Do you dare take a perilous journey through the dark heart of content marketing? What unseen pitfalls lie in your way, and what hidden treasures are waiting to be discovered? Sharpen your sword, gird your loins, and choose your own marketing adventure.

Beginning

It’s another quiet Thursday afternoon, and that blog deadline is looming down your neck. But you’ve got so much other work. Should you just skip it this week?

Yeah, you’ll get to it later.

No, content marketing is a hard yet noble path worth pursuing.



Yeah, you’ll get to it later.

No one notices when you don’t turn in your blog post this week.

You decide to do something else instead of writing a blog post. Your stack’s a mile high, and no one in your company really gets content marketing, anyway. The next week it’s even easier to put your blog post on hold, until your content marketing program was nothing but a distant memory.

Eventually, you are eaten by a grue.

You have been eaten by a grue
From Fortresscraft.Wikia.com

End of path – Make a different choice.

No, content marketing is a hard yet noble path worth pursuing.

Even if the rest of people in your company aren’t entirely sure what content marketing is, you know that they rely on you to take care of building rapport with your clients and helping new clients find you. You know that content marketing helps them make smarter, better buying decisions, and that the SEO bump can help you get found.

Klondikers carrying supplies

From Retronaut.com

So you sit down and start to write. What do you write about?

Turn to your editorial calendar.

Meh, slap up the first thing that comes to mind.

Meh, slap up the first thing that comes to mind.

You’re busy. You don’t have time to do research or talk to clients or put a lot of thought into the blog post. You dash something off, throw it on the Internet, and don’t give it a second thought. After all, no one really reads this crap, do they?

Well, it turns out your self-fulfilling prophecy comes true. Your content could be found in a billion other places on the web, so no one reads yours. Eventually, your bosses become convinced content marketing doesn’t work, and you get to do other things on a boring afternoon, like fix the overflowing toilet.

Eventually, you are eaten by a dragon. He finds you crunchy and good with ketchup.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons

From MLP.Wikia.Com

End of path – Make a different choice

 

Turn to your editorial calendar.

You’ve already put together an editorial calendar that outlines things that would make good topics based on the time of year, current trends in your industry, holidays and other cultural and industrial considerations. You’re able to take an idea and tie it into a current event and make it super topical. Sweet.

You take a little more time and do some Internet research. You call some industry colleagues or maybe reach out to a client. It’s not easy and it’s not quick, but you eventually wind up with a blog post you’re really happy with, that presents information you really think will help your customers.

Now what?

Publish and forget it.

Disseminate thoughtfully.

From ReactionGifs.com

Publish and forget it.

Hey, good content rises to the top, right? Just put it out into the world and good things will happen.

Over time, you find you’re kinda right. Traffic comes in dribs and drabs over time, and the blog post does pretty okay. You feel content and continue to churn out chronically under-seen and under-appreciated your content. Pretty much anyone who ever finds your content found it by pure chance.

Eventually, you are gored by a unicorn

End of path – Make a different choice

You were gored by a unicorn. Sorry.

From Accoutrements.com

Disseminate thoughtfully.

You decide this is really more of a consumer-focused piece than a B2B piece, so you share it on your Facebook page with a fun image to catch people’s attention. You even manage to put together a pinnable picture, and you wind up with a nice stream of traffic from there, too. You tweet it and ask a few influencers to tweet it if they like the information, too.

You use the blog post as the foundation of an email campaign, driving even more traffic back to your site. You send the content to prospects and clients to explain their questions and provide background information. Over the next few months, you reuse the content and make it work double, triple and quadruple duty for you. All the time you spent working on it paid off: more customers are introduced to you, current customers are kept informed and you’re known as an expert in your industry.

You sit down to write your next post.

Eventually, you are proclaimed High King or Queen of Content Marketing, and live happily ever after.

From ReactionGifs.com

Forest photo credit: rachel_thecat via photopin cc