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An Experiment That Shows How Content Marketing Works

Filed in project(s): Content Supercharger | New Media Logic
Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 16.21.28

This blog post also got picked up by Social Media Today.

With a little twist, I wanted to demonstrate how content marketing works — in particular for smaller companies. And how it could work for your business.

This little experiment of mine has yielded some specific results and I thought it would be fun and interesting to share them with you.

Curious? Let’s get down to it:

The Idea: A Blogger Outreach Focus

About 6 months ago I decided to practise some focus here on the blog. I’m passionate about most things related to digital marketing, but I decided to bring a little more focus to blogger outreach specifically.

Why? Well, why not?

I hadn’t exactly written extensively about the topic in the past, but I had at least a couple of relevant posts published. So here’s what I did:

  • I wrote a couple of new posts specifically about blogger outreach during the course of a couple of months. Not excessively many, but a few.
  • I set up a simple Resource Page (Get Started With Blogger Outreach) where I collected all relevant posts, simply to connect them with each other and to show search engines that these posts belong together. I also linked the resource page from my universal sidebar to show that I care a little extra about this content.
  • If I had gone all-in on this, I should’ve also made sure to secure som influential inlinks and done some keyword research. But I didn’t. I was too lazy, ha!
  • I also started pushing a little extra for a specific technique, Honeymoon Outreach, sort of to stand out a little.

So, what happened?

The Outcome Of My Little Experiment

I did get a little more organic search engine traffic on blogger outreach-related queries, but nothing extravagant. If I had been serious about ranking better in search, I should’ve gone the extra mile with links, keyword research and formatting. But unfortunately, I didn’t do this.

But in spite of how small-scaled this experiment was, I still got some pretty remarkable results (yes, I kept track of them). This is the outcome from 6 months:

I got 3 invitations to do unpaid talks on blogger outreach. Compared to none before on this particular subject. I did a few and got a chance to get my message out there.

I got 4 invitations to to paid talks on blogger outreach. Compared to none before on this particular subject. I did three of them and managed to get my message across to some more companies.

I got 11 hot sales leads to execute blogger outreach — or help with a strategy for it. This is probably triple the leads I’d normally get for this particular service.

I got at least 5 incredible endorsements that I know of. “Who knows blogger outreach?” It’s impossible to know how often my name came up in these types of discussions, but some of them got through to me. Good stuff.

National television wanted to use me as an expert source in a news story related to blogger outreach. I actually declined because I didn’t like the premise of the story, but still. My name came up.

And 2 agencies got in touch for help to fine-tune their own blogger outreach service. It’s always tricky to establish partner relationships within the same industry, but I was still very happy about this.

Countless offers to host paid guest blog posts on the subject. No real good ones, unfortunately.

Also, 2 blogger outreach software companies got in touch to establish a relationship. Since I’m in the business myself, I value having direct contact with marketing softwares. It might just prove useful for clients down the line.

Pretty okay, right? Considering that we’re only talking about a couple of blog posts, some very weak SEO efforts on my part and a couple of speaking gigs where I promoted my cause a bit further.

I didn’t even use my mailing list to push for this experiment.

What Does This Say About Content Marketing?

Sure, 6 months might sound like a long time. But the outcomes listed above was something very tangible to me. So tangible in fact, I almost became a bit worried that my potential clients would forget that I’m really about digital marketing strategy!

But in any case, with very little effort, I was able to affect the very perception of myself as a brand. Of course, I had some credibility to draw from going into this experiment. And that helped, of course.

But the key point remains:

The secret behind getting through the noise via content marketing — FOCUS! <<< Click to tweet!

Make sure to try this at home, folks. Create a Content Calendar that focuses on THEMES with starts and stops — and stick to them. The real power of content marketing isn’t just about what you say, it’s also about having the discipline to avoid covering too many topics at the time.
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer is the creator of Doktor Spinn, Mad Science Digital, PR of Sweden and Digital PR School (launching in 2015). Join his VIP email list The Loop here.
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer

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Here you’ll find reactions, insights and stories from the awesome Doktor Spinn readers!

How to comment: I have a “living room policy” for comments. Be cool and add your thoughts to the discussion as if we’re chilling in my living room. Critical comments are welcome, but bring some positive energy to the discussion — or I won’t add your comment.

Awesome work! Cool to see that your effort do give results, even though you didn´t go the extra mile ;)!

I experience the same thing but I haven´t nisched that much as you but specific articles have proven to generate offers as well.

Keep up the great work Jerry! Piz

Thanks for the encouragement, Feffe! I’ve found a Wordpress plugin that let’s you collect series of posts together, creating sort of “online ebooks” with easy navigation between articles that belongs together. Think that could be an interesting plugin to try for both of us. Will check what the plugin’s called!

Thats sounds awesome.

I need to rebuild my blog since its so slow with to many DSN calls as well. Do you have any suggestions who to turn to?

The plugin’s called Post Series, I’m gonna try it out actually.

I prefer to do it myself. Clean pro theme, only the necessary plugins. If I would look into a theme today, I’d be interested in Marketers Delight 3 or Pearsonified.

A really good piece, I do agree with you om doing some unpaid work that will give more paid gigs and a good rep!

Yeah, by connecting your unpaid gigs to specific, themed content where you know you have a shot at a thought leadership, then it could make a lot of sense.

Thanks Jerry, very inspiring! I look forward to see what new themes you come up with.

Thanks man — appreciate it, as always!