Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Content marketing: How to not get greedy chasing website numbers!


December 16, 2016

Measuring results

My blog grew from 35,000 annual visits to  around 175,000 year over year and seeing those numbers grow, can be slightly addictive. 

What else can I publish to hit that next high? To get to quarter million, half and then a full million annual visits. Since digital marketing is a numbers game the higher I can drive my relevant audience number, the more people will subscribe to my newsletter, become customers or even advocates of my brand and related brands. 

So there’s some value in chasing the next high and working on building and increasing our audience. 

But don’t get greedy. Publish for the right – audience-centric – reasons. 

Let me give you an example of how I got just a little greedy. Here’s a look at my top blog posts for 2016:

As you can see my top two posts were how to do something in Instagram. The third most read post was my personal thoughts on a high school teammate being ambushed and killed. The fourth was a Twitter how to and the Homepage rounds out the top 5.

Of course, I try to write more stories that find an audience, but it’s easy to take it too far (aka getting greedy).

Here’s one example: 

That Instagram Live video post was getting 24,000 views in just a few days and then Twitter announced that it would soon allow live video within its app. 

I thought: Hey, maybe I can duplicate the Instagram Live story traffic quickly and easily. So I wrote a quick blog post about the Twitter announcement. 

And watched as it started going viral. LOL. Of course, it didn’t go viral and had like 6 views. It just wasn’t unique enough to rank high yet. But I was greedy for relevance and gave it a shot anyway. 

But here’s the thing: It’s not worth it. It was really published for the wrong reasons and found no audience. So how do you publish for the right reasons? Here’s a list:

  • Ensure it’s within your topic area. 
  • Ensure your audience would care. 
  • And maybe most importantly, ensure you have something unique to say. What’s your unique angle?

If all three of those align and apply, write, publish and distribute. If not, don’t publish. Work on the those three pillars of authentic storytelling content marketing before publishing. Always. 

It’ll help us be more audience-centric, which leads to higher relevance and business. 

It’s certainly okay to be chasing relevance but it’s such a fine line between doing it greedily and doing it because it’s best for our audience. 

I’ve never had a post take off when I wrote it for only personally satisfying reasons. But I have had posts take off when I wrote them for reasons obviously beneficial to the audience. 

That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy when a post is well received. I can and do, but I’ll try not to get greedy and let it change my reasons and intent. 

Here’s to everyone posting only stories highly relevant to our audiences.

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Christoph blogs on The Authentic Storytelling Project and is a globally recognized content marketing expert. The IMA named him Internet Marketer of the Year in 2015. He works with healthcare organizations and other brands around the globe.

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