Ok, Just because something is common, popular, or important doesn’t automatically mean that it’s working. So is content marketing working for your business?
I’m doing this podcast for those businesses who are doing content marketing just like they’ve been told but aren’t seeing results. They don’t feel like content marketing is effective.
Why isn’t content marketing working for you? Here are a few of the most common reasons, and see if you can identify with any of these.
1. Not a clear strategy
Like any other form of marketing, you need a strategy if you expect to be successful.
I’ve been surprised at how many businesses lack a strategy for their content marketing. Any strategy — even a bad one — is better than no strategy. With a bad strategy, you can at least figure out that it’s bad and change it. With no strategy, you’ll just keep on doing what you’re doing, wasting your time, losing money, and ruining your brand.
A successful content marketing strategy starts with defining your KPIs (key performance indicators). Identify what numbers are important to you (e.g., views, shares, traffic, CTRs (click through rates, conversions, etc.), and track them.
The strategy should change over time. You should change your strategy when you realize that what you’re doing is not as effective as it could be.
Don’t rely on a content marketing company to make your strategy for you. There are plenty of content marketing companies out there, but they don’t usually get involved in strategy. That’s your job. Their job is to sketch out your editorial calendar, and help you publish, write your content (which some don't, so you should be ready to write your own content or hire a copywriter) . They implement the strategy that you come up with.
Publishing content is not a strategy. Content marketing strategy takes in the big picture of marketing — audience, revenue, profit, and brand. Deciding to have a blog and write articles is not a strategy, it's the same as posting on social media and not tracking what you really need...
So with this point, this take me to point #2
Ok, now of the things you can quickly notice when your engagement is not 100% is when you see your numbers…
We have been told we need to track our metrics, our insights, and analytics but one of the easiest ways to know is to evaluate your posts, and see how many people do actually comment on your posts?
See which people are feeling more connected to your posts, is it your family? Or is it new people??
How many people save, or share your posts? This will actually tell you that what you’ve been putting out is actually working and maybe you should be creating more content like that in the future…
But if the comments you receive are from your friends and family, and no one is sharing or saving your content… and your posts need to change…
Meaning that probably your images, your videos and your message are not connecting, which means that you need to go back to the drawing board and think of different post ideas to talk directly to your potential audience…
Which takes me to my third tip
Now your content, your words, the way you explain your posts, everything that you write, your emails, your website content, your brochures are all part of your business messaging ecosystem.
And… You know your messaging is not working when there are crickets…
We tend to be very broad when we describe an emotion or a situation, and we use words like stuck, mindset, overwhelmed to explain how we feel…
We have a need to use embellishments or exaggerate when we’re talking but when we write them we tend to write them as if we’re disconnected from reality… or we right them in third person… which is no odd to me...
Here more things for you to identify in your messaging… and see if you’re doing any of these mistakes:
You write in a formal way opposite to the way we talk
You don't persuade or give counter examples to prove our point of view
you speak in metaphors, which makes what we say not clear to understand
You can also be talking very technical when your audience or your readers and potential clients don't understand what you’re saying…. Which can also happen the other way around… you could be communicating very basicly and your audience it's more mature...
Now because we’re on the subject of messaging… I need to remind you that one of the ways to know your content could be working, it could be because you’re not applying any storytelling in your content…
People love stories, that’s why we read book (well I listen to audiobooks) we read about success stories, and we love to hear about past experiences and we overcame something, or made something work…
If you’re not using a powerful tool of giving your point view no matter how controversial or intimidating you run the risk of not creating connections, you run the risk of boring your audience, you run the risk of not involving them into what you do and what you offer…
Your story will always be unique, your business story and your experience with your clients and situations are unique to you, so make sure you add that touch of special you into your content creation…
Yes, it doesn't have to be all the time, test it and see if people like it!
5. Right niche
I bet you must of heard before phrases like “ The Riches are in the Niches” or “niche down to blow up” I have actually used that long time ago… trying to explain that
When you speak to everyone you’re speaking to noone!
Yeap, that right… one of the things you need to consider is to who you’re talking to?? Who’s your people?? Who do you want to attract?? Who do you want to sell to??
Let me give you an example…
You can say I help introverts with video…
But you could say… I help introverted moms be confident on camera so that they can bla bla and you add the benefit…
You see how much clearer that is??
When you say things clearly, that are tangible, and you can actually visualize people connecting faster to what you do and how you do it.
This does not mean that you exclude people that are not introverts…
If your messaging is strong and clear, your niche is clear you will attract the audience you want, and those other that feel connected to your business will also join...
Well as you have guessed content marketing is about creating content, but the quality of that content is highly important.
If you put out content that is poor quality it can ultimately make you look bad and hurt your brand in the end.
Let me tell you a few reasons why your content could be poor.
You don't know what type of content to produce. Nearly every business struggles with how to produce engaging content. Trying to come up with a theme, topics, angles, and something new is challenging.
Your writer is inexperienced. This is a big one; I see it all the time. A business wants to do content marketing, so they go out and hire a writer for very little money. They give them a list of topics and let them have at it. Then, they post these articles on their blog and social media....
Content marketing, right? Wrong.
Usually, this is a waste of money. These efforts are not strategically guided. What’s worse is that the content itself is of very low quality. Many times, writers don’t know your industry well enough to be competent as a writer in that industry. I, for example, do have a copywriter, but I work with her side by side, because I need my point of view to come across… I can't expect to know everything I know about marketing, or speak of my experiences… if we’re storytelling… I need to get my hand dirty .
Another reason is that your content is boring. There’s lots of content out there that is mind-numbingly boring. To be truly engaging, content must be in-depth, valuable, focused, and well-written.
7. You’re aren't promoting your content
The quickest way to kill your content marketing is to do nothing after you create your content.
Let me explain…
Some marketers think that content marketing is simply creating content. Then what?
Well, people will find the content, right? Organic traffic will increase, people will read it, convert, and we’ll get more customers, right?
Creating content is only part of content marketing.
The other half is promoting it.
I saw this as a problem a long time ago, when I gave this advice to businesses: “Don’t forget the ‘marketing’ in content marketing.”
Let’s break down content marketing into its two parts:
Which of those two are you doing or not doing?
If you do a lot of promoting, but just a little of creating, then you are probably more successful than a company who does a lot of creating but very little promoting.
Content promotion is just as important as content creation.
How do you promote your content? Here are a few easy ways to promote a single post:
Email newsletter, can be weekly or monthly
Build a Marketing email that takes your audience to a landing page where they action on something you offer
Tweets & Pins. Be sure to tweet it several times, and ask for retweets. Do the same with Pins.
Sharing in LinkedIn
Pitch influencers in your industry who can share your content.
Pitch bloggers and site owners, and ask them to share your content.
Mention your content when you comment on other websites and blogs.
The important thing to remember about content marketing is that half the work is creating, and the other half is promotion.
Homework: If you aren’t doing any content marketing promotion, adjust your approach to spend a solid proportion of your time on promotion.
8. You’re not having fun
You know what I think is a big problem?
You’re way too serious!
Come on and have some fun with content marketing. It’s not supposed to be a painful, awful journey...
If you can’t be light and humorous with your content now and then, you’re probably doing something wrong.
Shift gears a little bit, and make content fun again.
And here’s a fun homework for you… create 1 piece of fun content this week or better yet… once a week and see how that goes… and apply everything you’ve heard here today.
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