It is common to consult the statistics of your site and hope for benefits following the launch of a content marketing campaign. Given the speed of the online world, many marketers expect immediate results from their online content campaigns. While there are exceptions, typically, the impact of content marketing takes time. This leads us to one of the most common questions about content marketing: how long does it take to see results?
The truth about content marketing results
There is no magic number or formula to accurately determine when content marketing will pay off. (If a marketer claims otherwise, be vigilant. It may raise unrealistic expectations.) However, even if there are no absolute values, benchmarks exist to guide you in setting realistic expectations. Results can vary, but it’s common to see progress about six months after launching your content marketing initiatives. This applies to both on-site and off-site content marketing campaigns. For on-site content marketing, it usually takes at least 6 months before seeing results.
On-site content marketing encompasses publishing blog posts, e-books, tutorials, white papers, case studies, and other content on your website. This type of content attracts and holds the attention of prospects and search engines.
Unless you already have a large audience, on-site content usually doesn’t generate instant results. It takes time for content to start being referenced in searches, which means that people will also take time to discover your content. By regularly posting useful content for users and search engines, you should see results around six months. At this point, your site statistics should show an increase in traffic and positions in search results.
It takes 6-12 months to see off-site content marketing results.
Unlike on-site content marketing campaigns, off-site campaigns leverage content published on sites that don’t belong to you.
Awareness campaigns, viral content, and conversion-focused campaigns are distributed, promoted, or published on other sites in order to bring the audience back to your website. Offsite content locations are typically aligned with the following goals:
- Introduce your brand to a new audience
- Draw attention to social platforms where your target group spends time
- Improve search rankings with inbound links
The results of off-site campaigns are less predictable than those of on-site campaigns because more factors come into play. However, we have observed that the impact of these campaigns is also starting to appear systematically around the six-month mark.
Short-term results, such as traffic spikes, can occur in the early stages of an off-site content campaign, such as our client experiencing a 750% increase in traffic in four months following the launch of a viral campaign.
However, net profits typically pick up around the six-month mark and continue to grow over a period of one to two years. These results regularly contribute to:
- Improve positions in search results • Increase traffic • Increase conversions
- Increase revenue
- Building brand awareness The fallout from content marketing isn’t immediate, but patience pays off. A gradual and consistent approach will generate significant results that will last for years.
The progression of the timeline of content marketing results
When we talk about the timeline of content marketing results, it’s also important to mention that results don’t usually all hit at once. The results sometimes come in waves.
Results can climb, decline, and then gradually increase over time . As in the case we mentioned earlier, our client saw a significant spike in traffic when releasing their content campaign. Traffic dropped soon after, but then began to climb, slowly and steadily, to provide both short-term and sustainable results.
Different results will occur at different times. During a campaign, the impact can occur at different intervals.
During the first six months, you will likely see results such as: • Increased traffic
- Increase in the number of backlinks
- Higher social sharing rates
- Peak mentions in public relations
Over time, you will see other benefits such as:
- Continuous increase in traffic
- Better positions in search results
- Increasing and sustained lead volume
- More conversions
It’s impossible to set up a content marketing strategy and passively wait in front of your computer for the results to appear. Nevertheless, with patience and consistency, you can develop a content marketing strategy that will grow stronger and generate valuable and lasting benefits over time.