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How Long Does Content Marketing Take to Make a Difference?

How Long Does Content Marketing Take to Make a Difference?

At Phantom Copy, we know how important good content is and how big of a difference it can make, but the question we get all the time is how long does content marketing take to make a difference? There are a lot of variables in that question that don’t always make the answer easy to provide or predict, but we do have a lot of expertise in this matter so let’s take a moment to explore this topic.

Content Marketing: The Road to Results

So what are the variables that dictate when a content marketing strategy will come to fruition? In truth, there are a lot of them, but let’s take a look at the big ones:

1. Your Authority

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This can be a tough one to hear, but if your website is already getting poor traffic, then it will take longer for your content marketing strategy to get traffic too and this all comes down to something called domain authority.

Domain authority isn’t technically a Google ranking factor—Google tends to keep its specific ranking factors pretty close to the chest—however it can be measured and it does relate heavily to how well you will show up in search results.

Essentially your domain authority is a measure of how much authority your overall website has. This score will be a handicap when you are starting out. For example, if you and a competitor both have content on a subject, but your competitor has been around long enough and has created enough content to have decent domain authority, your content isn’t likely to get a lot of traffic even if it is better than your competitor’s content.

However, as you begin to build out your content, you can start affecting your own domain authority score, and eventually, that piece of content will begin to see traffic.

2. Your Website

How good is your website? Is it slow? Poorly organized? Is the SEO already in rough shape? You are leaving a lot of ground to be made up if you want your content marketing to get you anywhere.

Some of the issues on your site such as page speed can permanently hamstring your content unless it’s addressed. Many of these issues are things that an experienced team like Phantom Copy can fix. We can even fix page speed in some cases though you may be fighting against your website platform—we could help you build a whole new site from the ground up too, just something to think about.

3. Your Scope

It’s much easier to rank for a local brand, especially with local content. Whether you have a car dealership or a local contracting business, many of your topics have less competition. If you have a national brand, you are trying to bring in a much larger audience and facing much tougher competition.

4. Your Focus

It’s good to begin a strategy with a strong focus. Pick a few keywords that you want to begin with and drive those home before moving on to others. Too often, strategists will point marketing at uplifting the entire business, and though this strategy can pay off eventually, it will make it hard to get traction anywhere for quite some time. 

5. The Quality of Content

Even if you do everything right, if you trust your content needs in the hands of a team that doesn’t know what they are doing in terms of strategy or writing quality, then you might as well not have put forth the effort to begin with.

To make matters worse, bad content, including content generated by AI tools, could actually do your entire website harm. The difference between stepping on the gas and stepping on the brakes is a difference in foot position of really just a few inches.

Read More: Why Hire a Ghostwriter for Your Business

What is the Timeline to Content Marketing Success

With all of this in mind, the timeline to marketing success can still vary wildly. Typically, we tell clients to give their content marketing at least three months to show success, but in many cases, it may take six months before you see the needle really start to move in a meaningful way. Content marketing should never be employed as a quick fix, but rather as a long-term solution to getting more meaningful traffic on your website.

traffic over time in analytics

Beyond that, at first, your successes will be small, and that’s okay. In the beginning, seeing any success at all is an indicator that your content is starting to gain traction. In a few months, those 13 people that were coming through to one new piece of content could blossom into 113.

The longer you stick with it the more your content builds on itself. It’s not strange for a site with a good content strategy to have more traffic going to a blog post than its own homepage, but behind every successful blog was a long road and a trail of other blogs that all served their purposes of increasing authority, improving your site experience, and building on your strategy.

Why Invest in Content Marketing If It Takes Time?

Content marketing is an investment. Though advertising like PPC certainly has its place in any marketing strategy, its results will always be temporary. On the contrary, when you put a piece of good content on your site, it will always be there, earning traffic, and in all likelihood, it will continue to grow in value even if you did nothing.

Here’s the truth about content. It’s not about how far behind the competition you are, it’s about how hard you are ready to put your foot on the gas and the route you want to take. With enough gas on your marketing, the right strategy in place, and enough time you can always overtake the competition.

The Phantom Copy Difference

There are a lot of things that make us different than other ghostwriters. For one, we are experienced in SEO and know how to handle and balance multiple clients’ needs across multiple businesses and multiple industries. We all have years of experience writing and believe in empowering our writers to take ownership over their clients. You have skin in the game, in a manner of speaking, and so too should your writers. 

Moreover, we never run from the fact that content marketing takes time. We know that any company can see results with Phantom marketing, as long as they are willing to make the investment and take the time needed to see results. If you want to try a Phantom strategy, then reach out to us today!

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