So, you’ve invested in content, whacked it up on your website, and then...nothing. Why aren't you being flooded with inquiries?
Content marketing is more than developing some nice pieces of content and uploading it while hoping for the best. Content marketing needs to be informed by a strategic plan, and cover off a few key areas for it to be effective.
In general, the main reasons why your content isn’t working for your brand are:
1. Your content is too salesy
Content marketing is not an opportunity for a hard sell. Content must be developed with value-add in mind. Ask yourself whether your content is enriching your customers’ knowledge, or are you just barking sales messages at them.
2. Your content is not coming from an authentic place Are you saying one thing and doing another? Today’s consumer is savvy, and if you say you are doing something, then you need to actually be seen to be doing it. A brand story isn’t a fabricated story, it is truth.
3. The content isn’t informed by a strategy You can’t develop content and then whack it on your website and hope for the best. Content marketing must be informed by a strategy like any other kind of marketing. This includes knowing your audience, addressing the entire funnel, and deciding which metrics to use.
4. The content only addresses one aspect of the funnel
You can’t only address one area of the funnel and expect this to work for you. Awareness isn’t intent, and engagement isn’t purchase. Your content must address all aspects of the funnel with different pieces of tailored content . For example, media coverage (awareness) won’t get you leads unless it drives potential customers to your website, and most media won’t do this for free.
5. The content is badly written
Content is easy to write, right? Anyone can do it. Wrong. If your content is filled with typos and grammatical errors and spelling errors, no one will take it seriously, let alone read it. Remember, good content costs money because it is a reflection of your business. Don’t be cheap with content development, invest in a good writer who can tell your story in an engaging and relevant way.
6. You aren’t promoting it Content does no one any good if people don’t know it’s there. It won’t promote itself, so make sure your strategy is clear on distribution channels and promotion.
7. Your SEO is not quite right
SEO is a tricky beast, and Google is always moving the goalposts. Your content should have the keywords you’ve identified as being important to your brand. However, an article just filled with keywords will be penalised. A basic rule of thumb is keep your keywords to the most important search terms people might use when looking for your content - and then make sure your content is quality and delivers on those keyword promises. Most importantly, engaging content is far more effective than keyword loaded content in any scenario.
8. You are not capturing your leads Content is pointless if you have no way to capture who is reading your content so you can retarget and nurture these leads. Ensure your website or content partner is able to capture these leads for your database.
9. It doesn’t drive people to your website Your content, while it can’t be salesy, does need to have a call to action of some kind. So ensure you have backlinks throughout to drive people to where you want them to go, whether it’s your website, another piece of content, your blog, or a partner site for referral.
10. You haven’t waited long enough Content marketing is a slow burn. It has to be strategised and then adjusted on an ongoing basis to discern what is, and isn’t, working. Think long term. As you build up content, engagement will increase.
This article was also featured in LBB Online, the premium global magazine for marketers and advisers.
Content marketing can be overwhelming to navigate, but the results are worth the effort. To find out more about content marketing, check out azkmedia.com
Vanessa Mitchell is the Director of Content + Communications at AZK Media