if you publish and syndicate your content in many places, you’ll see a return in the form of brand visibility, brand reputation, inbound traffic, customer engagement, customer retention and of course, conversions and customer acquisition.

Any one of these areas has the potential to make back all the money and time costs you’ve spent on the strategy. Together, they amplify your returns many times over. It’s an ideal way to maximize your marketing cost efficiency.

2. Benefits to other strategies
Content marketing doesn’t happen in a vacuum; it actively affects many of your other marketing strategies, which you may not already be participating in. For example, an ongoing content strategy will help drive more organic search traffic, increasing your company’s likelihood of showing up in search results for users from your key demographics.

A strategy can also provide syndication fuel for your social media marketing campaign, giving you valuable updates you can post for your followers — likewise, for your email marketing campaigns. You can even use your best content as a landing page, to drive more conversions in a paid advertising campaign.

3. Diversity of mediums
Today, there are dozens of options for mediums and distribution channels in a content-marketing campaign. If you don’t like writing articles, you can supplement your strategy with more visual content, like infographics, videos or visual tutorials.

If that doesn’t sound good, either, you can conduct video interviews, or use podcasts to get your brand out there. There are virtually no limits to what you can and can’t do in a content-marketing campaign; all that really matters is that you provide something valuable your followers and fans can consume.

Related: 3 Content Marketing Trends You Need to Be Addressing in Q2

4. Competitive opportunities.
Content marketing is a competitive world, and it only gets more competitive by the day. Right now, your closest competitors may already be engaging in a content-marketing strategy, capitalizing on trending topics, events and opportunities that you’re missing out on by not being similarly involved.

If you start investing in content marketing soon, these opportunities will still be open, and you’ll get a leg up on any competitors straggling behind. The more time you invest in content marketing, the better competitive advantage you’ll have overall, so get in as early as possible to maximize your position.

5. Compounding returns
Speaking of getting in early, it’s important to realize that content marketing is a strategy that offers compounding returns. Rather than a marketing strategy that offers a strict return for your investment — the way paid advertising does — content marketing involves creating and maintaining fixed, semi-permanent assets.

Accordingly, your reputation and web “real estate” will increase gradually over time as you publish more content, and as these factors increase, the value of each piece you produce will increase, in turn. Combined with the recurring value of your previous pieces, the value of your content marketing strategy will grow exponentially — so the sooner you get involved, the faster you can see that growth.

6. Minimal loss potential
Content marketing demands an investment of time and money, but you can choose how, and how much, you invest. Generally, the more time, money and effort you put into a campaign, the better the payoffs you’ll realize. But if you’re just getting started, you can invest in only the basics to minimize your potential losses.

This isn’t an excuse to skimp on the quality of your work; only high-quality material will have a positive impact, but investing in only the basics should reduce your reluctance about getting involved in content marketing sooner rather than later.

There’s no rule that says you have to invest in a content-marketing strategy, and quite honestly, your business will probably survive without one. But, do you really want your business to only “survive,” rather than thrive? If your competitors are doing it, then they’re progressing faster than you.

Related: How the Experts Scale Their Content Strategies

If your competitors aren’t doing it, then you have a major opportunity to become an industry influencer, setting your brand apart in your industry. By not investing in content marketing, you could be sacrificing enormous potential benefits for your brand. The longer you wait, the more you’ll stand to lose, so get involved as soon as possible to maximize your potential.

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