Is Your Content Strategy a Crockpot or a Microwave?

School is back in session, football season is here, and it will be fall before we know it. It’s about time to start giving my crockpot the workout it deserves. 

Few things make me happier than lovingly preparing a fabulous meal for the people I care about to enjoy. But let’s be honest, I don’t always have time to cook how I want. And, of course, my family still needs to eat, so that’s where my crockpot comes in. 

I can dump the ingredients in my crockpot in the morning before I leave for work and have a fantastic meal ready to serve by the time I get home. It’s the best of both worlds when it comes to cooking. And it’s undoubtedly the best method for your content strategy. Let me explain.

Understanding Content Strategy

Before we get too far, let me explain what I mean by “content strategy.” A content strategy is how you plan, create, and deliver content to your online audience. That content serves their information needs, helps them solve problems, and gives them favorable feelings toward your brand — eventually turning them into customers.

The planning for your content strategy is steeped in simple SEO best practices. That’s how you get your website to work for your business long term. Your content will continue to rank in search results and keep leading people to your website. 

When you put the right things in place and do them correctly, you can sit back and watch them work for you. And that’s where my crockpot or microwave analogy comes in.

Crockpot vs. Microwave: Which is Best?

Crockpots are popular in the midwest. When you cook food in a crockpot, you set it for eight or 12 hours and don’t lift the lid or change the temperature. You just put all your ingredients in there and let it do what it’s supposed to do. You trust the process. 

You have to prep the meal in advance when using a crockpot. You still have to put in some work upfront. You have to chop, measure, and ensure you have all the right ingredients, but once you do that, you set it and forget it. 

You go about your day doing whatever you need to do. Then, at the end of the day, you have a delicious meal that can feed your whole family or a big group.

SEO content marketing is like cooking in a crockpot. You do your research, choose your keywords carefully, and follow all of the best content writing practices, then you wait. It may not happen quickly, but content marketing done correctly always delivers results. And those results will continue to work over time, bringing people to your website long-term. Also, you can replicate them. 

Patience tends to be the issue with the crockpot method. Business owners want to invest their marketing dollars and see immediate results. They don’t want to wait for the process to work, even if the outcome will be amazing. They want to use a microwave.

A microwave gives you speedy results. You can have popcorn in two minutes or steaming hot soup in a minute. When the food is done, it’s done. You can feed yourself, and the process is over.

The microwave is advertising dollars. Ads work well and super fast. Done correctly, they can give you what you want quickly. And there’s no shame in using this approach. After all, you’d be silly to try to warm up last night’s leftovers in a crockpot. 

The microwave has its role in the kitchen, just like advertising does in your marketing plan. But the problem is that when you stop investing — when the timer dings — it quits working. It’s done.

The crockpot works for you long-term. The microwave works for a short time.

Considering Your Marketing Approach

I hope this analogy helps you think about the marketing approach for your business. We all only have so many resources to invest in marketing. How will you use yours? 

We recommend that you put the bulk of your marketing dollars into a strategy that will work long-term for your business. That’s SEO content marketing. Then you use other short-term approaches to fill in any gaps you see. For example, you use your business’s blog to drive organic traffic to your website but use LinkedIn ads to draw people to your upcoming webinar. It’s the best of both worlds for your business.

We began working with a client in 2020 that mostly used advertising to grow their business. When we partnered, they were spending $10,000 a month on advertising but weren’t getting the results they wanted. We recommended they reallocate a portion of their advertising budget to SEO and content marketing. During the next several months, they got increasingly more organic traffic on their site. They began moving more of their advertising budget to SEO content marketing. Eight months later, their traffic had grown so much that they discontinued all advertising and moved their entire budget to content marketing. Two years later, they’ve gone from 4,600 visits a month in organic traffic to 65,000 visits! And they saved money!

So, as you think about your marketing budget, consider what approach works best for your budget and timeline. In other words, when do you need a crockpot, and when will a microwave work just fine?

Let Content Journey Help You Find the Right Mix

Your business has a place for short- and long-term marketing strategies. The bottom line is understanding the best mix for your business. Content Journey is here to help you make those decisions. We’re experts in content marketing, so you don’t have to be. Book a call today, and let’s chat about the best marketing strategies to grow your business. 

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