January 13

If You Build it, They WON’T Come… Unless You Make Them


“If you build it, they will come”

That was the promise of content marketing, back in the beginning. And it was true… sort of.

But now? Not so much.

I recently spoke with a company that wanted to create tons of content for their fledgling site. So I asked my usual questions:

“How will you get people to read your content? And once they’ve read it, how will you turn them into customers?”

Their response? That they weren’t trying to be salesy. They just wanted to share their expertise so they’d be seen as ‘thought leaders’.

(I dislike that term, by the way. But that’s a topic for another time)

Here’s the problem. Everybody makes content.

The other day I wrote an SEO blog post targeting a long-tail keyword that receives 140 global monthly searches… and there were still dozens of articles to compete with. 

If you don’t have a deliberate, tested plan to promote your content, nobody will pay attention.

(By the way, SEO is an oft-touted ‘strategy’ for content promotion. And it works… but only if you’re willing to put in the resources and consistency needed to dominate your niche. I have a handful of customers who have made it work for them in a big way, though, so if you have the resources for it it’s worth considering.)

Look. Content is a fantastic sales and marketing asset for a technology company. It gives you the chance to show off what you do well, take advantage of big media stories, and build a relationship with your prospects and customers.

In other words, it does everything it promised to do right from the start.

But ONLY if you carefully and deliberately plan your content creation and promotion to make sure it reaches the people you want to reach.

If you maintain a blog—have a plan to promote it. If you produce white papers and ebooks—have a plan to promote them.

If you’re paying someone like me thousands of dollars to write big cornerstone content pieces for you, and you aren’t promoting them… why the heck not?! 

It doesn’t matter how you decide to promote your content — it could be using email, social media, paid ads, PR/outreach, guest posting/contributed articles, events, SEO… the list goes on.

What matters is that you have (and execute) a plan to promote your content, and check to make sure it’s actually working.

By the way, if you’re wondering: No. I didn’t end up working with the company I mentioned earlier. When I told them what I’ve just told you, they didn’t want to hear it. I see this all the time, and it’s a big reason why companies end up abandoning content marketing because “it doesn’t work”…

Anyway, that’s all for now. I hope you’ve found it helpful.

If you’re already deliberately planning and promoting your content, keep up the good work! If you aren’t, give it a try. It’s among the fastest ways to improve your content marketing results.


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