Many products, agencies and marketing professionals offer a brute force approach to Content Marketing. Using a mass quantity approach to the discipline has been done with mixed results for years, back to the days of bot software creating spam links for SEO purposes.
This usually worked well when looking at low competition keywords and niches but not so well otherwise. Today even low competition arenas require some finesse, and brute force approaches have lost appeal when the effectiveness decreased.
Revisited, the concept has a great deal to be said for it. To work today though, a brute force approach to Content Marketing needs to be as much about quality content, sources, media sources, variety, and consistency as it is about sheer volume.
What IS High Quality Content
We have tested several different products promising to deliver high quality content for Content Marketing campaigns, but they were all essentially scrapers grabbing other people’s content to share, or worse yet steal without attribution. This is not high quality content.
When industry people talk about high quality content the conversation usually descends into talk about controlling costs by going overseas, or carefully protected sources that have produced for them. So “High Quality Content” gets quickly translated to expensive content. Not exactly a useful descriptor.
High quality content needs to be defined by the qualities that make it effective to the purpose it is put to.
In this case, we mean effective for SEO purposes. We mean effective for building authority within a niche, or market. Any other definition is immaterial.
Now that we know what constitutes quality content, what types of content formats are needed?
Variety of Content Types
Articles and other forms of text content are still the most important, but that includes PDF, Powerpoint, and a variety of image based formats as well. Pure image based content gets more interaction than anything else even today. Video is huge, and growing with a variety of formats within that rather wide descriptor. Audio files used for podcasts etc. can not be ignored either.
Maintaining quality (defined as effectiveness) means not using spammy spinning products to create multiple versions of the same content. Unique, relevant content that lacks the appearance of cheap automation is rare, but it does exist.
Admittedly usually at a high price. Prohibitively high for most small to medium sized enterprises.
Even larger organizations may not be happy about the price tag in getting this content created and distributed. Distributed where though?
Variety of Content Venues
When developing a Content Marketing strategy, most people (including agencies and professionals) will have a specialization or a preference that will unevenly skew content placement to just a couple of types of media, or social media platforms.
Business owners doing this for themselves will find themselves likewise gravitating towards a handful of activities that they perceive to be their best use of time and resources within their skill sets.
In today’s marketing environment, balance is more important than ever.
Just blogging, or just social media marketing, or just SEO will not get you where you want to be in your online marketplace. It all does begin and end with your own website, but getting the right people coming to you when they are hungry for your products and services means availing yourself of a variety of media outlets, etc.
News and press release websites, social media sites dedicated to specific content formats, or specific usage types, are vital, as well as high authority sites of all kinds.
A good portion of these websites are not accessible to the general public, or only are for a hefty fee. The intent isn’t just to extort fees from users, but to limit access to professionals of various sorts. Access can be had, and for a lot less than what is asked by these outlets individually.
Content Marketing Cost Vs Price
Frequently the savings of doing a task for yourself is exceeded by the costs associated with access to the tools and resources necessary to do the job at hand.
This a a concept we come across frequently in the marketing arena. We recently wrote about the differential in results between the average business owner running their own paid ad campaigns on Google Adwords, or in Facebook and Instagram Ads.
If an agency can get you 50% better conversions, but charges you 15% of your ad spend for their services, what are you saving by doing it yourself? Nothing. It is actually costing you far more than those percentages indicate. BTW, that 50% number is conservative. Usually it is more like 200-400%.
Likewise, you can pay to access the press release and news outlet websites but it is unlikely that you can get enough use out of them all to justify the cost. Economy of scale means that what is prohibitively expensive for the individual business owner is a minor percentage of the costs of running campaigns for a marketing or PR firm.
Every one of us has heard the term “Penny Wise and Pound Foolish”. At some point we are all guilty of it as well.
This all goes before even discussing the cost of your own time in all of this. I you haven’t before, take the time to calculate the cost of your time is to your business. Use whatever metric you like, and you are likely to be surprised at what your time is worth.
Now you are ready to think about what it would take to launch a campaign as described here.
Economy of scale, and an appreciation for what trying to do it all yourself in house is costing you versus what the price tag is for a truly professionally done Content Marketing campaign means you are likely to be pleasantly surprised.
Effective Brute Force Content Marketing Campaigns
So, what does it really take to bring this all together. We know that it takes a large quantity of content to get the results necessary to position a business as the authority in a marketplace. We also know that there is a level of quality necessary to accomplish this. The answer occur to you yet?
We need a balance between throwing a ton of content against the online wall, and spending either day and night, or a small fortune having extremely well crafted articles posted on news and press release sites across the web.
Let’s be specific about what this means is needed:
- Experienced Copy and Article Writers – Writers are at the heart of Content Marketing. Good content is written by people with experience at providing several types of content.
- Automated Analysis – Knowing what is missing in an online presence is a science and an art, but can be quantified. The art comes in understanding how best to fill those cavities.
- Content in Multiple Formats – Unless you are a renaissance man/woman you will struggle with at least one or two types of content creation. It takes not just quantity, but quantity in multiple formats to win at this game.
- Carefully Automated Posting – Posting content consistently in the quantities needed to get results quickly takes a lot of time, or it takes the sort of automation that doesn’t get penalized by Google, etc. Posting to all of the necessary places, and doing so at the correct time and day means using automation, but the right automation.
- Monitoring – It would take a large team of highly trained individuals to not just monitor your own online properties and SEO status, let alone the other businesses in your niche and their position relative to yours.
- Stamina and Persistence – This is the Brute Force aspect few understand. There is a point of critical mass to these things that must be reached in Content Marketing. Another Art/Science aspect to these pursuits is knowing when to push on, and when to change tactics. Even long established primacy by other enterprises in your market can be overcome with seasoned analysis and application within campaigns.
- Professional Consultation – Before assuming that this is just too costly an approach for your business. Get a no cost consultation to talk about what is involved. There is even more cost involved with inaction.
Now comes the good news. Once you attain those coveted authority spots in your market it is a lot easier that getting there. Maintenance application also aids as you expand into other campaigns.
Brute Force Content Marketing is nothing new. There have been products posting hugs amounts of content to various platforms for years. Doing so with quality content and finesse is now possible in ways that simple automation simply cannot accomplish.
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