Content Marketing, Search Marketing

Digital Content Production: What’s the End Product?

How do you define the end product of your content production? I’ve been struggling with marketers’ perception of digital content production. Here are some things I continue to hear:

  • We want to produce at least one blog post per day.
  • We want to increase annual organic search volume by 15%.
  • We want to increase monthly leads by 20%.
  • We want to double our following online this year.

These responses are a bit frustrating because every metric is a moving metric. Each metric above has a volume, a length of time associated with it, and an uncontrollable dependence on variables outside of the marketer’s control.

Daily blog posts equate to an end product, it’s productivity. Increasing search volume is dependent upon the competition and search engine usage and algorithms. Increasing leads is dependent upon conversion optimization, offers, competition and other factors – most notably the prospect. And your audience on social media is indicative of authority and your ability to promote the content, but again – it’s largely dependent on other variables.

I’m not saying any of these metrics aren’t important. We monitor them all. But what I will say is that I believe content marketers are missing a BIG, HUGE, GIANT, OBVIOUS end product… and that’s developing a completed document library of content.

Will five blog posts per week work? That’s not dependent upon frequency; it’s dependent upon the gap in content that you’ve already published and the content that your audience is seeking.

What’s Your Content Landscape?

  1. In viewing your target audience, what are the topics – specific to your industry – that you can build authority and write content on that will help them be successful in their career and business? Your site and content marketing strategy don’t end at writing about your products and services… that’s the bare minimum. Becoming a valuable resource to your readers and building trust and authority to help them become successful
  2. Have you completed an audit of your site to identify multiple instances of content that you can reduce and optimize, and identify gaps in content you’ve not written about that need to?
  3. Have you implemented a means of measuring the impact of content on conversions so that you can prioritize improving your current content and research and develop the remaining content?

I’m not sure how you can possibly measure the success of a content marketing strategy without thoroughly analyzing the landscape you wish to command authority on. It’s not helpful to understand the number of posts per week to write unless you understand how many posts you need to get through. Perhaps you need to be writing three times as many posts each week to command the growth that you’re seeking in your industry.

How are you planning without defining the end product?

An analogy would be developing a production assembly line pumping out tires all day and expecting to complete building a car. Some of the questions above are about winning the race… but you don’t even have enough parts to get a running engine!

Please don’t think I’m trying to simplify this. It’s a very complex process that takes a ton of research to identify the taxonomy, optimization and prioritization strategies necessary to have a minimal viable product. It’s not impossible, but it is difficult. However, once you recognize the scope of the end product, you can begin taking much more deliberate action and develop some expectations of the results.

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