The Public Relations BlogDigital PRContent & InboundMy Content Marketing Experiment (That Failed Miserably)

My Content Marketing Experiment (That Failed Miserably)

It took me almost 12 months to fix my mistake.

Cover photo: @jerrysilfwer

This art­icle also appeared in Social Media Today.

I did a con­tent mar­ket­ing exper­i­ment — and failed.

With a little twist, I wanted to demon­strate a con­tent mar­ket­ing exper­i­ment — par­tic­u­larly for smal­ler com­pan­ies. And how it could work for your busi­ness, too. 

The exper­i­ment yiel­ded some inter­est­ing res­ults, and I thought I would share them.

The Content Theme: Blogger outreach

About six months ago, I decided to prac­tice some focus here on the blog. I’m pas­sion­ate about most things related to digit­al mar­ket­ing, but I decided to cre­ate some con­tent around blog­ger out­reach.

Why not? I had­n’t writ­ten extens­ively about the top­ic in the past, but I had pub­lished at least a few rel­ev­ant posts. So here’s what I did:

  • I wrote a couple of new posts spe­cific­ally about blog­ger out­reach over a couple of months. Not excess­ively many, but a few.
  • I set up a resource page where I col­lec­ted all rel­ev­ant posts, to con­nect them with each oth­er and to show search engines that these posts belong togeth­er. I also linked the resource page from my uni­ver­sal side­bar to demon­strate that I care a little extra about this content.
  • I also made sure to secure some back­links and do some keyword research.
  • I did a couple of news­let­ter send-outs.
  • I hos­ted an open after-work meet­ing where we dis­cussed blog­ger outreach.
  • I pushed a little extra for a par­tic­u­lar tech­nique (hon­ey­moon out­reach) to stand out more.
  • I focused all my social media updates on blog­ger out­reach and dis­cussed the topic.

So, what happened?

I Got Remarkable Results…

I did get a little more organ­ic search engine traffic on blog­ger out­reach-related quer­ies, but noth­ing extra­vag­ant. But des­pite how small-scale this exper­i­ment was, I still got some pretty remark­able results. 

This is the out­come from six months:

  • I got three invit­a­tions to do unpaid talks on blog­ger out­reach. Compared to none before on this par­tic­u­lar sub­ject. I did a few and got a chance to get my mes­sage out there.
  • I got four invit­a­tions to paid talks on blog­ger out­reach. Compared to none before on this par­tic­u­lar sub­ject. I did three of them and got my mes­sage across to more companies.
  • I got elev­en hot leads to execute blog­ger out­reach — or help with a strategy. I tripled the leads I’d typ­ic­ally get for this par­tic­u­lar service.
  • I got, to my know­ledge, five great endorse­ments. “Who knows blog­ger out­reach?” It’s impossible to know how often my name came up in these dis­cus­sions, but some of them got through to me. Good stuff.
  • National tele­vi­sion wanted to use me as an expert source in a news story related to blog­ger out­reach. My name came up dur­ing an edit­or­i­al meeting.
  • Two agen­cies con­tac­ted me to help fine-tune their blog­ger out­reach cap­ab­il­it­ies. Establishing part­ner rela­tion­ships with­in the same industry is always tricky, but I was still euphor­ic about this.
  • Countless offers to host paid guest blog posts on the sub­ject. No real good ones, unfortunately.
  • Two blog­ger out­reach soft­ware com­pan­ies con­tac­ted me to estab­lish a rela­tion­ship. Since I’m in the busi­ness, I value dir­ect con­tact with mar­ket­ing soft­ware. It might just prove help­ful for cli­ents down the line.

… But Still a Miserable Failure

So, how did I fail miserably?

My pro­fes­sion­al net­work quickly for­got I’m a PR gen­er­al­ist. Suddenly, every­one thought of me as the blog­ger out­reach specialist.

The res­ult: It took almost 12 months to re-estab­lish my pos­i­tion as a PR generalist.

The insight: Be mind­ful and choose your con­tent themes carefully.

Signature - Jerry Silfwer - Doctor Spin

Thanks for read­ing. Please con­sider shar­ing my pub­lic rela­tions blog with oth­er com­mu­nic­a­tion and mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sion­als. If you have ques­tions (or want to retain my PR ser­vices), please con­tact me at jerry@​spinfactory.​com.

PR Resource: Content Themes

Content Themes

Let’s use a fic­ti­tious example of an IT com­pany. First, they decide on a Promise Filter for their con­tent strategy:

Promise Filter: We make IT easy to understand.

Then, the IT com­pany breaks their core mes­sage down into four busi­ness-crit­ic­al Content Themes:

Q1 Content Theme: We make people under­stand the Internet of Things (IoT).

Q2 Content Theme: We make people under­stand busi­ness auto­ma­tion.

Q3 Content Theme: We make people under­stand cloud com­put­ing.

Q4 Content Theme: We make people under­stand man­aged services.

For each quarterly Content Theme, they pro­duce Content Packages (to build Content Skyscrapers). Each Content Package could con­tain the following:

  • Infographics
  • Blog Articles
  • Whitepapers
  • Social Media Updates
  • Landing Pages
  • Lead Magnets
  • Swipe Files
  • Template Files
  • Content Upgrades
  • Online Courses
  • Podcast Episodes
  • Livestreams
  • Email Send-Outs
  • Events
  • Case Studies
  • Webinars
  • Video Tutorials
  • Interactive Quizzes
  • Press Releases
  • E‑Books
  • Testimonials
  • Influencer Collaborations
  • Mobile Apps
  • Slide Presentations

Learn more: The Content Themes PR Strategy

💡 Subscribe and get a free ebook on how to get bet­ter PR ideas.

Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at Spin Factory and KIX Communication Index. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Cover Photo

The cover photo isn't related to public relations; it's just a photo of mine. Think of it as a 'decorative diversion', a subtle reminder that there is more to life than strategic communication.

The cover photo has


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