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For more than a decade, content marketing has been a popular marketing strategy for companies of all sizes in almost every industry. It's straightforward, inexpensive, and can be scaled almost indefinitely. Hence, its popularity is neither a surprise nor a secret.
Entrepreneurs and marketers are often anxious to develop a content marketing strategy, especially because it often takes years to see the full fruits of your labor. But there is a problem.
The popularity of content marketing has grown to be its greatest weakness – or rather, its most challenging aspect. When you first step into the content marketing field, you are directly competing with brands that have spent years or even decades cultivating their reputations, dominating the search engine results pages (SERPs), and cementing their authority and thought leaders .
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Even if there is no such juggernaut in your industry, you have to deal with sheer numbers. There are currently an estimated 600 million blogs running with more than 1.7 billion websites.
How are you supposed to increase your visibility and reach in such an environment?
Three ways to be successful
You can generally achieve success on one of three different routes:
Brute force. This approach is simple. If you want to beat an effective content marketer in their own field, you have to overcome them with brute force. If they are spending $ 3,000 on marketing every month, you have to be spending (and better spending) $ 4,000 every month. Sometimes a big push is enough to stay ahead.
Distinction. Next, you can try to differentiate your brand. If you can't compete head-to-head, fight them off their turf. Address yourself to a different target group or use channels that your competitors are not currently touching.
Ingenuity. Finally, you can try doing something that hasn't been done before. You can use the power of a new medium or develop content with a new "twist" that offers additional insights into common industry problems.
Of course, to be successful in any of these approaches you must also adhere to a handful of important principles.
quality before quantity
For starters, you need to understand that in content marketing, quality always outperforms quantity. If you take the brute force route, you can't beat your top competitors simply by writing more. If you produce three good posts every week and you produce five mediocre posts every week, you will still get better results when all other factors are equal.
If you take the "differentiation" route and target a different audience, you still may not be able to create the momentum you need unless you give content to people that they really love.
The best approach to doing this is to invest as much as possible in the work you produce. Depending on your access to resources, this could mean hiring better content writers, spending more time researching your chosen topics, or enlisting the help of photographers, illustrators, and videographers to refine your work with multimedia content.
It is also important to continuously support your best work. You may have the best-written white paper on a particular topic on the internet – but it doesn't mean anything if people don't know it exists.
Your first line of advertising is social media. Build your social media profiles and share your best work when you post it. The more followers you gain, the more valuable this promotion will be for you. In addition, you can re-approve your post in the future and redistribute it regularly to generate new attention for it.
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Additionally, link building is one of your best options. With link building, you create inbound links pointing to your best work. This also generates referral traffic, leads people straight to your website, and strengthens your authority at the domain and page level so you can rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). This is a tricky strategy to try for yourself as "bad" or spammy links can penalize you on Google. However, with the help of seasoned professionals, you have a much better chance of getting the results you want.
Paid advertising is also an option, especially if you want reliable, instant results. Pay per click advertising (PPC) is available on a variety of modern platforms and is inexpensive.
Even with the strategic approaches outlined in this short guide, there is a good chance you will run into problems trying to compete with an established competitor in the content marketing area of your choice. Because of this, your adaptability will be one of your best assets.
It is important to experiment, try new tactics, measure your results, and change your approach to fuel your most successful endeavors. As long as you are ready to evolve and change, you have the opportunity to see the results you want.