Once you’ve laid the foundations and set your plan into action, then comes the hardest part: waiting for people to respond to what you’ve put out there.
The biggest skill you’ll need to build your audience is patience. Here’s how we recommend staying strong early on in your content marketing game.
Be prepared to wait.
And wait. And wait some more.
The hard truth is, creating an audience for your content takes time. John Hall, CEO of Influence & Co, estimates it takes at least six months for even the most energized content marketing plans to see results.
At this point, you might be asking yourself: “why invest so much time into a long-game content strategy when I could run a one-and-done campaign?” Hall covers that, too, by explaining that content marketing keeps you on the minds of potential customers until they’re ready to make a decision (in your case, when they want to finally book that vacation).
Not only that, but it establishes a relationship with your future customers, creating a loyalty that’s far fiercer than that of a potential customer who sees your ad once.
There’s no denying that content marketing takes serious dedication. Pouring your soul into something that may take months to make an impact can be disheartening if you don’t remind yourself of why you’re doing it in the first place.
In our last post, we discussed positioning yourself as an area expert. Envisioning yourself as the go-to person for insider info on your destination – and knowing what that will mean for your business – is one way to keep your eyes on the prize.
But for every person, that motivation magic will be different. Maybe you’re energized by the idea of connecting a community of guests. Maybe you just like dishing out your intimate knowledge of an area you love.
Whatever it is, write it down and place it somewhere where it will serve you when you’re discouraged.
Measure your progress.
Did we say progress will happen slowly? But what’s most important is that progress will happen. Don’t miss it when it does.
Based on your goals, set a way to measure what success looks like. Does it mean new emails on your newsletter list? An increase in monthly website visits or longer sessions? More comments on your Facebook page?
Establish a timeline for when you’ll dive in and measure this progress. If you do it too frequently, you’ll be frustrated by seeing little change, so we recommend measuring your progress monthly at first.
While you’re measuring your success, be sure to examine where it came from. If there’s a certain blog post, insider guide or video that saw a lot of engagement or generated a lot of response, be sure to take note. The longer you’re in the content marketing game, the better grasp you’ll have on what your audience likes and the more effective your strategy will be.