What has content marketing got in common with a tortoise? They both have a winning strategy.
Although the large, sprightly hare held the advantage, the slow and steady tortoise crossed the line in first place. It struck me recently that this well-known fable provides a simple analogy for comparing traditional marketing approaches with the more recent turn to content marketing.
I’m a big fan of the under-dog – or, in this race, the tortoise. In this post I want to examine the advantages that content marketing holds over traditional marketing techniques. I’ll look at how adopting this strategy can give your business a fighting chance to beat out larger competitors and achieve the success of the tortoise.
The key differences between traditional marketing and content marketing
As a starting distinction let me clarify that by traditional marketing I am referring to advertising sales campaigns. This is your ‘Spray and pray’ approach of targeting customers with advertisements and promotions.
Content Marketing, on the other hand, is about selling less. The strategy is to find out what your target customers want to know and then create the content that they are searching for. It is all about giving value and building trust. Rather than you finding customers, content marketing is about customers finding you.
If advertising models can be summed up as ‘spray and pray’, content marketing is best summarised as ‘Givers Get’.
Speed of Impact
You might be wondering how traditional marketing is like the hare?
I should say, first off, that I like hares. And I don’t have a major problem with traditional marketing! But they do present opposing techniques to content marketing and our tortoise.
The hare confidently relied on his great bursts of speed to win the race. Traditional marketing relies on advertising and is organised around periodic campaigns. Just like the hare’s sprints, they need bursts of energy. That means money.
An online advertising campaign, for example on Google Adwords, will therefore make an immediate impact. And of course, the more money behind it, the greater the acceleration.
It’s easy to see why the hare was confident in his sprint technique. Indeed, so confident was he that he grew complacent and fell asleep beneath a tree. Therein lies the problem of traditional marketing. Take the money away and everything comes to a halt.
The tortoise has less energy to propel him along. Like content marketing he needs time to get where he is going. It is the difference between a sponsored growth spurt and an organic growth marathon. But small incremental steps add up.
While the hare napped, the tortoise crept up behind him and lumbered into the lead.
There is no denying that Content marketing can take time to build momentum. But, as the tortoise has shown, slow and steady really can win the race!
Think of every post or video as another step forward. Pretty soon they all add up and you’re on the road to content marketing success.
Advertising Spend v. Content Marketing Investment
Once an online advertising campaign has stopped running it no longer has any worth. The money that paid for it is gone forever and the return on investment is fixed into the specific period of the campaign.
Content marketing, however, is more of a long-term investment.
Yes, it is necessary to spend some money on developing content. Even if you write and design all your own blogs and videos you must remember that time is money. However, the content you create can hold its value long after it was first published.
For example, a person can enter your sales funnel by landing on a blog post you wrote years ago. Meanwhile, the ad campaigns you previously launched have retired from service. They are reduced to nothing more than expenditure receipts.
The more content you produce the wider this funnel becomes, because you can attract more and more people to your website by providing valuable information about the topic they are interested in.
In essence, you are building a content asset library for your business to live in. Sounds a little bit like the tortoise and his shell right?!
And dare I add the financial analogy of a pension: The more you put into it, the more you get out of it.
There’s a reason why the tortoise lives a long time. Your business can too if you make a reasonable investment in content marketing to build a content asset shell to house your business online.
How To Make Tortoise Marketing Work For you……
In Part Two of this Series I will share some tips on how to be a successful content marketing tortoise. Sign up to our newsletter and follow us on the aul social media to make sure you don’t miss it.