So, you know you need content marketing to help your business get found and drive leads. But, how much content is the right amount of content to hit your business goals?
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as straightforward as we’d all like it to be. We do, however, have enough data and experience working with clients of all shapes and sizes – and in all industries – to provide clear direction to anyone practicing inbound marketing or straight content marketing.
Understand Your Business Goals
This is the first step, and it's a critical one if you’re trying to decide how much content you need in your content plan. Here are some ratios to keep in mind, but please remember that these are generalizations, as every business is a little different.
Typically, about 10% of your leads are going to be sales opportunities. So, if you have a 50% close rate and want to get 10 new clients per month, you’re going to need 20 sales opportunities and about 200 leads a month. If this sounds like your company, you need to be thinking about daily blogging and monthly content publishing.
If you’re looking for one or two more sales opportunities per month and you have a 50% close rate, you should be planning for 20 leads a month. If this sounds more like your business, you could probably run a very effective inbound marketing campaign with two or three blog posts a week and quarterly content publishing.
To come up with a more detailed understanding of the connection between content quantity and your business goals, do an annual lead goal projection plan and make sure it delivers the revenue numbers you expect.
Strategically Manage Your Content Effort
You’re going to get more visitors and leads if you take a strategic approach to your content creation efforts. We’ve written about this over and over again, and here’s a link to one of the articles on our hub-and-spoke content strategy.
By looking at your content strategically, you're able to lower the number and get more out of the stuff you do create and publish. Think about it like this: If you create a blog article and put it on your site, that's great. But, if you create a blog article that includes comments from an influencer, and he or she talks about it, too – driving more people to your site – you have optimized that blog article to double the amount of traffic.
Here’s another example: If you create a whitepaper and then curate four blog articles from it, you won’t need to write those four blog articles from scratch, thereby saving you time and money. In addition to the saving, you’re able to promote the long-form content from each of those blog articles, driving more leads for your company as readers download the related material.
Integrate All Types Of Content
You must make sure your content is diverse enough to appeal to many different types of prospects. Whitepapers, e-books, infographics, videos, webinars, slideshows, online assessments, tip sheets and even web-based magazines are all different formats that are going to attract a wide variety of people to your site.
Keeping your content diverse, interesting and creative contributes to a higher conversion rate and more leads for your business.
Publish Your Content To Other Sites
As I mentioned above, you need to know what to do with the content you create. Publishing it on other sites, sharing it with other outlets, turning it into pieces that can be published on social media – this all helps you get a bigger bang, and it might mean you're able to cut back on the number of content pieces you produce.
In addition to publishing content, you need to utilize influencers. These are people who bring audiences and high domain authority. Then, when you include them in your content, they share it with their audiences. This attracts more people to your site and helps with search engine optimization, as these links drive up your ability to rank.
Track Content Performance And Adjust Monthly
A conversation about content would be incomplete if we didn’t talk about metrics. Inbound marketing comes with the ability to measure program performance and adjust in real time. Take that ability and apply it to your content effort, too. Blog articles should be tracked for views, shares, links and leads. Premium or long-term content should be tracked for downloads or leads and shares.
Don’t worry if you publish something that doesn’t get traction. That alone is valuable information. First, try changing the title or the CTA button. If that doesn’t work, and the landing page is getting views, you might need to adjust the design of your page. Or, you might have content that your prospects just don’t want. Again, no worries. Simply move onto the next item on your content calendar.
You need content – no question about it. But, figuring out how much doesn’t have to be a mystery. Follow these guidelines, and before you know it, you’ll be directing your own content frequency based on your own real-time data.
Start Today Tip – Match your business goals with your content plan. Bigger and bolder revenue goals are going to need more aggressive content development goals. Apply your sales funnel and marketing funnel analytics to make sure your content plan and lead goals are aligned. Once this is done, get started. You really need to begin a content marketing effort in order to see if your quantity is on target. Then, use your data to make adjustments to your plan. You should know in 30 to 60 days what’s working and what’s not so you're able to make adjustments. Keep fine-tuning your effort monthly. The results are going to be impressive.
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