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Posted by Todd Hockenberry ● Nov 27, 2018

How Content Marketing Can Help You Level The Playing Field

When was the last time you took a step back to look at your marketplace ecosystem?

Does it scare you? Does seeing the amount of direct competition your business faces make you want to crawl into a corner?

Adam Robinson is the marketing manager at Cerasis where he was brought on board to transform, or better yet create, their digital marketing initiatives. After getting the executive team on board with his big, long-term content marketing plan, he taught them something very important that we can all learn from.

We all have competition. Every marketplace, no matter what industry you’re in will bring you competition. They may be giants or they may be small-medium companies, nonetheless they’re your competition.

Okay, you knew that...

But here’s the thing, you don’t have to be afraid of them. You don’t have to ignore them because you think they’re too big to take on or too small to consider a threat. When you dive into digital marketing strategies, you can level the playing field no matter the size or access to resources.

Your company may never get the advertising budget or natural public relations that a giant corporation has. But content marketing is a strategy that can help you win without having to spend a lot of money doing it. How? Because it’s affordable, but more importantly, it’s effective.

We’re publishers before we’re marketers. - Adam Robinson

It’s relatively cheap compared to advertising. You can look at advertising as being a constant budget, and sure, if you put in the $60k a year into publication ads you’ll get some nice leads. But when your company is in year three of steady and patient content marketing, you might begin to outrank them.

At a certain point, you’ve built this engine of content that makes your competition poke up their heads and go, ‘oh my goodness we better do something.’ - Adam Robinson

But this isn’t the time to sit back and bask in your accomplishment- when your competition starts to notice what you’re doing and getting their stuff together, you have to push all the more to be a better marketer. You now need to double down and get better tools, better intelligence, better analytics so that you can be both defensive in your SEO dominance and defensive as well.

Three Steps to Getting Your Inbound House In Order:

It’s so hard to think in the long-term. We get so distracted by tactics that lead to quick successes when in reality it’s not a sustainable practice for conversion. A viral video or a special offer may work once or twice, but it’s not going to happen or last in the long-term.

You have to develop new habits. It seems boring, it’s not sexy or cool; it’s slow but it’s sustainable. They’re practices that build longevity in your business strategies.

You have to do some pretty boring things. - Adam Robinson

If you’re going to invest in content marketing:

Clean house before you start.

Executives will get excited about content marketing and even hire someone to do it, but they forget to do the important work that comes first. If you create tons of great content that generates traffic to your site, you won’t generate any leads from that traffic if you haven’t first improved your site’s messaging and created technically sounds call-to-actions.

All the traffic in the world is useless if you have poor, ineffective messaging or no call-to-actions. Get your digital house in order first. Don’t set out to utilize content marketing if you’re not prepared to turn leads into sales.

Just do it.

Start the development of your strategy and just don’t stop. When Adam first started at Cerasis, he started “small.” He vowed to publish one blog post per business day as a foundation for their content marketing plan. And he never stopped. Six years and 1,400 blog posts later, they have more traffic than anyone else in their industry.

Don’t overthink it.

Once you’ve cleaned house and made a plan to start (and never stopping!), don’t stress over every tiny detail of your content. People will obsess so much over a 750-word blog post. They’ll try to get so many eyes on it for feedback and maybe not even post it because they don’t think it’s perfect.

Stop that! Just put it out there, it’s okay if it’s not perfect. Everyone is going to have feedback and opinions on your content; know that this will happen, but post anyway. You have to be willing to make mistakes and continue publishing.

Don’t be afraid of your competition no matter how big and scary they may look. Meet with your leadership team, set the right expectations with a clear 3-5 year content marketing plan, show them the numbers, and once you’ve got the go-ahead, just start. It’s not going to be an overnight success; it will take a few years to see substantive benefits, but know that you’re investing in a long-term strategy that will payoff in the future.

Listen and subscribe to our episode with Adam on Apple or where ever you get your podcasts!


Topics: Industrial Executive