If no one is reading your content does it have any value?
This is a challenge many organizations face. They’re doing the hard work of creating content for a blog or an email newsletter, but they’re not reaching enough people. Their content is failing to make an impact.
Month-after-month they’re creating useful content, but they’re forgetting an even more important step after they publish: to market their marketing.
The purpose of content is to engage your audience. If it isn’t doing that, it’s not effective.
Your audience is your #1 priority
Lots of people like to say, “Content is King.” That may be true, but only when you have an audience. Your content is of no value if no one is engaging with it.
Your number one priority should be to engage and grow your audience—the people who consume and value your content.
- 30,000 visitors per month to your blog
- 5,000 followers on Facebook or Twitter
- 100,000 readers per month on an email newsletter
These numbers are daunting, but they’re good benchmarks—even for B2B companies using content to engage local markets. You need to reach a large audience for your content to effectively build brand awareness and generate leads.
Find new groups to engage
Take a look at your stats, and ask the question, “What would it take to double my reach?”
Growing your reach requires change. The behaviors that got you to where you are won’t get you to the next level. Doubling your reach requires engaging new groups of people who’ve never heard of you.
Take a look at your audience, and consider new groups you can engage:
- Who are they?
- Where are they?
- Who do they currently follow?
- Would they be interested in your content?
- How can you reach them?
Identify one new group you can engage on a quarterly basis, and then purposefully work towards incorporating them into your audience.
Measure your progress
Follow the old adage, you can’t manage what you don’t measure.
I maintain a Google Spreadsheet to track my audience reach on a weekly basis. I look at my reach across multiple platforms: email subscribers, RSS subscribers, my LinkedIn Group, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and a few other stats.
The purpose of my spreadsheet is to monitor what’s growing week-over-week, and where I need to focus my attention.
Where do you need to focus your attention? Consider what’s growing, and if you can accelerate the growth rate. Or look at areas that have plateaued, and come up with strategies to get them back into growth mode.
Market your marketing
Your goal should always be to get your content read. Make it a priority to grow your audience every single month, because the larger your audience is the more leads your content will generate and the greater the impact it can achieve.
There's a lot to think about here. Yes, those are daunting numbers, but a lot of people think that just by posting something, the traffic's going to follow. That's absolutely not the case. You've got to be vigilant in your marketing efforts in order to see change. Good post!
@MattLBrennan Thanks Matt. It's strange when people think the content stops with publishing. It's only the beginning. But as a content creator, I do find promoting my work unnatural. I find it challenging to ask people to read my content and push it. But logic has to trump, because without readers the content is valueless.