Have you been trying to improve your company’s marketing efforts, but can’t seem to get a grip on content marketing?
Content marketing is one of the most powerful tools that can help you get the results you want for your company. But to achieve the best results, you need to have the best content marketing strategy, and if you continue to see no results, then maybe you’ve made a mistake. Sometimes it can be difficult for us to admit when we’ve made a mistake, or even realized that we’ve made one. I mean, we’re only human. If you aren’t receiving the results you want, then maybe it’s time to review your strategy and see where you went wrong.
Here’s a guide to help you identify your major content marketing culprits:
1. YOU HAVEN’T DEFINED WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE
How can you hit a target if you don’t even know what it looks like?
About 34% of B2B content marketers and 31% of B2C marketers didn’t even know what success looks like. Success can mean different things to a lot of different people. Not every company will measure success the same. To make sure that everyone is on the same page about how to measure success, it is important to set clear goals, targets and metrics for your content marketing strategy. Today, 47% of B2C and 54% of B2B content marketers say that the metrics they track aren’t aligned with their content marketing goals. Crazy, right?!
Setting a clear plan will ensure that you’re able to monitor, assess and revise your content strategy, if needed and measure the efforts of your content strategy faster.
2. CONTENT HASN’T BEEN CREATED FOR EVERY PHASE OF THE BUYER’S JOURNEY
To have an effective content marketing strategy, you can’t just create content for one stage of the buyer’s journey. You can’t just pick and choose which part of the sales funnel you want content created for. It doesn’t work like that.
The sales funnel has been the heart of marketing for a while now. Many of your prospective customers are at different stages of the funnel, so it’s the responsibility of the marketer to give the customers the fuel to move them along the funnel toward a purchase. With the rise of social media and technology, it has become easier for marketers to engage with customers at various stages of their buyer’s journey. About 88% of B2B marketers use custom content marketing, but 65% are still challenged with understanding which types of content are effective and which ones aren’t.
The solution is to create the right content, for the right people, at the right time. It’s important for marketers to understand their audiences from how they think, how they seek answers and the path they need to find a solution. Don’t forget your existing customers. They are also a vital component to your buyer’s journey as well. By researching the different components, you can begin to craft a documented content strategy that will map out your content throughout the various stages of the buyer’s journey.
3. YOU AREN’T GIVING YOUR STRATEGY ENOUGH TIME TO GET RESULTS
We live in a fast-paced world where people expect to see results right away, but sometimes, the best things take time. That can be said for content marketing.
Each initiative is different and its duration of your content marketing plan working depends on the steps you have taken to ensure its success. On average, it takes about six months for your content marketing strategy to generate results. For the impatient, six months is a long time. If you are creating quality content, a great time to measure your results would be quarterly. Let the data speak for itself. Create content that starts conversations and engages your audience. In the end, you’ll have a recipe for success!
4. SEO HASN’T BEEN INCORPORATED
Metrics are the quarterback for measuring success. It’s important that you are measuring the right metrics to help ensure your content marketing is leading you to success, especially in website traffic.
Marketing is all about being in the right place at the right time. To ensure you are that you are getting the right type of traffic to your site, you need to utilize some search engine optimization (SEO). If you aren’t familiar with SEO, let me give you a breakdown of what it is. SEO refers to the practice of enhancing where a webpage appears in search results. It can also increase website traffic and attract more prospects to your website. In 2018 alone, only 55% of small businesses have invested in SEO. Think of it like this, without SEO, content marketing wouldn’t be living its best life. Incorporating SEO can, well…optimize your content marketing since every website needs keywords and substance to succeed. In order to be successful, both must go hand in hand.
5. YOU AREN’T INCORPORATING LEAD GENERATION OF LIST BUILDING WITH YOUR CONTENT
Content marketing is among one of the most unique marketing tactics. It helps to accomplish your businesses goals while also offering customers and prospects real value to make their lives better.
It’s not “you have a problem? Buy our product.” or “ read these claims about our product and buy it now.” It starts with “if you like this post, download our eBook about…” or “find ways to improve your business today. Take our online assessment for…” Content marketing only works if you’re providing value to your audience. If they seem that the product solves their solution, they’ll buy it and go home with a happy purchase, leaving your company with additional generated leads.
If your company doesn’t implement lead generation, you’ll still need an email list even if you don’t intend to sell your products through your email list.
One of your most valuable results of content marketing is the opportunity to grow your email list and can be a valuable asset for your company. Email lists serve as a way to promote and distribute your content when social media can be unreliable at times. If your company isn’t incorporating email lists throughout your marketing efforts, then you’re missing out on valuable opportunities and results.
