You’re already the best at what you do. You’ve worked hard to build a reputation and a profitable business. So why isn’t your business growing? Your content marketing may be largely responsible. Content marketing is more than posting an update on social media, or a blog post or two. There’s a reason why agencies dedicated to content marketing are in abundance, and the demand continues to increase.
Wondering how everyone else seems to thrive, while you’re still struggling? Still attempting to retain the same clients you’ve had for years? Perhaps you’ve tried different strategies for reaching your clientele, and haven’t had the results you were expecting. Are you getting more “Unfollows” and “Unsubscribes” than new leads? Keep reading to find out how your content marketing is failing, and what you can do to save it!
1. You’re Lacking a (Documented) Plan
The best marketing strategies require thought and a little research. Too often, we confuse content marketing strategy with content strategy. The truth is that you need both. Take time to come up with a plan for your marketing, and to develop what you’re actually going to say. A research study shows that businesses with a documented plan are less challenged and more effective. Not sure where to being? Start with a case as to why content marketing is necessary for you. Once this foundation is in place, move on to your goals, target demographic, the messages you want to send, and the platforms you’ll use to do so. Check back with your plan frequently to ensure that you haven’t strayed from your mission. Sometimes simply getting everything down on paper provides clarity and exposes a weak link in your strategy.
2. You Aren’t Promoting Your Content
Are you taking advantage of every opportunity to promote your content? For the vast majority of business owners, this is where content marketing falls apart. Too often, we rely on social media as our only method of promotion. The solution? Use social media in conjunction with smart advertising. Google AdWords and Facebook Ads are two popular methods that work to drive the right people to your business. You should also seek out forums and communities for industry networking opportunities and utilize online tools like BuzzSumo to find out how other competitors stack up.
3. You’re Not Creating Quality Content
Have you written newsletter after newsletter, only to be met with a list of unsubscribes? Generic, repetitive content is often the culprit. So what kind of content works? Well-researched content that is customized to your audience is a great start. Be sure that your headlines are memorable and worthy of attention. Ready to take it up another notch? According to Content Preference Survey in 2015, 91% of buyers prefer interactive content rather than traditional formats. Add quizzes, infographics, and other visual information that encourages participation. The more you speak directly to your audience about what you can do for them, the more your content will be met with favorable results.
4. Your Market is Saturated
Are you one of several similar businesses in your niche? Finding that you’re up against competition at every turn? Take time to learn how their marketing isn’t working, and make yours even better. Is the office across town churning out impressive blog posts daily, but failing at social media? Link your blog in an interactive post on various channels, and watch your numbers start to increase. Be sure that the content you’re producing is worthy of your audience (review #3 for tips!), and they’ll help promote it.
5. Your Brand is Confusing
Do you have a hard time describing what it is you do to others? Is your content lacking a unifying theme? Spend time developing a brand that connects with your vision. It should reflect the heart of your business, and should be immediately clear to consumers. If you don’t streamline the process for buyers, it becomes easy for them to step away. Building a brand that you believe in will bring the customers to you, and will keep the wrong customers away.
6. You’re Ignoring Bad Responses
So you’ve gotten some less-than-stellar feedback. No big deal, right? It is, if you continue to make the same mistakes. If your newsletters are left unopened, it may be time to start rethinking your headlines. No retweets? Try a different angle for reaching your audience. Losing followers on Facebook? Make sure that you’re sending the right messages to the right people. It’s normal and healthy for your clientele to shift from time to time, but major negative feedback is a sure sign that you’re missing something. Don’t ignore this valuable opportunity to stay relevant with buyers.
7. You’re Selling Too Hard
This is a tough one. Content marketing is a delicate balance of giving your customers what they need without making them feel pushed into buying. The right way to do this is to showcase your unique ability to address buyers’ needs. Connect with them using your strong brand (#5). Use language that convinces them that you’re not interested in making a sale, but in enhancing their lives. Be open and honest about what it is you do and why they need it, without overloading them with “BUY NOW!” offers.
8. You Need More Images and Graphics
It’s almost a no-brainer, but a number of studies continue to prove that the more visual content you have, the better the overall response. Wondering why your blog posts don’t seem to be making an impact? Consider adding in an attractive infographic that showcases the main points of your article. Content with images gets a whopping 94% more views than content without a visual element. If you find that your updates are falling flat, make sure that your content is designed with a visual audience in mind. If you incorporate this into your plan (#1) from the start, you’re well ahead of the game.
Are you ready for new leads to pour in like never before? Correct your content marketing mistakes, and be prepared for a dramatic shift in your numbers. Have you experienced content marketing failures in your online business? Let me know!