Using content marketing to put your company on the map requires dedication, consistency, and patience. Learn how the practice works, and the shortcut to success.

In a recent Marketing Land article, Quinn Whissen tracked the success curve of content marketing. The results showed that, if a company’s content marketing initiative produced mixed results, the management repeatedly misfired. Making a habit out of missteps completely ruins the potential for success, especially in a long game like content marketing — the tactic takes time, consistent effort, and patience.

Do You Have What It Takes?

Bernal Saborio/flickr

Bernal Saborio/flickr


Building the momentum for takeoff requires a system-based approach. Whissen derides goals because, in her view, they distract from the everyday grind required to actually achieve them. A system, on the other hand, accounts for the necessary minutiae, thereby providing a pathway for incremental change with gradual, but significant gains.

After devising a system, someone has to actually sit down and create the content. Fortunately, Goldilocks is not the epitome of content marketing: no piece needs to be just right. Although quality material always makes for the best content, a published piece wins out over a perfect one every time.

According to an interview with Arnie Kuenn on Vertical Measures, after somewhere between six and nine months of disciplined content creation, a marked increase in the quantity of organic leads occurs. That translates to 100-150 pieces.

That figure comes up short compared to HubSpot’s data. Among their customers, they notice that a meaningful change typically doesn’t happen until a site reaches 401+ blog posts, at which point website traffic doubles. Indeed, “companies that published 401+ total blog posts got over 3X more leads than companies that published between 0-100 total blog posts.”

Numbers Over Time


Hakan Dahlstrom/flickr


Those numbers highlight the need for steady effort. Consistency is the linchpin of content marketing, the structure needed to achieve those marginal gains that make content marketing worthwhile.

Unsurprisingly, research coming out of HubSpot shows a direct relationship between blog posts per month and traffic on their website: “Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0-4 monthly posts.”

In turn, traffic produces leads: “Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5X more leads than companies that published between 0-4 monthly posts.”

The breadth of blog posts also pays off over time. Every original blog post marks a chance to be found, shared, and linked to on the web, which leads to a new potential customer. Literally every post counts, as a blog still produces the desired effect long after publishing. HubSpot examined their own blog’s leads and discovered that “over 75% of our blog views and 90% of our blog leads came from old posts.”

The 1% Rule

Clearly, it behooves a company to keep their efforts up over time, rather than scrap the entire project before it even gets a chance to gain traction. The continuous publishing of original blog posts creates a positive feedback loop — exponential growth.

The longview plan of minute marginal gains is called the 1% rule. That rule contends that “if you can make 1% of progress every single day, it can result in a significant impact over time.” All companies pursuing content marketing must adhere to the 1% rule.

Attaining the 1%

All of these numbers go to show that a successful content marketing strategy is a far cry from a cakewalk. Any company looking to overhaul its marketing strategy must apply itself with the utmost discipline, since adopting a systems-based strategy takes pure gumption to stick to all the necessary benchmarks and deadlines.

Instead of completely changing workflow or hiring new staff, why not work with readymade experts? L&T specializes in system-based outcomes. The dedicated team of writers, researchers, editors, SEO analysts, and content marketing experts all ensure your brand gets noticed on the web.

Longneck and Thunderfoot offer content marketing services and strategies to transform your company blog into an authoritative trade publication. Click to learn more about how to produce great content and prove ROI on your marketing efforts.

(Main image credit: Flazingo Photos/flickr)