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Home runs are certainly fun to watch. Did that make it into the water outside the San Francisco Giants park? Did that make it onto the street outside the Baltimore Orioles diamond? You get the picture.
Things can happen with home runs and they can be entertaining and look powerful. And of course they count as a point on the score board. In-the-park home runs are even more exciting because the defense actually had a chance to get the runner out. They are even rarer. I’ve witnessed a handful over the years in stadiums and we talked about them for hours.
Singles can be fun too, but not usually the routine ones. Okay, applause, applause he made it to first base without a problem. That story has no conflict at all. Do I have to clap?
But singles help teams win too and are much more common than home runs. After extensive research by me (aka googling this topic) I found that the top major leagues hitters ended up with less than 5 percent of their hits being home runs. And these are the top hitters!
And what does this have to do with content marketing and storytelling, you might wonder!
Here you go: Way too many are focusing on hitting that content marketing homerun.
Let’s go viral, go big or go home, hit the ball to the viewers across the street at Wrigley Field in Chicago. You get the idea. And it hardly ever happens and some people are then quick to declare that content marketing doesn’t work.
All those things are rare and the content marketing singles – many of them – are actually winning the championships.
One single after another keeps our audiences engaged and hoping for another. Yup, they want home runs, too, but they won’t happen on every swing. Don’t forget about those strike outs, by the way, which are even more common in baseball (and content marketing).
Here is how that plays out in metrics. It’s like running a budget. $12 here, $24 there add up quickly to a huge credit card bill. Whoa, we spent how much?
The same goes with content marketing production. The pageviews of singles add up. For some projects that might be 300 per post or 500 or 1,000 or 25,000. And yes, we want to keep raising what that number is. Content marketing content performance compounds. But instead of looking for homeruns only look for the compounding factors. That also works in finance!
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Some content won’t resonate much. You just struck out. That’s okay. It happens. The best hitters in baseball also have the most strikeouts.
Great content marketers show up for their next at bat and keep swinging.
For content marketing, I’m not saying we should just publish crap and see what sticks, but the thing is you have to keep publishing and adjust to see what turns into singles, doubles, triples or home runs.
I’ve seen this on about every content marketing project now. Singles win the content game. Home runs are delighters and strikeouts help us learn for the next time. Don’t stop in your quest to be relevant.
This article was first written in 2016 and updated in 2018.