These days, content isn’t just king; it’s a vital way for businesses to generate leads, engage with their customer base, and boost search results. Your content marketing strategy (or lack thereof) can make or break your business. As most companies will find when refining a digital marketing strategy, content marketing has evolved into a multi-faceted process. As a full-service marketing company that helps business develop a strong digital presence, we’ve compiled a few things that may be hurting your overall strategy.
Your content is weak, or worse, irrelevant.
Gone are the days of simply slapping up ‘whatever content’ you have available and hoping for the best. Poor copy results in low readership levels, and, unsurprisingly, poor conversion rates. With the internet full of new information being turned out on a daily basis, consumers are consistently looking for timely, relevant, and well-written pieces to inform their buying decisions. Blogs full of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, or topics that don’t resonate with the market will be ignored and bring your search ranking down.
If your objective (more on determining this later) is to drive engagement and produce leads, you’re going to have to make the investment towards creating content that actively encourages readers to respond while simultaneously addressing the “issue” that brought them to your piece in the first place. Think of specific topics that your company can lend an authoritative and informative voice to and develop pieces centred around this approach. It may seem time-consuming (because in truth, it is), but the payoff of good content is well worth the time put in by either your team or by an outsourced professional closely aligned to your vision.
Me, Me, Me!
We all know someone who’s a little too self-promotional. Every conversation somehow turns to their latest and greatest exploits, and you find yourself tuned out sooner than later. The internet equivalent of this are pieces that focus too heavily on promoting a business or service rather than providing easily accessible information to their audience. It’s natural to want to share successes, significant innovations within your field, or even upcoming events for your company. The key in this scenario is maintaining a healthy balance between self-promotion and educational content. Industry professionals will typically adhere to the 80/20rule, meaning that the bulk of the material is designed to address specific interest pieces, while still incorporating calls-to-action and highlighting a business’ strengths. While it may seem counterintuitive to shift the limelight directly off your brand in a blog, think of it this way: if you build a name as a reputable source of unbiased information, you are promoting yourself by building trust with your readers from the start. The more dedicated you remain to delivering solid material that answers a need within your market, the more you’ll see positive returns.
Your strategy lacks a clear vision or plan
Even the most outstanding content can fall victim to a poorly executed strategy. Before you start developing content, a core step is taking the time to determine your objectives. With a clearly defined purpose in mind, you then need to consider your target audience (we help our clients do this by developing ‘personas’ that embody both current and desired customers). Once you know who you’re marketing to, you’ll be far better set up to develop materials that are suited specifically to their needs, making conversion far easier. Your strategy needs to extend beyond simply blogging, and to fit into your overall business plan. When you know how your content fits into the overall picture, it becomes easier to give it the attention it requires to succeed. On a final note, you’ll want to make sure your planning is fluid and flexible to necessary changes. Just like overall business strategy, your content needs to move and shift to stay on top of the market, lest it become irrelevant.
You’re not optimizing your content for SEO and Social Media Platforms
If half of the battle of a successful content marketing strategy is creating strong copy, the other half is ensuring your writing is easy to find. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will help bring in organic traffic, which will, in turn, reduce your sales cycle length and produce more leads. While SEO does involve the use of keywords and terms to prioritize items in search rankings, it’s worth noting that it’s important to not fall into the trap of “overstuffing” your materials. Using a keyword, every other sentence will seem and read as forced and will most likely push your audience away. The more search users click ‘back’ after landing on your article (also known as bounce rate), the less likely your page is to have strong rankings, giving the opposite of your desired effect. The best approach is to focus on quality over quantity and to use consistency throughout your title tags and paragraph headings. With regards to tailoring your content for social media: make sure you have a compelling imagine that will encourage followers to click on your links, and that your headline can be summarized sufficiently in 160 characters.
Now that you know some of the things to keep in mind while developing your content marketing plan, you’re on your way to being able to produce solid content that gets the results you want. To learn more about getting the most from your content, as well as building a rock solid marketing plan, contact us today. We’re happy to help!