Here are a couple things you may not know.
One: Bill Gates coined the phrase “Content is King”.
Two: the king needs a lot of help.
Content is important for getting people to your site, from search algorithms to social share to links to your site, but content alone doesn’t make you revenue. Content without conversions is just free publishing.
If content is King on the chessboard of online business, revenue is the Queen. The Queen can do all of the things that every other piece on the board can do, but faster. Revenue can buy good content, but good content cannot guarantee revenue.
Currently there is a tempest in a teapot about content marketing (or “Inbound Marketing”.) The problem is most of the “Great Content” drives junk traffic for the creator, or builds brand awareness associated with subjects that don’t produce business value. And much effort is used to create reams of content that don’t produce revenue.
This is a game where the 1% truly rule. Those who can get the biggest mind-share for the right topic generate great business. The rest just waste their marketing budget creating noise.
There are some amazing models for using content to make revenue. People like Mitch Joel, Scott Berkun, Hubspot, and Steve Snell all make great content, and they make money—because their great content has a purpose. Mitch and Scott make great content for the purpose of collecting up their content and selling it to you as a book, poster, t-shirt, or live presentation. Plus, Mitch builds business for his web agency. Hubspot has positioned themselves in front of the “Inbound Marketing” topic, so, yeah, content marketing makes sense. Steve makes great content about a product that someone wants. They ALL make great content about a product that they sell to you, and that makes them revenue.
When you start your content plans, when you do your content audits, and whenever you think about content, think about the revenue the content brings to you. If you are an e-commerce site, having an amazing blog is only useful if drives people to view and buy your products. If you are blogging about what you sell, maybe you should be rewriting your product descriptions too.
Let’s not tiptoe around the fact that you’re doing all this content marketing to eventually turn a profit. Business isn’t an altruistic venture. So, if your inbound marketing department can’t point to the marginal revenue you’ve produced, how long do you think you’ll be warming your seat?
If you need to goose revenue, I’d suggest revisiting outbound marketing too. (I know… the heresy!) As it turns out, inbound and outbound marketing can get along!
Long live the QUEEN!
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