Every time I review analytics, I’m reminded that content marketing works.
Making your content marketing more effective doesn’t require massive shifts. You can impact results with small steps, like spotlighting content you’ve already created.
New people find Walsworth every day because their web search results include our content. Without the relevant content we’ve created, they probably wouldn’t discover Walsworth or our website. It’s really that simple.
As marketing manager for Walsworth, I’m focused on creating content that helps publishers develop effective content marketing strategies. This includes writing blog posts (like this one) about how publishers can make better use of digital content.
Magazine publishers exist because they provide value to their readers. This is true whether they’re a regional magazine publisher informing readers of the newest restaurant, or an association publisher informing members of recent research results or best practices. They keep existing readers and attract new readers by providing valuable content aligned with their audience’s needs.
The same is true for Walsworth. Even though we’re a print manufacturer, we don’t just talk about print. We talk about what works. And, we believe what works is print as one component of a well-rounded content marketing strategy.
Five years ago, our main concern was Search Engine Optimization (SEO), what it is and how companies use content to improve it. Walsworth has definitely experienced the benefits of writing for SEO. We’ve seen substantial organic traffic growth from it.
These days, we’re working to deepen our understanding of multichannel publishing and how it can be used to maximize reader engagement.
We now create custom mobile apps for our customers and help educate our customers how apps fit into their publishing strategy. And, we’re working with our customers to leverage content hubs to create new revenue streams with the content they’re already creating.
For many publishers today, when a piece of content is written for their magazine, they aren’t automatically producing a video of that to put online or creating versions of the content that will be featured in their mobile publishing app with extra imagery that adds value but couldn’t fit in the print version. They aren’t automatically setting up an email campaign to their subscribers with tidbits from the article to draw readers in.
These additional channels provide more entry points and can boost engagement, but many publishers aren’t taking advantage of them because they’re already so stretched.
Smaller publishers, especially association publishers, are realizing they can make improvements without significant pain. The ones who are adding or changing small things and experimenting with analytics-driven content decisions are seeing success.
We often say, “You can’t boil the ocean.” Instead, we recommend modifying little bits at a time.
For instance, a fairly easy modification is building better email marketing campaigns to distribute content. I subscribe to a few publishers that provide top-10 lists. Not all the content is earth-shattering, but it’s timely, and I look forward to it every day. The information is meaningful to me, and so the publishers have become meaningful to me.
I also subscribe to a monthly gardening magazine that only sends one email a week. The email is simple stuff, like reminders that it’s time to clean out the flower beds, or it’s time to get certain plants in the ground. But even though the email content is simple, I’ve grown to trust that it’s helpful, and that has grown my affinity for their publication.
Another concept we’ve seen used successfully was shared at one of Niche Media’s conferences where a publisher shared the success they were having with re-use of existing content. The magazine’s publisher labeled the concept Disaggregate and Combine, and described how they repackage existing content and distribute it on a variety of channels to increase engagement and generate revenue very efficiently.
Bottom line? Content marketing works. And a content strategy that includes creation of valuable content, distribution via multiple channels, and a smattering of experimentation, is certain to positively impact results.