Content marketing stamina — the easy way for startup founders to get ahead of their competition
- ITMO University corporate blog,
- Project management,
- Display advertising,
- Start-up development
Content marketing is an endless endurance race. You can’t put a cap on business growth, even if you’re a tech industry giant. A single success is not enough — every time you reach the finish line, it moves further away. Retaining your existing customers is no walk in the park either. When you go silent, you are actively ignoring your audience. There’s no way around it — you need to pump out content.
However, doing that day in and day out requires a lot of stamina. So let’s look at why we get tired in the first place, and figure out how to avoid it. [Previous article: The true cost of free labour].
We get tired of being lost
Just winging it is exhausting. How are you supposed to get anywhere when all you’re given is a general direction? Simply going straight (doing the same thing over and over) does not work.
You will end up irrelevant in no time. Here is what you can do about it:
Don’t go in blind. You’ve got to have a map. Find where your audience resides and develop a strategy to reach it. This way, you will always know what lies ahead. Brainstorm your content in advance and have a number of outlined ideas ready to be developed. This will help you alleviate stress and make progress while your competitors are stuck in a swamp.
We get tired of tunnel vision
Only looking ahead is just as dangerous as heading out without a plan. We should never stop paying attention to our surroundings. Wearing “blinders” makes you feel isolated and alone.
When, in reality, your campaign does not exist in a vacuum.
Keep track of what your competitors are doing. What are they getting right? What can you learn from their success? There has to be room for improvement. What are they getting wrong? Take note of mistakes they make. Perhaps you are also guilty of these things, but aren’t being honest with yourself. If not, you can expand your audience by helping their wronged customers.
We get tired of being the one to speak
Sometimes content marketing feels like shouting into the void. We are so preoccupied with what we have to say that we forget to listen. Always remember — you are engaged in a conversation.
Your customers always have something to say. So let them speak and listen carefully. If someone reaches out to you, no matter the reason, it’s a case for celebration. It shows that they care. Customer complaints are unique opportunities to nourish brand loyalty. There’s no better customer than a former hater. So help them change their mind!
Praise is also important to respond to. With a little effort, you can make someone feel special. On top of that, many brands use online customer interaction as a tool for viral marketing.
But for any of that to happen, you need to always be listening.
We get tired of repeating ourselves
Sometimes, we rehash the same ideas over and over again, just because it seems to work. We use the same 10-20 buzzwords in different combinations for a seemingly endless supply of content.
Soon after, we start hating ourselves, our work and our jobs.
We procrastinate and dream of quitting. And what do we get? Studies found that repetitive content does not work well. Reading the same thing over and over bores the audience, and lowers retention.
If you are bored of the content you’re publishing, why would anyone else find it appealing? Publish what you yourself would appreciate. Experiment! Try new things! They may not always work out but you should take risks to impress your audience. We tend to remember the things that are out of ordinary. Don’t be afraid to stand out. And have fun doing it.
We get tired of being original
The downside of always producing all-original content is that it’s labour-intensive. You can neither stop nor slow down — posting an article per month is not enough, no matter the quality.
So you keep working ridiculous hours just to stay relevant.
You are not a noise musician and probably need to put a lot of thought into what you make. This takes time. And that’s ok. Yes, you need to maintain your online presence. You can’t afford to stay silent. That’s why I recommend linking to other people’s work from time to time, as long as it reflects your corporate values. It is a great way to add some cultural depth to your corporate image. If you time it well, this will keep your customers hanging until your next big piece.
We get tired of failing
A piece you poured all that effort into might go unnoticed. Failure is an unavoidable part of doing content marketing. Some people give up when the numbers they’re getting don't match their goals.
Endurance in the face of failure sets the best apart from the rest. Remember — you are playing the long game. You can win the war even if you lose a couple of battles. What you’re trying to do is spread your corporate culture, not achieve a temporary spike in sales. You can’t expect to succeed in this overnight. There’s no magic spell for instant cultural influence. You can’t take shortcuts. The only things that can help you are patience and consistency.
We get tired of working too much
Though it might be obvious, the easiest way to tire yourself out is to work too much and rest too little. Content marketing employees are at a high risk of burnout, especially if they’re under a lot of pressure to perform. How can you produce the best content possible if you are always tired?
Slow and steady wins the race. Take care of your marketers. Let them maintain a healthy work/life balance and set realistic goals. If your current team cannot handle this amount of work — get them some help. Contént people produce better cóntent.
As you can see, with some extra upfront effort and just a bit of flexibility you can guarantee a near endless supply of marketing stamina. Flexibility really is key – you never know what opportunities come before you. It is easy to break during a long race such as this one. But if you allow yourself to bend, you will outlast and outperform your stubborn competitors. Oh, and don’t forget to hydrate.