There’s a tension between doing effective (but tactical) things with your content and playing the long game of developing you E-A-T (expertise, authority, trust).
Mark Schaeffer wrote that over the past 10 years the posts he’s written that do the best are his “list” posts. It would stand to reason that he would have increased the frequency of list posts having learned that.
But he didn’t. He rarely writes those types of posts becuase he’d rather be thinking (and writing) about the future of marketing. It’s more useful to his core audience, and its served him well.
He’s led the charge on a couple concepts: how to use twitter, content shock, and most recently the third marketing rebellion.
He’s written a bunch of books. He’s the first person to be a twice keynote speaker at Social Media Marketing World.
And I don’t think he’d have had nearly the level of impact if he were closely following the analytics on post performance.
On the other hand, its hard to imagine that an extra 50 tactical posts over the past 5 years would have hurt.
The top of funnel exposure would probably be double what it is – and his reach is pretty far.
Or maybe it would have hurt his brand. The CEOs and CMOs at the Fortune 500s he consults on marketing strategy for might have rolled their eyes and hit unsubscribe.
I really don’t know.
I do know that pretty much anyone that’s evolved a nuanced perspective on anything has put daily work into developing that for years.
I’ve been almost daily publishing to a blog for about a month now, expected to have had a fair amount more than that done by this point, but instead am struggling to keep just a 5 day/week streak.
The draw to start with tactical shortcuts to get some initial momentum is a strong one.
Blair Ens says direction is more important than pace.
It’s not a coincidence that the people I follow and admire have a slow but steady writing practice.
When I see a thorough tutorial, I don’t think, “Man, I need to subscribe to this guys stuff.” I use it, maybe I bookmark it, and then I never see it again.
Until I come across another tutorial of theirs. And another. At which point that brand recognition starts to creep in. Maybe I get curious, check their about page and subscribe.
But if I never get past that search-find search-find loop with your content, I’m not subscribing.
Of course there are exceptions (lead magnets). Getting a subscriber can be tactical. But keeping a subscriber is a function of providing consistent value.
At what point does being tactical compromise your brand, your values? Is it more okay when everyone’s doing it? Is it okay to “game” a search engine run by a monopoly? Are some tactics more ethical and on-brand than others would be?
Just what I’m thinking about right now.