Content Marketing

How Long Should You Wait for Content Marketing to Work?

Whenever a new client comes to us, his first question is: how much time will your content marketing practices take? 

If you are a content agency who was asked this question, we feel your pain. If you are someone who asked this question, read this blog post to know the answer.

Most of the time, the agency folks don’t know the answer themselves. They will give you an estimated figure by doing a quick search over the internet. And, guess what are they going to ask Google? The same thing you asked them: How Long You Should Wait for Content Marketing to Work?

In short, it can take from 21 days to 365 days, depending on the type of business you have and your marketing intent. 

To get a precise answer, we need first to understand what is content marketing in 2020.

What Do You Mean By Content Marketing?

Content marketing is everything you see over the internet. Every activity that was performed to promote a content piece will be included in content marketing. However, clients have differing views. Most of them think content marketing is:

  • Ranking an SEO optimized content on their desired keyword for #1 position 
  • Getting over 1,000 visitors from a single unique content blog post/landing page
  • Having a click-through rate (CTR) of over 10% on their desired email marketing campaign
  • Growing the blog traffic by 10X in just two weeks
  • Decreasing the bounce rate on their desired landing pages
  • Improving the average time of their website by 2 minutes
  • Getting 10K shares of their video within a single week
  • Getting 100K views on their videos on YouTube and Facebook
  • Generating 1,000 leads through an opt-in funnel campaign
  • Generating over 1,000 signups each day for the last 30 days
  • Getting 100 orders per day for the previous two weeks

In short, every business out there has its metrics for gauging the success of its content marketing campaigns. Each of these businesses considers content marketing to be something else. But in reality, content marketing is everything we mentioned above. 

What to Focus On: Leads or Conversions?

This brings us to our next crucial question of content marketing. What is essential for a business? Leads or conversions.

While discussing with a few content marketers online, I concluded that just like the definition of content marketing is vague for many, leads and conversions also have differing interpretations for people. Some think that collecting emails, phone numbers, and even names are leads. In most SaaS businesses, a lead is a signup, while a conversion is when the user enters his credit card information on the checkout page.

Similarly, in real estate, a lead is a phone number, while a conversion is when the person purchases a real estate property. In real estate, the time frame of conversion can be a year or even longer than that.

It all differs from business to business and from industry to industry.

The Sweet Spot for Content Marketing Results: Six Months

Six months is the average time in which business campaigns would have performed for the better or the worst. 

Why are we saying six months? Because online content marketing has two types, including:

Paid

When you have to pay to promote your business. It would include paid social media marketing, search engine marketing, sponsored posts, events, promoted listings, and more.

Organic

When you get traffic through your efforts. Like when you write a blog post, and it starts ranking on search engines. Or, when your YouTube video becomes a trending video and generates views. Or, when a social media page posts about you and people start engaging with that post generating eyeballs for your product/website organically.

Paid channels generate responses instantly. Because you are spending money through AI-platform, all responses are generated within minutes, and the platform provides a complete report about it.

However, organic channels require time to get eyeballs. Your post will need at least a week to get indexed if your website is not popular. If it is, it can get indexed in minutes. However, even if a website is indexed, it will have to get to the top of the search engine page to generate clicks. And, this happens through Google’s algorithm. Unfortunately, no one knows how Google algorithms work. But if your content is of quality and you are getting backlinks from popular websites, the chances of your post ranking higher in the search results are high.

Let’s not forget social media. On social media, the results can be instant or delayed. It depends on how or when a person discovers your content on social media. If you have a social media team, it can promote the content in groups and on various social platforms. But even then, there is no guarantee about response and engagement. 

Source: Grow and Convert

Traffic from paid channels dies down as soon as you stop paying. However, traffic from organic channels can continue for months and sometimes even years – if Google thinks your content is worth the traffic.

Don’t Get Disheartened If Content Marketing Doesn’t Work

The key to success is not to get disheartened by your efforts. Here is how Neil Patel’s blog started to rank. He says, more posts lead to more traffic. 

So, you will need to publish high-quality content regularly. Make sure that the content is related to your industry and answers the pain points of your customers.

“At the beginning, you’ll grow slowly and will need to add value drops to your content creation pot. Once your pot is filled considerably, you’ll start seeing the enormous benefits of content marketing.” – Neil Patel

Source: Neil Patel

Make Your Content Marketing Goals & Work Accordingly

Most content marketing experts recommend organic channels for content promotion. It is because organic channels can bring qualified leads at 62% less cost than paid marketing channels. However, they take a lot of time. 

This graph illustrates how much time you should expect before your content marketing efforts will bore any fruit.

Source: QuickSprout Content Marketing Efforts Visualized

But to make that happen, you will need to create a content marketing strategy by analyzing your competitors.

It would require you to answer a few questions:

  • How many blog posts you would publish in a week
  • What channels would you use to promote your blog posts (paid, organic, social)
  • How frequently will you promote your content?
  • What benefit does your content bring to your potential customers (why would they buy from you)?

The frequency you set will depend on how search engines and social mediums will respond to you. They will either rank you on top or push you to the bottom of searches. Your strategy will change depending on their reaction, and that’s how content marketing strategy works in reality. It is fluid, and so is your business. Period.

Want to know what content marketing strategy will work best for your business? Check out our blog that lists everything on content marketing or get in touch and learn how we can help you scale faster.