Yesterday, I got the following message from a reader who's leading a 4-person boutique firm in the UK:
"Most of our lead gen efforts are focused on writing, as we have taken a bet on organic content creation as a way to attract new prospects. Although we already expected it to be a long-term commitment, results are discouraging. I've been thinking about our lack of promotion - should we invest time/money in distributing that content?"
I've heard similar questions a dozen times before, but it's great to see how the partner intuitively understands what their first mistake was. They believed in the "build it, and they will come" strategy (BIATWC).
You write articles and add them to your blog, but traffic doesn't come. You write social media posts in search of engagement, only to see an insignificant reach and two likes. You spend thousands to redesign your website... you got it, right?
BIATWC doesn't work because people can't come if they don't know what you've built. So if you want to attract prospects, you need to tell them that you built it.
This may sound strange to you since the idea behind attracting demand usually implies that all you need to do is create. But time teaches (and pragmatic consultants quickly learn) that an inbound marketing strategy doesn't exclude your need for promotion. People need to see it!
I personally know several professionals who strongly advocate for organic content creation, and believe search engines are the one and only answer for more visibility. "If you create the absolute best educational content your audience is looking for, Google will reward you with clicks and traffic."
That might be true, but every time I hear this I can't stop but wonder: You call yourself a marketing expert, but every promotion advice basically consists of "Google needs to rank you" phrased in different ways? From my experience working with some amazing marketers, I assure you there is much more to this.
Yes, creating relevant and original content is important. But remember that no one will see it if you don't promote it, and you don't need permission from search engine algorithms to put it in front of your buyers.