I recently had a call with a freelance writer who admitted that she was stressed about hitting marketing goals and launching successful campaigns.
After being in marketing for almost a decade, I’ve gone through similar stressed out thoughts and fears of the campaigns that I create underperforming. Or that I won’t come up with a new content promotion idea that will go viral and put our B2B brand on the map.
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Content marketing takes a lot of people, work, + time.
But now that I have been doing this work for so long, I don’t stress out (so much) about it. Why? I know how much work goes into successful marketing. How many individuals or teams it takes to rank #1 on Google and build an engaged social following and consistently publish content.
The person writing a Twitter thread about growing a brand’s traffic or increasing views exponentially wasn’t singlehandedly responsible for that, even if their one “viral” blog post happened at just the right time (after years of building a foundation).
As a content marketer or creative freelancer, you’re one piece of the marketing puzzle. You can work hard to make sure that your work is as thoughtful and strategic as possible, but that’s where your responsibility (and worry) can end.
Did you try as hard as you could to understand who the content is for and cater the work to that persona?
Did you implement current best practices and factor in accessibility standards?
Is the work professional, high-quality, well-researched and cited, and approachable?
Are there strategic marketing elements and conversion points (CTAs)?
Does the project match the brief you were given?
If you’ve done all of that, stop worrying about the results. Ask the recipients of your work for feedback, and results from past projects. Find out if there’s something in common with the projects that have performed the best. Anything beyond that, and you’re tapping in to Demand Generation, CRO, and other territories on the marketing team.
For content marketing to be successful, brands need to invest in:
- Social media
- An optimized website with technical SEO best practices
- Consistent blogging and content creation, promotion, and distribution
- Emailing and good communication
- Branding + PR
All of these elements factor in to Google ranking, traffic, and overall marketing performance. Content marketing requires considerable time and effort, and it definitely doesn’t start working overnight. It can take months, even for the most experienced teams, to start seeing results.
So when you are one part of that, it’s everyone’s efforts that move the needle. And if you’re a solo team, it’s a lot of effort for one person to do. Posting on social media alone is extremely time consuming!
Give yourself a break.
Work hard. Learn what you can about optimization and conversion, and always be willing to try something new or bold. Run lots of tests and let the data do the talking! If something is working, keep doing that thing. If it’s not, find out why or ditch it.
One last bit of advice — learn about more than your individual scope and it will help you better understand the bigger picture and where you fit in. For example, if you’re a designer, shadow a marketer for the day. If you’re a freelance copywriter, find a designer to interview and ask about their process. The more you know, the less you stress. Trust me. And it will help you do your job better!
Want more content marketing thoughts? Check out CXD Studio.