The #1 sin in content marketing – mea culpa!
I’m just home from a day’s training in the latest in digital marketing strategy – and I’m racked with guilt over having committed the number 1 sin in content marketing. What’s that you ask?
Jim and I have been as bad as each other. We have not posted in our blog for months! It’s hard to believe, let alone admit, but in 2015 we have only published new content 3 times. Did you miss us, or not notice because there is so much other content to get through?
Of course we can list lots of excuses – chiefly being too busy working on rolling out client marketing projects – but that wouldn’t really wash with me if I was sitting in front of myself as a coach. It was a steady decline from a regular once a week, to every other week, to once a month … then stop.
It’s just unforgiveable.
Creating new content, publishing regularly, on multiple platforms (websites and social media), adding value is the mantra of the digital marketer. Content attracts and engages the audience, helps with being found in searches, making potential customers well-disposed to your offerings and ready to buy.
But hold on a cotton-picking minute. If that is true, surely our business must have suffered?
Well I’ve checked and:
- Revenue (and profit) is up substantially year on year
- Traffic to the website is slightly down, and visitors are spending slight less time on our site
- Our performance in Google searches for our keywords is still at number 1-3
- New sign-ups to our email mailing list are continuing at a steady pace (now I feel even more guilty not to have published anything new)
Overall I would have to conclude that the roof has not fallen in since we fell into bad ways, so what is going on? Is content marketing a waste of time after all?
Digital in the mix
The course I attended today was very well put together and delivered and offered some really useful tips on how to prepare and execute an effective digital marketing strategy. Some of the tools highlighted for analysing the market, your own and competitor performances are excellent (maybe a subject for a future blog?). But it did not question or attempt to position a digital strategy in the context of a company’s overall marketing strategy or specific markets, its place in the marketing mix. It just kind of assumed that digital marketing was the right way to go – and full steam ahead.
The truth is that digital marketing does not escape the basic rules of marketing:
- Be clear about what you are aiming to achieve (objectives)
- Know your market
- Create a plan that fits and delivers
While digital is growing phenomenally overall and cannot be ignored it is relevant to different levels for different organisations. At The Purple Edge we have changed our strategy in recent months, away from smaller companies and training, towards delivering services in-house with larger clients. This has meant we are less reliant on generating business from new contacts via the web. It’s pleasing, however, to find that our Google rankings are holding steady (so far).
Don’t misunderstand me – we are not complacent nor dismissive of digital marketing. The biggest risk to us, and one that might take longer for us to feel an obvious effect of, is that we give a very poor impression to website visitors who see that the last time we bothered to post was back in March. We look less on the ball and personally engaged with our market and services and certainly not good role models for our profession. Who knows, in our webstats we just may be living off the brownie points we have racked up so far and be about to fall off a cliff!
So what are we going to do?
We need to get back in the game. Our blog posting has earned us a strong profile locally and we mustn’t squander it by waiting until we are in need of new business in order to work on a recovery. We have been heard to preach that marketing is a marathon not a sprint.
So you’ll be hearing more from us more regularly in the rest of 2015. Hopefully that’s a good thing?