Content marketing not showing results? Here are 4 things that will help fix it
If content were a living breathing entity it would probably require its own planet. That’s because the amount of content created is astounding – over 2M blogs a day when we were the last counting. Yet, everyone hopes that their piece of content will be the one thing that’ll shake the internet and send traffic by the troves to their website. And not just traffic but leads, conversions and the elusive proof of ROI too.
Have you too been hoping that one day a cornerstone piece will magically send traffic your way? If the abra-ca-dabra of a 2000 word authoritative content, regular blog posts, and a social media strategy hasn’t worked yet then your content marketing probably needs some fixes.
The fixes aren’t magic (unfortunately). They are nuggets of wisdom that we’ve gathered from our experience and that of industry experts. But it does allow you to look beyond your editorial calendar to see what you can do to create better content.
Also, we’ll be sharing a bonus tip towards the end which can help you string together your content marketing from strategy to execution.
1. Do a triple-take on the topic you choose
As content marketers, most people have two ways of choosing a topic – the first is to pick an already viral, ranking and popular content and present an original spin off. This allows you to bank on the fact that the topic is already popular and hence may drive traffic. The downside is that it isn’t fully original and someone else is already trending on the popularity. So you may receive only a fraction of the traffic that this topic generates as a whole.
The second way is to rack some grey cells and come up with fully original content for your blog. Here are 7 ways to do it (link to JW blog). This method gives you authoritative content but you’ll have limited ways to gauge how much interest the topic will generate.
Take a step back into your drawing board to do a content gap analysis.
Have you created the best possible FAQs content for your product/service and industry as a whole. If you haven’t then you have a content gap right in front of your eyes. Take at least 3 to 4 customer personas and identify 3 to 4 questions they’ll have through each stage of the purchase funnel (awareness, opinion, consideration, preference, purchase). That’s a good 80 questions that require original content and you’ll have to ensure that you are covering that as a bare minimum.
The layer that will encompass these is stories are the ones about your brand, company culture, insider stories and thought leadership.
Also, you can’t play the I-me-myself game which will make your content look like an extended company brochure. You’ll have to be real about the topics that affect your customers in general and show them the humane side of your brand too.
If you plug the content gaps successfully, you’ll have a traffic generating mechanism set on an autopilot.
2. Fix your content dissemination strategy
You now have a hang of what your topic is and who you’ll be creating it for. But how on earth are they going to get to read it? Most people post their content on their company’s social channels and expect that the world will know about it. Or even worse, they’ll expect it to rank on top within a few days and start driving organic traffic. Truth is that both these media have their limitations.
Ranking on the search engine may take a few days depending on when your page gets indexed. Social has an incredible amount of noise and only a fraction of people get to see what you post, even if they already follow / like you.
It is quite tempting to hit the ‘boost post’ button, do a rough target audience setting and wait for the magic to happen. But paid marketing allows the reach and traffic to sustain only until you throw in money into the campaign. Unless that money is translating into ROI somewhere down the line (and you have a way to connect the dots), this isn’t a good idea.
Instead, let’s look at other organic ways to boost your content.
- Start with your employees: Your employees are your best brand ambassadors. According to lifewire, an average office worker receives 121 emails and sends out 40 emails per day. Let’s say that you have 10 employees. That’s 400 opportunities per day for you to begin circulating your content among a high core target audience who are already aware of your product/services. You can ask employees to not only use a new blog post in their email signature but also share via their personal social handles to amplify the reach.
- Share with your current customers/subscribers: If you have built up an email list and also have records of all your current customers, you can create a monthly newsletter covering the most interesting topics and news for the month and share it with them. Of course, your content too can be a part of it.
- Share with potential customers: This works great in the B2B industry where you often have a lot of people in the potential customer pipeline and your sales team is working hard to get them on board. You can share your content with these prospects giving them more confidence in your brand and execution capabilities.
- Share it with future customers: Then there is a subset of the rest of the universe who aren’t aware of your brand but can listen to you when asked. These are the people who may move in and move out of your sales funnel. You can speak to them with #tags and influencer marketing on social channels.
3. Fix your content marketing format
The ways content is consumed has changed over the years. Video has taken over the content marketing world with just YouTube boasting one billion unique visitors a month or one-third of the internet! And here we are, still writing in long form because we want to share detailed information on content marketing – not a quick fix evening snack recipe.
Even then, there is a chance that in 5 years, you’ll be watching this blog rather than reading it. As shown in MWP’s research, 59% of executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic, they are more likely to choose video.
The question you need to ask yourself is that are you providing the right content mix so that you can engage audience both today and tomorrow. Are you doing a good mix of text blogs, images, videos, podcasts, eBooks, webinars and emails to reach the right target audience? If you haven’t experimented with one of these media, try it out. You’ll be able to see how well it works with your target audience.
4. Fix the source of your content
Everyone is a content marketer these days. But its debatable how many of these are good at what they do. Most people create content now because they know that it is the way to succeed going forward. But that doesn’t mean they have the skills and expertise to deliver good content. If that’s not enough, the world is now seeing the origin of machine-generated original content using artificial intelligence and machine learning – articles that only need to be ‘touched up’ by humans to make them genuine. It sounds like a science fiction nightmare from where we stand today.
Having said that, take a look at all the people who create content for you. It could be your internal team, executives in your company who contribute, guest bloggers and an external team from a digital or content marketing agency. Of these, which source has delivered the content with the most ROI. Zero in on your top source and find a way to push it forward to up the standards of your content creation overall.
There are so many content marketers out there but when it comes to who you should listen, it makes sense to have a top 10 list.
Does your content marketing need a quick fix?
Speak to an expert at Just Words to find out what we can do for you.