A solid content marketing strategy is key for any business wanting to thrive, scale, and establish their authority in the field.
Unfortunately, not all content marketing programs perform, and sometimes, companies lose big bucks to poorly planned campaigns.
This happens because the content isn’t tailored to the specific needs of the business and industry, or worse, because their strategy is based on a mishmash of bright shiny ideas that are working for other brands. It wasn’t designed for your audience, your goals, or your business.
Random acts of content won’t drive business or help you attract and sell to qualified clients. To boost your traffic and conversions and generate more paying customers, your content needs to perform.
Easier said than done, right? We’ve worked with countless brands that appear to be doing everything right but still can’t move the needle on their North Star metrics.
Fortunately, it’s not as difficult as you think — provided you focus on the three levers that drive content marketing results.
The Content Growth Formula
After directing content marketing programs for companies of all sizes, we’ve developed a simple formula for content-led growth:
Content Growth = Velocity x (Strategy + Quality)
By focusing on just three elements — strategy, quality, and velocity — you can create a Competitive Content™ strategy that works.
Let’s take a closer look.
3 Drivers of Content Marketing Performance
Growth Driver #1: Strategy
In content marketing, strategy is a primary driver for growth.
If the quality of your content is great but your strategy is missing the mark, your content isn’t going to appeal to the audience you’re hoping to attract.
Maybe you’re using the right words at the wrong time, or your very interesting article on the benefits of your product isn’t being delivered on the platforms where your audience hangs out.
A good strategy helps both your company and your audience. It includes, at the very least:
- Thought leadership
- Product marketing content
- Social media content
- Authority content
How you mix these content types is up to you, and it often depends on your brand’s goals and stage of growth. For instance, start-ups often prioritize product marketing and social media. Then, as they grow, search engine optimization becomes a priority.
The key is to create a full-funnel strategy that attracts and educates your target audience while helping them make smart buyer decisions.
But strategy alone doesn’t bring in results. Let’s take a look at the second driver for growth.
Growth Driver #2: Quality
You might know when, where, and how to deliver your content, but if it doesn’t help your reader or viewer, you’ll struggle to get people to engage with it.
Quality matters. But with no industry standard for measuring quality, it’s hard to know if you’re hitting the mark. Years ago, our founder Kathryn Aragon, wrote an article that tried to capture the elements of quality content. It gets close. But today, we’d add more.
Quality content serves the reader or viewer first. It answers their questions as quickly and directly as possible.
It shares actionable advice or support that makes a difference in people’s day-to-day.
Quality content is easy to consume. It’s clear, easy to understand, and informative.
It isn’t fluffy. It’s not an alphabet soup of keywords and industry jargon that leaves your audience frustrated or confused.
It doesn’t recycle second-hand information. Instead, it shares insights from experienced professionals that have been proven to work.
To achieve these goals, you’ve got to invest time and resources into creating your content. You need writers who know how to research and/or interview subject matter experts. You need to verify your facts and sources.
You can’t hire cheap writers and expect quality results. You need content professionals who understand how to find the story, organize it in a way that makes sense, and create a flow that keeps your readers engaged from the first word to the last.
Both quality and strategy are key to creating a content strategy that performs, and in a successful Competitive Content™ strategy, neither of them can exist without the other.
Once you’ve dialed in your quality and strategy, you’ll start seeing results. That’s when you need to take a look at your final driver for growth.
Growth Driver #3: Velocity
Velocity is a term we borrow from conversion rate optimization. When CROs want to quickly test their ideas, they ramp up the velocity of their experiments. That means more hypotheses, more elements tested, faster results.
It’s the same with content marketing. If you’ve dialed in your content strategy and quality standards, you can quickly scale your results by increasing your publishing velocity.
Velocity is a multiplier — assuming, of course, you can maintain quality as you create more content.
For instance, if publishing one article a week gives you 10,000 visitors a month, three articles could triple your traffic. If your website pages are optimized for conversion, that could triple your conversion rate as well.
Velocity will take your business from point A to point B faster than posting content infrequently or inconsistently.
But remember, for velocity to be effective, you need to maintain your foundation: a solid Competitive Content strategy and consistently high quality production.
Are You Pulling the Right Levers?
Most content marketing programs never achieve their full potential. They may attract or engage qualified prospects. They may rank for a few keywords.
But they fail to drive consistent results that impact business growth. There are two reasons for that. They aren’t creating a Competitive Content™ strategy that positions them as leaders in their industry. And they aren’t focusing on the three levers that drive performance.
If you’re tired of lackluster performance from your content, it starts with strategy. Take a full-funnel approach to content marketing. Leverage the Content Growth Formula to improve content marketing performance. You’ll start seeing the difference within a few weeks or months.
Ready to take your business to the next level? Ask us about a Competitive Content strategy for your business, and get ready to grow.