If given a choice between spending $1000 for contentor $1000 for a sponsored campaign on Instagram, marketers will usually choose the second option.
Despite the presence of successful case studies that prove the long-term business value of a content strategy, the natural inclination of any business marketer is to prefer spending on activities that generate quick ROI. Of course, there is nothing fundamentally wrong in expecting quick ROI.
However, a business that is interested in surviving for the long haul needs to divert its focus on its inbound and outbound content strategy for yearly growth and sales.
Let us understand this better.
A content marketing strategy should be the core aspect of any online marketing strategy. Why?
- Content, along with good on-page SEO, creates prime website real estate value, which helps to increase the domain authority and inbound links as the time passes by.
- Inbound content helps to generate leads and email subscribers, while outbound content helps to build a brand value.
- Repurposed content helps to build valuable networking and business relationships.
Most importantly, inbound and outbound published evergreen content generates value in the years to come.
Which is better? A detailed textual and graphical blog post on How to DIY Car Repair that remains published on an authority website for the next 10 years OR a graphical billboard about DIY car repair methods which is visible for a month. The first option is practically better even though it won’t generate revenue in a short span of time. Authority site outbound content always gives author bio credits where a business can receive a backlink, which means that for the next 10 years, people searching for information on DIY car repairs will visit the organically ranked blog post and click on the backlink, and generate recurrent leads for the business. This lead generation pipeline isn’t possible with billboards, flyers or even Instagram influencer marketing as these activities produce short-term results in ROI even though there is a significant brand value attached to it.
If you were to invest significantly in a comprehensive content strategy, it creates these three long-lasting benefits.
#1 Compounding Returns
To give an analogy, as our money grows through compound interest, the value of content increases each passing year. Content is timeless; it grows passively. If you publish twice a week, you will have 100+ published pieces in a year, and it grows every passing year. You are essentially compounding on the value of published content pieces. Over the years, people would have read your writeups, come to know of your industry authority, and your business services – in short, you are amplifying the value of a personal or business brand by compounding on content, through quality, engagement and its evergreen factor. If 10 years from now, someone reads a write-up you published in 2017; it’s a tremendous brand recall factor.
Content is evergreen.
Content NEVER loses its relevance. If you track the history of digital content, the post-2000 era will be about short-form SEO-based content, which was replaced around 2008 onwards by long-form keyword-focused semantic content usually 2000+ words long. Post-2015, we are seeing a rise in video and graphical content and some experts predict that written content will be replaced by videos. Irrespective of how content evolves, it can never lose its purpose. This is the reason why content experts also focus on repurposing content. The blog you’re reading today can be turned into an infographic, PPT, and a video too.
Content is evolving, not losing its relevance.
#3 Real Estate
As land is aptly called black gold, content forms a significant chunk of the web real estate. Imagine, if words didn’t exist, will the Internet exist? Probably not! Unless you deindex a write-up, change the URL structure or permanently take down a blog post, it helps to build a permanent brand value. All inbound content has a prime real estate value in the digital world. You have complete ownership of every written word, and you can continue to receive its benefits until you shut down the business. Same relationship matrix exists with outbound content, but it’s not too reliable as the power to keep the content published or unpublished lies with the site publishing your content.
Content is black gold.
All benefits of published content revolve around the above-mentioned benchmarks. Published content, in any form, is everlasting.
Now, the next logical question is:
If the content is essential, and the Internet is full of varied content pieces, why aren’t all businesses successful?
The answer lies in one word – QUALITY.
Like investment in wrong financial stocks will give diminishing returns or investing in arid land is less priced, poor investment decision on content quality is detrimental to any personal or business brand.
Content quality is a debatable topic as there are no standardised benchmarks for evaluating the value of a content piece. Proper grammar and sentence structure is a basic requirement. You have to understand the content perspective. If I had written in scientific English for the blog you are reading, it would have read preposterously!
Content quality depends on the skill of the writer, years of experience, and the commercial value. You will find various freelance writing marketplaces offering written content for as low as $1 for 500 words. Quality? It’s a pittance. Quality is what differentiates between someone charging $1 and another one charging $50 for the same topic of 500 words.
Again, there is the distinction of content writing niche. Content could be academic, journalistic, scientific, business-oriented, marketing-oriented, informative, a sales copy and more. It’s hard to find someone who is efficient in more than one content writing niche. Someone who is an academic writer may not be able to write news pieces! It’s based on skills and skills come at a price. If you pay peanuts, you get peanuts!
Therefore, learn to identify good content writers and invest significantly in their skills. Their perspective of your business or personal brands has a definite impact on your growth.
This is the reason why content is published everywhere, but only a marginal percentage of them are impactful, relevant, and evergreen.
Invest in quality content and reap the benefits of a comprehensive long-term content strategy.