The debate about balancing content creation vs content marketing has been raging on the web ever since Tim Berners-Lee cooked up the first website in 1990. In this article, we aim to put this issue to rest once and for all by combining the two into a single act. Let’s just take a look at some of the popular content marketing plans to balance creation vs marketing.
One of the more popular theories that evolved during these three decades is the 80:20 rule, which is rather easy to understand and at least seems like it has some scientific basis.
As per the 80:20 rule:
a) 80% of your time should go to content marketing and 20% to content creation;
b) 80% of content should be curated and 20% created; and
c) 80% of content should be interesting (read non-promotional) for readers, while 20% can be promotional.
If you want to go by the numbers, some of the factors that marketers attribute to increased success include content creation (85%), strategy (72%), making content marketing a greater priority (53%), and spending more time on content marketing (53%).
Don’t Create Content. Don’t Market Content. It Doesn’t Work.
As a writer, you can’t realistically expect to hit the ball out of the park all the time. Once in a while, you’ll take the time and trouble to pen a great article and know it’s good because of its impact – the power it has to reach out to your targeted audience and engage them. But most of the time, you’ll be peddling rather more pedestrian content because you have to write and publish on a deadline.
To avoid falling into this quality vs quantity trap, I will show you exactly how you can turn your daily articles into red-hot content that is shared by experts, and that too without any extra efforts.
Allow me to explain with the help of an example. Before jumping into it, note that we take the time to understand our clients, their business, customers and competitors through a series of meetings. We know what they do, what they sell, to whom they sell, and what are the challenges they are facing in identifying and reaching out to their customers?
This helps us create targeted keywords with the help of personas. Read this article first on How to convert your ideal customer profile into keywords.
Get Experts to Do Your Job Creating and Marketing Content
So now, let’s jump back to our example:
While creating content for one of our clients in the sales industry, we were targeting CEOs looking for sales related issues. One issue which arose was “How do I increase sales?”. This is one of those broad issues for which every business owner out there is looking for specific, actionable answers.
So instead of offering keyword-stuffed generic solutions to a broad problem, we actually asked experts in the sales industries for their tips on what to do. These experts gave us a number of valuable solutions which we converted it into a blog post where all these industry influencers and leaders provide their expert ideas on how to increase sales. This did three things:
a) We didn’t have to spend much time on creating content itself as it was literally created by experts. We just curated it.
b) After publishing, we merely shared the article with the same experts that gave us the solutions, crediting them in the article. That was the extent of the marketing we did.
c) Since they were in the article, they were happy to share it with their fans and followers on social networks, blogs and newsletters.
The best part about this is that their followers are the same people who are looking to increase sales (that’s why they are following sales experts in the first place).
It carries real weight since fans and followers see a personal recommendation of your product or service from someone they trust. It also has all the right keywords used by experts who know what they are talking about, so you don’t need to go around stuffing keywords into a page of content. The end result is good SEO and more search traffic for all the right keywords.
There are many other similar strategies you can follow to create content and market it without any effort. For example, you can generate content around support-related issues, where existing users provide tips and hints, or describe how they are using your product. This will bring both referrals and SEO benefits. There are myriad such ways to build rewards into your product to encourage actions that help market it.
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