A Changing Playing Field is Changing the Way You Must Think About Content Marketing
Chances are your firm website has a blog or resource section where articles are posted. In the past, traffic to your blog likely followed predictable patterns, trending up or down gradually depending on the frequency at which new posts were added. The make-up of your audience was consistent, too. Some readers dropped off, and others got on board, but by and large your audience came back consistently for their content. Times have changed.
Instead of loyally consuming the content of one firm, or a small number of firms, readers are picking and choosing the best content available to them, from a wide variety of sources. In other words, they’re not looking for a blog to follow, they’re looking for a blog post to read, regardless of its origin.
Rather than beginning their content journey at your blog, readers are starting with Google, social media, or curation sites like National Law Review and JD Supra. They don’t want to waste their time consuming your content to validate its worth, they want someone else to validate it for them. Shares and Likes on LinkedIn, and high rankings on Google, suggest that your content is worth reading.
So what to do in this new environment? Well, it’s baseball season, so let crank up the metaphor machine. There’s a place for singles and doubles, but in order to drive big traffic you need to hit the occasional content home run.
If you’ve had a blog for any period of time, you likely have at least a couple of content home runs. These are the posts that consistently appear at the top of your analytics charts, even though they may have been written months or even years prior. They are “evergreen,” meaning they are timeless. They consistently bring new visitors to your blog – visitors who then consume other content on your site. Content home runs provide compounding returns for your investment of time and resources.
What does a home run post look like? They come in all shapes and sizes, but have a few things in common. The wisdom imparted and information provided is helpful and thoughtful. The writing is crisp and engaging. And the topic selection is sharp and strategic.
Once you’ve got a hit on your hands, put it to work – repurpose it. A substantive 1,500 word article can usually be repurposed up to a white paper or e-book, or repurposed down to a series of blog posts or infographics. A presentation can be given as a webinar. A blog post can be made into a podcast. This is the “hub and spoke” approach to content marketing. The original piece of content is the “hub” and the “spokes” are the other content formats you use to extend its reach.
Content marketing is not designed to, nor will it, convert leads immediately. It’s the long game, requiring continuous, long-term engagement. That’s why evergreen content that drives traffic over time is so important. It’s the glue that holds a long-term content marketing strategy together, allowing it to pay continuous dividends.