How Content Marketing is Like a Marathon

As the content developer for Spicy Spirit, my work is  creative. In order to be creative, my mind has to be fresh.

Which is why training for marathons is perfect for me. One of the best parts of my day involves running during my lunch break. My runs allow me to recharge and clear the cobwebs. Many work projects were developed along my running routes, and if I’m struggling Elle encourages me to lace up my sneakers and go outside.

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Content marketing and marathon training have a lot in common. If done right, they can both be enjoyable and rewarding.

  1. Don’t judge a run by the first mile.

As someone once told me, “The first mile is always going to suck.” The legs will feel stiff, and you will feel frustratingly slow. It takes time for your limbs to warm up.

The same rule applies to content marketing. Sometimes clients have unrealistic expectations – they expect results right away. While blogging and social media can help a company generate revenue from the Internet, it can take months to build interest, followers and sales. When you have a small pool of customers and fans, it’s going to take a while before content marketing pays off.

  1. Consistency is key.

I’m helping my sister train for her first half-marathon. My number one tip? “The best thing you can do for yourself is stay consistent.” If you only run once a week, every workout is going to be as difficult as the first. However, if you run a few days a week, running will feel easier.

It’s important to invest just as much time in your content marketing. In order to build and hold your audience, you can’t post once every few months. You have to push content often enough to keep yourself in your customers’ crosshairs.

  1. Don’t overtrain.

At the same time, it is possible to push yourself too hard. Many of my friends have succumbed to injuries due to overtraining. Even though they were in pain, they met their weekly mileage … only to drop out of their goal races when their limbs blew out.

I strongly encourage new runners to listen to their bodies, and I tell my work clients to also show some restraint in their marketing efforts. You don’t want to send newsletters and post on Facebook every day, because that will feel like spam. You want to reel fans in, not make them unsubscribe.

  1. Quality over quantity.

In marathon training, the easiest way to train is to run a ton of miles at an easy pace. While easy-pace workouts have their place, it’s important to have faster workouts in order to build strength, speed and endurance.

Apply the same standards to your marketing. In an effort to be consistent, you may be tempted to post about anything, just for the sake of posting. Don’t. Fluff pieces can also drive your audience to unsubscribe.

It’s always better to step away from the keyboard, refer to your team and reschedule your post in order to build content that is more interesting and relevant to your target customer.

Building marketing content can be a slow, frustrating process. But if you invest enough time and energy, it will pay off in the long run.

To learn more about content development, contact us today.

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