The Advantage of the Content Long Game
On Friday, I received an inquiry through the #Strella website from what appeared to be a small business owner looking for social media help. It wasn’t until my husband saw the online form – and called me out – that I realized this business owner was a former professional athlete.
He isn’t the first celebrity who has reached out to us. In fact, we’ve had inquiries from dozens. We’ve also had the pleasure to work with a few of these big names. When we receive a lead with a celeb status, people ask how we connected. I simply say, ‘they found me.’
The natural next question is, ‘how?’
Then, I smile.
There are some people – several very close to me – who find it silly that I spend so much time on my blog posts. From development to distribution, my blog content is my cornerstone. It’s been my primary lead generation tool, aside from word of mouth, for years.
I am analytical, almost to a fault. But, the data doesn’t lie. Years of consistent blogging have grown the business in ways I never thought possible. In fact, four of our five top five clients found us because of this blog.
That’s not to say my blog posts are crazy great (I think there’s more to a blogging strategy than just greatness). Our posts are relevant to the audience, of course. When it comes to a content plan, there are some critical pieces that extend beyond the likelihood of virality or the capacity for greatness. Skip the drumroll because you’ve heard these before…
I don’t care how often you post. I do care when it’s coming. I know what to expect. The same is true for your audience.
I also don’t care if you’ve been blogging for six months to no avail. I do care that you’ve realized the power of the long game. Immediate wins are not the goal if you want sustainable benefits from content marketing.
We are building relationships and relationships take time. And, they take checking in more than once a decade.
If you’re just getting started with a content strategy or you find your plan to be sagging around the waist, I recommend two more critical pieces…
I don’t care if your opinion is different. I do want to hear it. I need to hear something from YOU, not from the top ten list you wrote for a newspaper in 1979. Voice is key. A blog develops a personality when voiced by someone who is willing to stand behind it.
I also don’t care if you share the post on a social network that has four followers. I do care that you share it in place it will be read! This is the mantra of the decade. Content has no value if it’s not read. Find ways to get it seen – and shared!
When I talked to my internet marketing partner, John Webster, about this blog idea, he said, “People don’t want to wait three to five years for content to pay off.”
Allow me to emulate my 9-year-old stepson and respond with, “duh!”
We live in a magic pill society!
Then, I thought about it more. Business owners invest in their long game all the time. They hire people who will help them grow, they take calculated risks with trepidation, they work countless hours in hopes that someday they can work less. The list is endless. So, why would the investment in content marketing be any different? Is it the lack of perceived ROI? I’m living proof that it works with the right methods. Is it the time and energy spent in developing content? That can be streamlined with ease. Is John wrong? (Wouldn’t be the first time – #jussaying). But, what if John is right? No one wants to wait for content to pay off, especially not if takes years.
When content has a unique voice – and it moves – the ROI is priceless. I don’t care what business you’re in, if you put in the effort, content will pay off. But, you can’t ‘play at it.’ Content must be the focus.
Would you/do you invest in your content long game?