You’ve finally realized that you need to make some noise to get attention and implemented a content marketing strategy. You’ve rallied the troops. You’ve started social media postings. You’re working with a PR company to get press releases written and posted, and to coordinate blog and article strategies. Today is the day. Your first press release is sent. And you wait for the phones to start ringing — And wait. Fast forward a little and your first blog article is posted. You’re excited to see what comments and questions you receive. So, you watch your e-mail inbox. And wait. You’re starting to get a little frustrated now. How come nobody is calling you about your press release, responding to your blog article or interacting with you on social?

I hate to tell you, but you don’t usually go from zero to hero with your first posting. The reality is that in the majority of cases, content marketing does not provide immediate results. Sure, there are times that luck can get you a good dose of viral exposure. Or a reporter just happens to be working on a story when your press release hits their in box, making you seem like a magic genius!  But, the chances of you becoming the next “hot” viral video, article, or social media post are small.

When companies come to me for assistance to up their game through content marketing, I always explain that content marketing is a long-term commitment. For all of the cogs in the machine that represent content marketing to get in sync with each other, and, more importantly — to succeed at attracting and nurturing your audience — it’s important to understand that content marketing isn’t a one-and-done activity.

Regardless of how great your company is, it takes time and some tweaking and massaging of your messages for audiences to realize that your content is something they should be watching out for and paying attention to. Whether we’re talking about an editor at a trade publication, a blog site that syndicates your content, or simply a dealer taking the time to read your blog article, consistency is the key to success. If you’re at a party, you cannot expect everyone to interact with you if they don’t know who you are — no matter how good looking you may be. To be effective, it requires that you strike up conversations with multiple people and engage them consistently. The more consistently you create and circulate good content, the better chance you have of attracting the right eyeballs, at the right time, to create the opportunities you want.

Great content marketing strategies revolve around each piece of content supporting the other. Commit to building a strong consistent image for both your company and any spokesperson or figurehead executives by publishing on a regular schedule. Then, your audience can start to build and gain momentum. Your audience will begin to anticipate your next nugget of wisdom.

The rise of social media has caused many to believe that content marketing is an immediate game. However, that’s rarely the case. Just as in business, you must establish yourself as an authority in your field. You can be the smartest person in the world. But, if nobody listens to you then your efforts are all for naught.

If your message is consistent as far as time and frequency of your content, and you maintain consistency with the relevancy of your messaging, the possibility that people will pay attention to your content grows exponentially. In addition, it’s not a broadcast approach that wields the best results.  Actively monitor activity surrounding your content, on ALL channels. If your audience responds to you, respond back to them. This creates an emotional connection between you and your reader. Then they know that you are not simply pushing an agenda. They can see you are trying to be helpful. Keep the promotion to a minimum. There are places and audiences where that is appropriate, such as your website. But, for the majority of platforms, it is not. Be authentic, consistent, relevant and interactive. You will find that your audience then soon begins to pay attention.

Sara Callahan | Carter West Public Relations