6. YOUR CONTENT CREATION WORKFLOW IS A MESS
If your content workflow is not well-managed, the time and resources that you put in can take months to complete. This can create a complex process that slows down work, creates bad results for your content marketing and lowers morale. Honestly, that doesn’t sound ideal for your business.
So, how can you differentiate yourself from marketers who succeed and marketers who don’t?
It all begins with reviving your workflow. Successful content marketers are five times more likely to say their content creation workflow is “excellent/very good”-for both B2B and B2C marketers. Your workflow really matters. Improving your content creation workflow is the best thing you can do for your company to reach success.
7. THERE ISN’T A BUY-IN AND ACTIVE SUPPORT FROM THE C-SUITE
Continuing to generate results and strategize content marketing is essential for any long-term business plan or project.
Before launching your content marketing, develop a plan for all execs and C-suite members so that they are onboard.
Without having an avid advocate on your side, your content marketing strategy may get side-tracked, get involved in other projects or have its budget cut. Create the purpose and motivation around your content strategy so that everyone understands the strategy and is on the same page.
However you sell your strategy, be prepared to sell it well. Don’t hesitate to show how effective it is. After all, content marketing will help leverage your company and grow into a more competitive brand.
8. YOUR CONTENT STRATEGY ISN’T DOCUMENTED
For your content marketing to truly shine and deliver an impactful meaning, it needs to be guided by a clear and purposeful strategy.
Documenting your strategy is just another element away from your key to success. It clearly helps define the outcome of your content strategy plan and what it aims to achieve. Without documentation, marketers may struggle to identify what works and what doesn’t work and identify how to scale its metrics. When your content strategy has measurable goals followed up by valuable insight, you can unlock countless opportunities to achieve better results with your content.
And the best part about developing a content strategy? It doesn’t even take much of your time! Take some time out of your day and knock out a content strategy. It doesn’t even need to be perfect the first time. Improve your strategy as you go. Having a content strategy can make or break your business, so making sure you develop one right away can make things a lot easier.
9. YOU AREN’T PUBLISHING FREQUENTLY
Many marketers today would tell you that one of the most important aspects of blogging, chances are, would be “great content”. I mean, content is key to any successful blog.
But it doesn’t matter the quality of your content if you aren’t posting your blogs consistently and frequently. Publishing content alone isn’t good enough. Marketers need a frequent blogging schedule with a consistent strategy to follow it. Your audience relies on you to create and publish content at certain times. That’s said for email marketing as well. When it comes to email marketing, about 35% of marketers send out two to three emails per month.
But you don’t want to overdo it with the publishing. You don’t want your customers to hit “unsubscribe.” If you don’t know where to start, start by publishing every other week and then move to once a week or more.
10. YOU’RE PUBLISHING MEDIOCRE CONTENT
Don’t get me wrong, you aren’t publishing “bad” content, just content that isn’t generating the results your business needs.
Your content marketing and business success all rely on how its ability to communicate to your audience and market its products.
Don’t know what high-quality content looks like? Here are some characteristics to look out for:
- It’s engaging. Your content doesn’t need to consist of a lengthy post, but just a simple post that aligns to your audience and connects with them.
- It provides real value. If your content doesn’t provide real value to your audience or a solution, then it really doesn’t do much. Leverage your content by teaching your audience about topics they would find interesting or would benefit from.
- It highlights your culture. The content that you post should reflect the values of your company and showcase your company culture.
- It boosts clout. Your company can boosts clout in many ways. When you provide useful and informational content, you are creating more traffic towards your company while creating more revenue.
- It easy to understand. This means it provides clear writing, easy to read, and includes headers, subheaders, images and bullet points.
- It strengthens relationships. The strongest pieces of content are ones that create discussions. Develop and create content that creates meaningful dialogues between you and your audience.
Regardless if your content marketing is failing or is performing well, it doesn’t hurt to review your content strategy for ways to improve towards your company’s success. Maybe there are gaps you need to fill, areas you’re weak in or need to implement new content marketing trends. Either way, take some time to assess if your content marketing is aligned with your business and your audience to further your success moving forward.
This article originally published on the Red Branch Media Blog by Tridia Tshimanga.
About Maren Hogan:
Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer, writer and business builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. Founder and CEO of Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and outsourcing and thought leadership to HR and Recruiting Technology and Services organizations internationally, Hogan is a consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques. She has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies and been a thought leader in the global recruitment and talent space. You can read more of her work on Forbes, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, and The Red Branch Media Blog.
10 Reasons Why Content Marketing Fails
Source: HR.com Articles