How to Win the Online Content War: Relationship Marketing

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content marketingContent marketing is rapidly taking over traditional marketing as a recent survey highlighted. Content marketing spending rose over nine percent year over year comparing 2012 to 2013. This year is shaping up to be another blockbuster year for content marketing. No small wonder as, Content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing methods; it also generates triple the leads as traditional marketing, according to a Demand Metric infographic.

The basics of content marketing are simple. Produce engaging content that is of interest to your audience. Draw that audience into the flow of your brand’s story. Ensure that the content you produce is interesting to your audience. Perhaps most importantly to content marketers is the production of content that converts. Our goal as content marketers is to build an audience and convert them into customers.

The Major Problems in the Content Marketing War

Given the effectiveness of content marketing and how successful it has proven to be, the competition is stiff and growing. In an often cited article Content Shock: Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy, Mark Schaefer writes, “web-based content (the supply) is doubling every 9 to 24 months.” In this article Mark outlines the problem that as content production rapidly increases, compared to fairly steady demand, the barrier to market entry will increase dramatically.

Basically, as companies and individuals increase the amount of content they produce, everyone’s competition gets tougher. We move from a highly competitive space into the content marketing warzone. On this battleground, the weak will not survive, and the formation of alliances becomes increasingly important.

Gone are the days of being able to reach your audience on Facebook. A recent study revealed that for 23 pages with over 500,000 likes each, the drop in reach went from 4.04 percent in October 2013 down to 2.11 percent in February 2014. This means that your posts are likely only reaching a small fraction of your total audience. For example, if you had 1,000 people in your audience, a single post would likely only reach 20 people.

The Content Marketing War’s Solution

To begin winning the content war takes skill and a tactical approach. Not only do we have to produce highly valuable content, but your content has to reach your audience on a growing number of channels. Online marketing channels to engage include:

  • social media;
  • blogging;
  • YouTube;
  • podcasts;
  • email campaigns;
  • slideshare presentations;
  • guest blogging; and
  • social community outreach.

Each of these channels has a common component, and that is relationship. The foundation of any successful online marketing strategy in 2014 is built on relationships.

I’m not talking about causal relationships either. I’m talking about the kind of relationship that takes time to develop. Everyone wants a quick solution, and there are many things you can do now (see the list above) to improve your content marketing. However, if you’re not reaching out to people in a genuine way, your efforts will be short lived.

Gone are the days where you could engage in link schemes or buy a bunch of fake social followers. Not only will Google penalize this type of activity, but people have come to realize that these techniques have no lasting stability. Lasting stability in the content marketing war comes from building the kind of relationships you would in real life.

When your content needs some amplification, as in setting up a viral campaign, we can rely on relationships. For more on how to setup a viral campaign built on relationships, see Lee Smallwood’s post “Case Study: Plus The Zuck – Tracking, Insights and Social Network Analysis” for the Plus Your Business blog.

As you go about your content marketing day, spend the time to build real relationships with people. This is how you will win the content marketing war.

Let us help – contact We Do Web Content online or call us at 888-521-3880.