The internet world moves at a breakneck pace, many marketers demand immediate returns from their online content marketing strategies. While there are exceptions, getting a return on your content marketing investment takes time in most circumstances.
This brings us to one of the most often requested content marketing questions:
How long does it take to see results?
The Reality of Content Marketing’s Outcomes
No magic number or formula can accurately forecast when content marketing will provide benefits. (Be skeptical if a marketer tells you differently.)
While there isn’t a hard and fast rule, there are specific guidelines to help you create reasonable goals. The time it takes to see results may vary, but you should see them within six months of commencing your content marketing campaign.
This is true for both on-site and off-site content marketing efforts.
On-site content marketing takes at least 6 months to provide results.
Publishing blog posts, e-books, tutorials, white papers, case studies, and other information on your website is known as on-site content marketing. Both prospects and search engines are drawn to and engaged by this information.
How long does it take to get results from content marketing?
On-site material seldomly yields quick benefits unless you already have a significant following. It takes time for the material to rank in search results, which means it will take time for visitors to locate your content.
Around the six-month point, you should start seeing results if you continuously publish content that is beneficial to both humans and search engines. Your site’s stats should display increasing visitors and search ranks at that point.
Off-site content marketing takes 6–12 months to provide results.
Off-site content marketing initiatives, unlike on-site content marketing campaigns, make use of content published on sites that aren’t yours.
To attract traffic back to your website, awareness campaigns, viral content, and conversion-driven campaigns are disseminated, promoted, or published on other websites. Off-site content deployments are usually tied to the following objectives:
Bring your company’s name to the attention of a new group of people.
Draw attention to your brand on social media channels where your target audience hangs out.
Inbound links can help you improve your search rankings.
Off-site campaign outcomes are less predictable than on-site campaign results since there are many more variables at play, but we’ve found that results for these campaigns start to show up around the six-month mark as well.
Short-term outcomes, like traffic spikes, can emerge early in off-site content promotion, as one customer observed a 750 percent rise in traffic four months after initiating a viral campaign.
However, bottom-line outcomes generally begin to improve at six months and continue to improve for one to two years.
These outcomes are consistent:
Boost your search engine ranks
Increase conversions by increasing traffic
Improve brand recognition and increase revenue
Content marketing does not produce quick results, but wonderful things come to those who wait. A careful and methodical approach will yield significant improvements that will last for years.
The Content Marketing Results Timeline’s Progress
When discussing the timetable of content marketing results, it’s also vital to note that results don’t always appear immediately. The outcomes might arrive in waves.
Results may surge, drop, and then steadily increase over time. Our customer had a big increase in traffic following the launch of its content campaign, similar to the situation we cited before. Shortly after, traffic began to diminish but then began to grow slowly and steadily, yielding both short-term and long-term effects.
At various times, different outcomes will occur. Results may appear at different times throughout a campaign.
During the first six months, you should expect to notice the following:
The quantity of backlinks has increased.
Increased social sharing rates
An increase in press mentions
You’ll also notice various advantages over time, such as:
Increased traffic over time
Improved search engine results
More conversions as a result of increased and maintained lead volume.
You can’t start a content marketing campaign and then sit at your computer hoping for results. You may, however, establish a content marketing plan that will expand and create useful, long-term outcomes with patience and perseverance.
Here are a few instances of how we’ve accomplished this for our clients.
Movoto Case Study 6-Month Results
Movoto, a real estate listing website, came to Fractl with the purpose of gaining influence in local markets and increasing brand awareness.
We designed the “Twitter Reading Levels” campaign, which leveraged an open-source tool to compile data from over 500,000 tweets to get it the attention it needed. The number of syllables, phrases, and sentences in the tweets was examined, and the results were utilized to display each state’s reading levels on Twitter.
The data was then utilized to build a report and interactive infographic for Movoto’s website, which was appealing to a national audience.
The campaign’s results were significant after only six months. The following are the short-term outcomes:
There have been almost 250 placements on high-authority publications.
Yahoo, People, AJC, The Daily Mail, The Blaze, and AOL.com have all featured me.
There are almost 9,000 domain authority points that have been obtained.
Movoto’s landing page has had over 31,600 views.
Nearly 14,000 social media shares
One campaign helped Movoto achieve its aim of developing brand recognition and internet authority in only six months. More information about this case study may be found here.
BuzzStream Case Study: 9-Month Results
We produced campaigns that employed both on-site and off-site material when BuzzStream sought to launch campaigns to build long-term brand recognition and position their company as a thought leader.
We collaborated with the software company’s staff to generate research-heavy material that would be featured on other high-authority specialized sites to emphasize the company’s expertise in its sector. We also produced useful on-site material that is evergreen and gated.
BuzzStream got the outcomes they wanted by combining the creation of excellent, authoritative content for both on-site and off-site consumption.
In just nine months, BuzzStream’s 19 research-driven initiatives have achieved the following results:
Almost 66,000 people shared it on social media.
In one week, we set a new record for new sign-ups.
Were mentioned in 320 articles
Appeared on a slew of high-profile websites.
Furthermore, the long-term consequences of this strategy will help BuzzStream in the long run, as it will boost its keyword ranks and increase conversion prospects. More information about this case study may be found here.
Setting Expectations for When Content Marketing Results Will Appear
Keep the following in mind when you develop your own content marketing strategy:
It is a long-term plan to use content marketing. It won’t happen right away, but it will. Both on-site and off-site programs should see benefits around the six-month mark.
The content marketing success timeframe isn’t etched in stone. Anticipate diverse outcomes from different campaigns and sectors, therefore don’t expect the same results from all fields and techniques.
Anyone who claims differently should be avoided. It’s probably too good to be true if you’re dealing with marketers that promise outcomes at certain stages or in a short period of time.
A well-defined approach combined with consistent execution will yield positive outcomes. A content marketing effort might sometimes fail to yield results over a long period of time. However, this only occurs when campaigns are not set up with a clear plan and implemented on a regular basis.
These realities and advice will help you establish your content marketing expectations and strategies so you’ll be ready for success – even if it takes six months for your analytics dashboards to reflect it.