So, you’ve spent time and effort on a content marketing strategy only to find that it hasn’t worked? Don’t despair! Here are 8 reasons why your content strategy isn’t driving results (and 8 ways to fix it – we wouldn’t leave you hanging).
You’re not leveraging professionals to write your content.
All too often, and with the best of intentions, CEOs and business leaders can have a habit of micro-managing every aspect of their business, including insisting that they write all of their content marketing material themselves.
Being a successful CEO means you are a great leader, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a great writer.
Another common issue we see, ‘promoting’ staff members who aren’t trained writers to produce content marketing materials for you, alongside their other tasks.
It’s vital for sales staff, admin, management, and marketing to be involved in the content strategy process – but you wouldn’t ask your sales manager to pull your wisdom teeth.
Often, such staff members have neither the skills, (inclination) or time required to produce the kind of quality content marketing campaigns that your business needs to truly succeed in the space.
You guessed it – hire a professional content writer who can use their specialised, honed, and developed skills to produce effective content marketing, efficiently.
Your content marketing strategy doesn’t have a clear goal.
Successful content planning is focused on business goals and includes measurables.
Take some time to delineate your goals for the future, and ensure that the content you create is geared towards meeting your goals.
Yes, creating one blog post that goes viral immediately, creates neverending traffic, builds brand awareness and increases sales is great, but realistically it makes more sense to aim for one at a time.
Not every blog posts needs to be a home run.
Focus on providing clear, actionable, educated insights to your reader’s specific questions and over time, watch your traffic grow.
Your goals will change, refine, and develop as your market changes, refines, and develops.
Creating processes and tracking your content strategy, results, goals, measurables, keeping writers on track and happy and tying it all together is not an easy task (trust me).
Start with “why are we creating content?”, and then work from there.
Develop the processes, the KPIs and other measurements that help to track your message and deliverables based on your business goals.
If you start with your content marketing goals in mind, you’re beginning with the correct mindset and you can start reverse engineering your strategy
Common and great content marketing goals include more leads, educating your existing customer base, social engagement, or simply more traffic.
Also common, but awful content marketing goals include “because I think we should”, and “because my competitors are”.
Your content is same-y.
Do all your blog posts have the same structure and style, drawing the exact same conclusions week after week?
While it’s always good to have consistency in your marketing content so that you can present a unified and consistent image for your company, that doesn’t mean that your content needs to be homogeneous.
Often, this problem arises when you have the same person writing your content week after week.
So, liven things up by having a rotating set of 2-3 writers (or a great team), creating pieces that are in conversation with each other but which also stand alone as exciting one-off reads.
Inviting some relevant guest bloggers (such as experts in your field) is a great way to keep the blog fresh and potentially reach a new audience.
Your content marketing is hermetically sealed off from the rest of your company’s activities.
Yes, you should ideally hire a professional content writer (or even better, a team of writers, wink wink) to develop your marketing materials.
But, that doesn’t mean that marketing content should be a totally separate strand of your company’s operations.
In fact, the key to success is quite the opposite: integrate your content marketing strategy throughout all of your company activities.
From investor relations packs to poster sessions at trade fairs: let your content writing team work their magic on much more than your email campaigns and social media updates.
Your content isn’t SEO friendly.
Even if your goal is education (hint, it should be), it is essential to be writing content that will rank on the SERPs.
That means utilising features such as meta titles and meta descriptions, inputting relevant keywords in a natural way, and ensuring that the content is well written and up to date (yes, Google now ranks web content based on the quality and relevancy of its style).
The days of keyword stuffing are dead, make sure you’re marketing strategy doesn’t follow suit.
Your content is flat.
Gone are the days of blog posts that consisted of reams of text.
Customers expect reading breaks, images and video content, as well as infographics where relevant, to keep your content compelling.
Have you been ignoring these elements in your content so far? It’s an easy element to overlook.
Add visual imagery throughout your blog to keep the reader scrolling through to the end.
You don’t include a Call to Action.
All good marketing content should include a call to action that is congruent with your goals.
So, define those goals:
- Do you want your readers to buy a product?
- Sign up to your newsletter?
- Leave a comment on your social media page?
- Share a post?
No matter how great your copy is, if you’re not asking readers to do anything once they finish reading it, they won’t.
Go through your existing content and integrate calls to action throughout.
Ensure that your calls to action are natural, but are still compelling and enticing.
How can you get results, after all, if you aren’t telling your readers what you want.
Speaking of which, need help with your content strategy? Give us a call!
Thus ends our brief suare into the common pitfalls of content marketing. We hope that we’ve helped you to format a clear plan for your business moving forward. Be honest, which of the 8 points are you guilty of? Or is there a ninth that you’ve had to learn the hard way? Comment below, we’d love to hear from you. See? Call to action.