This article also appeared on Social Media Today.

Some experiments fail, but this sure didn’t.

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

My experiment yielded some interesting results, and I thought I would share them with you.

Here goes:

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? Well, why not?

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

  • I wrote a couple of new posts specifically about blogger outreach during a couple of months. Not excessively many, but a few.
  • I set up a Resource Page (Get Started With Blogger Outreach) 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.
  • If I had gone all-in on this, I should’ve also made sure to secure some strong linkbacks and done some keyword research. But I didn’t. I was too lazy, ha!
  • I also started pushing a little extra for a particular technique, Honeymoon Outreach, to stand out more.

So, what happened?

The Outcome of My DIY Experiment

I did get a little more organic search engine traffic on blogger outreach-related queries, but nothing extravagant. If I had been serious about ranking better in search, I should’ve gone the extra mile with links, keyword research, and formatting. But unfortunately, I didn’t do this.

But in spite of how small-scale this experiment was, I still got some pretty remarkable results (yes, I kept track of them). 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 managed to get my message across to some more companies.

I got 11 hot sales leads to execute blogger outreach — or help with a strategy for it. I tripled the leads I’d normally 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 types of 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. I declined because I didn’t like the premise of the story, but still. My name came up.

And two agencies got in touch with me for help to fine-tune their blogger outreach capabilities. It’s always tricky to establish partner relationships within the same industry, but I was still euphoric about this.

Countless offers to host paid guest blog posts on the subject. No real good ones, unfortunately.

Also, two blogger outreach software companies got in touch with me to establish a relationship. Since I’m in the business myself, I value having direct contact with marketing software. It might just prove useful for clients down the line.

Pretty okay, right?

Bonus: Download a checklist that will show you 23 focused tactics you should use to promote your content.

The Secret to Content Marketing: Content Themes

Sure, six months might sound like a long time. But the outcomes listed above was something very tangible to me, I almost became a bit worried that my potential clients would forget that I’m really about digital marketing strategy!

Of course, I had some credibility going into this experiment wich helped, of course. But in any case, with less effort, I was able to affect the very perception of myself as a brand.

However, the main point remains:

The secret to content marketing is surprisingly basic: Focus your content.