Without This, Your Content Marketing Is Worthless
Well, to be more accurate, it should be “Without this, your content is wasted.”
But I’ll tell you why I titled the blog post that way: sometimes, when people are thinking about creating content, they forget a really important part of marketing.
They may not forget about persuading people. Or knowing their audience part. Or utility. Or entertainment.
But they forget about that pesky distribution and visibility thing!
I ask them:
HOW are enough people going to SEE your new content?
Here are some weak responses to that question and why they’re weak responses. Afterwards we’ll talk about how you can do better.
“We email our content out.”
- So your current email list reaches every prospect you want to see it? You don’t need to reach more prospects?
- Are you taking into account that only 15-30% of people open emails? And only 2-3% of them click the links? In other words, do you have 40 times as many email subscribers as the number of people you want to go to the website?
- (Don’t forget that not every website visitor becomes a customer… you’ll need 50-100 people to go to your website to get a new customer. So, you need 2,000 to 4,000 people on your email list for every new customer you want. Depressing!)
If you answered yes to all of those, congrats! Chances are, you didn’t, though. :-)
[SOURCES: A great source for email marketing benchmark metrics, and another.]
“We post it on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.”
- So given that all the data shows that most Facebook pages’ posts are seen by only about 10% of fans, and only about 1% of those who see a post click on its link, meaning that only about one out of a thousand fans will click on your link, do you have 1,000 times as many Facebook fans as you want to visit your website?
- And given that at most at any one time, only about 7% of your Twitter fans will be active when you tweet, and that roughly 1% will click on your link, do you have 1,400 times as many Twitter followers as you want to visit your website? Or even if you tweet that link 14 times a day (which would be excessive for just one link), do you have 100 times as many Twitter fans as you want to go to your website?
- On LinkedIn, only 13% of LinkedIn users interact with the site daily. People don’t spend a ton of time on LinkedIn, and when they do, it’s usually not looking at their news feed. My estimate is that maybe 1% of your connections might see any of your posts in their news feed, so do you have 10,000 times as many LinkedIn connections as you want to visit to your website?
All you really need to do to be convinced is look at your website analytics and see how little monthly traffic you’re getting from these three sites… and divide that by 100- that’s how many customers you can expect from them per month. Got 1,000? Great, you might get 10 customers from that, if they’re quality prospects.
(There are certainly exceptions to some of my numbers if your website is exceptionally effective and your post are dramatically more effective than average- but to get to those places, you’d need to be an accomplished Internet marketer or already have worked extensively with on.)
[SOURCES: Twitter CTR stats, Twitter CTR stats for huge accounts, an older Twitter CTR anecdote for reference, 3 years ago when 17% of fans saw Facebook page posts, around the same time, Techcruch said 12%, more coverage of declining visibility in 2014, comparison of FB ads and LI ads for post promotion, Pew Research on frequency of social site usage.]
“We have good SEO.”
That sounds A LOT like the lazy and dangerous Build It And They Will Come myth, but let’s inquire further:
- How quickly are your new blog posts ranking in the top 10 for their keywords? Although you may have great rankings and traffic from older pages and posts, how quickly does that work with new content? Can you afford to wait 3-6 months for that traffic?
- How are you getting new links from other websites to your new traffic? Twitter is one strategy for this, but again, how many see your tweet and retweet it? Is this enough links to improve your rankings?
- How big is the keyword search demand for the keywords you’re using in your new blog posts? Keep in mind that you won’t get all of that traffic. If a keyword gets 1,000 searches a month, the #1 organic listing might get 30-55% of the traffic. The ads are usually getting from 1-3% each. The first page altogether gets about 70%. If you get a first page ranking, you can expect an average of 7% of that keyword demand, which would be 70 visits per month. Not 1,000; but 70.
[SOURCES: A great 2014 study of search result CTR by position and another 2014 study.]
So… how are enough people going to find your content?
If your findings above aren’t satisfactory, then…
The upshot is, you have to use ads to get the numbers you want, and Facebook ads are the most profitable way.
However, promoting posts can be a danger zone, getting you more engagement than website clicks. When you calculate the cost per click for this method, it can easily be $1-2 per click. You must use the ad manager and choose the website traffic or website conversion ad type, and then you can easily get clicks for less than $1 each.
Also, the website conversion ads do convert better, so they lower your cost per lead and cost per new customer.
So, combine content creation with Facebook ads!
Brian Carter is a popular business expert and keynote speaker with Fortune 500 clients like NBC, Microsoft and Humana as well as small businesses. He delivers motivational keynotes with practical takeaways with the comedic flair of his stand up comedy background. His agency, The Brian Carter Group, creates marketing that excites customers and increases brand visibility, sales and loyalty. Brian is a bestselling author you’ve probably seen on Bloomberg TV or in Inc, Entrepreneur, The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times. He has over 250,000 online fans and reaches over 3 million people per year.