Here is the shocking truth. The majority of content being published on the internet — your’s, mine, everyone’s — is being ignored.
A study published by Moz analyzed one million articles, and the results are downright depressing. The authors state, “50% [of articles] had 2 or less Facebook interactions (shares, likes or comments) and over 75% had zero external links.”
Companies are investing in content marketing, but to what end? Articles are basically being ignored.
It’s not really surprising. Since Hubspot began evangelizing inbound marketing in 2005, every company has jumped on the content marketing bandwagon — to the point now where most people are just tuning it out.
The Question: What Do You Do?
It’s not like you can stop content marketing. Content is what drives your presence on search and social. But how do you manage the reality that 75% of your work is going to waste?
The first thing you have to do is accept the facts:
- People are still consuming content, lots of it. According to Nielsen, “American adults spend more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media.” Your customers are very active in social media, and your brand better be visible there too.
- People are spending the bulk of their time in their social media feeds: swiping, scrolling, browsing. They consume what they see versus clicking for more.
- Google rewards long form content. According to Moz, “85% of content published (excluding videos and quizzes) is less than 1,000 words long. However, long form content of over 1,000 words consistently receives more shares and links than shorter form content.”
You can’t retreat and produce less content, because it’s not performing well. You’ve got to get more vocal and more diverse to be seen.
My Answer: Turn Up the Volume
That’s what I’m doing. At Sticky Branding, we’ve taken a “portfolio strategy” to our content marketing:
- More content. For the longest time I’ve been producing one article per week. Now, we are creating custom content for seven channels: email, blog, two LinkedIn Profiles, LinkedIn Group, Instagram, Twitter, and a Facebook Page.
- More diverse types of content. It’s not just articles and links to articles anymore. We are creating video, live stories, images, and discussions.
- More long form content. I’ve written about this before: Google rewards long form content. According to the research, you need to target 1,500 to 2,500 word articles to rank in Google. This is your SEO strategy.
- Measure everything: When you produce more, you have to know what’s working and what isn’t working.
The early indicators are positive, and confirm Moz’s research. For example, my LinkedIn Posts (updates to my feed) are generating 10 to 15 times more views and interactions than LinkedIn Articles. The nice thing is LinkedIn Posts don’t take nearly as long to create.
We may be producing more, but it’s not dramatically more work. Rather, it’s a shift in strategy.
Anecdotally, I am hearing positive feedback too. My friends and fans are noticing, and many appreciate the new content we are sharing.
Part of the inspiration for my approach is Gary Vaynerchuck. He says, “Document don’t create.”
Gary argues companies are spending too much time trying to get the perfect imagery, the perfect story, the perfect idea. His approach is the other extreme. His content marketing is like a stream of consciousness. You are getting to live his business life and ideas in real-time.
Gary is amazing, but most of us cannot duplicate (or even come close to recreating) what he does. And that’s ok.
My argument is you don’t have to be like Gary. All you have to do is turn up the volume on your marketing. Get more active. Put yourself out there more frequently. Show more of the people behind your brand. And then measure the results.