We keep on hearing about the need for more content, better content, attractive content, informative content… just about any adjective which applies to “content”. We also hear a complaints on how slow content “converts”. The need to get results quickly is a business driven requirement. This requirement is heard today more and more in the social media world. As Ronald Reagan use to say: “wweeeeellll… before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement“. It’s not always how long it takes to “write, edit and publish”. Actually, the writing process by itself is actually short. In the media world, it’s like sending a reporter to a scene of a crime. Getting the report in and editing a copy is quick. It’s also not the amount of time it takes to build a network of followers (messages go viral faster today than in the past). Networks expand at an amazing rate. So what makes a company’s message so slow to “filter” and then “influence”? It’s getting the right message out. Messages go viral if they are [edit here]
It comes down to a few basic factors: Message, Audience, Form, Style & Promotion. There are plenty of references on how to develop these elements.
In many niche markets, the work takes time. Finding a message (or a few messages), recruiting the audience (building groups), developing a unique form and style and eventually promoting the content takes time. There is a misconception among executive management on the time it takes. The misconception comes from the speed of publishing and feedback. Publishing an article takes essentially no time. Getting feedback, both analytics and comments is also fast. So what can take time? Once a few articles with different messages are tested, a writer, editor or promoter should be off to the races. Yet most executives do not see the actual work. Writing is not simply typing and proofreading. Posting in different locations, sometimes slightly different text version also takes time. Monitoring analytics, even in real time, is not just a few clicks and analyzing reports takes time. As the amount of content grows everything takes longer.
Inpatient workers and managers are everywhere. It may seem like results should come quickly (after all this is the internet, we are in the mobile digital era): first write and draw, then corrective actions and optimization, then better results – and the cycle continues. Yet very few companies actually achieve growth quickly. A few continue and eventually find their effective message, audience and style. To figure out who is effective take a look at companies which publish their newsletters, mail campaigns or offers (contests, demos and case studies, white papers.) Also look for company blogs, straight content and social media activities. Is the activity steady? Is their audience numbers growing? Is the audience concentrated in specific geographic location? Is the audience participating in the discussions? The internet, and especially content marketing, is an open book. This means you are able to see what and how people publish and promote. Yet it takes more effort than ever before. This may be news to most executives. But it is not hard to show the work, results and eventually return value on the effort.