WHY CONTENT MARKETING FAILS TO DELIVER RESULTS
Creating and producing content is incredibly time consuming and resource intensive, so when it fails to attract and convert prospects it can be demoralising.
If you have been trying to generate traction for your business with content marketing and have not succeeded, then you are not alone. In fact only 19% of businesses rate their content marketing as very successful. So it stands to reason that it is not easy to create content marketing strategy that attracts and converts prospects to your business online.
In essence content marketing fails to deliver results when:
- Sales and marketing are not on the same page
- There is no strategy underpinning a plan
- The content is dull and not customer-centric
- The expectations are unrealistic
- There's an absence of promoting on social media, email and other digital platforms
- No one is reviewing the analytics
- SEO and content marketing are not working off the same page
In our agency role, we have had many of the above experiences with clients who are struggling with their content marketing – or those clients who haven’t started yet and are not sure where to begin. These scenarios have inspired this blog and the following solutions are in response to these common pain point for marketers and businesses as a whole.
5 TIPS TO ACHIEVE YOUR CONTENT MARKETING GOALS
Content Marketing requires a ‘whole of business’, inbound philosophy
It’s easy to get caught up in the tactics of content marketing and forget that content marketing relies on an inbound philosophy based around education, entertainment and an all-round helpful human approach to growing your business.
It’s not the responsibility of Marketing to be the only driver of content marketing. The whole company is required to get behind and immerse themselves in the inbound philosophy. In particular the sales team and senior managers need to be thinking about valuable content that drives attraction.
Sales team members are close to customers and should be thinking about content ideas that resonate and solve pain points they encounter on a daily basis. While management should be creating a culture where thinking about and creating content is part of everyone’s day to day roles.
Simply put, if your content marketing is left to one person in the marketing department who also performs other marketing roles, then it’s very unlikely that success will follow.
Set clear and accountable Content Marketing goals
More often than not, clients struggle because there are no clear and accountable goals. Or in some cases, no goals.
And attracting more visits to your website as a goal is not specific enough. You need SMART goals to make progress with your content marketing. So, you should quantify what the increase in visits looks like. It’s one thing to set the accountable goals but then you need to be able to measure the actions you are going to take to achieve the goal. This way you will be able to learn about what type of content, what platforms, what topics and what copy drive the best results.
Finally, your goals need to be relevant to your business in the achievement of the overall business goals in the same time frame. Setting SMART goals is not rocket-science, yet it is probably the most common missing ingredient and easiest item to rectify.
Produce Content Marketing that answers the questions prospects are asking
Let’s look at the scenario where you are producing regular content and unfortunately your content is not generating traffic and leads you had expected. Under this situation, the first investigation point is to review the type of content you are producing. Are you in fact producing the wrong type of content? Most likely, this is the case.
Perhaps your content isn’t as customer centric as it should be? It is easy to sub-consciously, get carried away with our own self-interest. At the heart of your content should be an educational focus designed to address customer needs.
The line between advertising and content is also a trap. The role of advertising to interrupt, cut-through and so it needs to entertain. Content Marketing is mostly different to this. There’s no harm in creating content that is entertaining, however it shouldn’t be at the expense of education and advice. Blurring the lines between advertising and content will result in neither performing as hoped. Remember, content is something prospects choose to consume for a purpose and advertising is the opposite of this.
Lastly as a rule of thumb, try to produce content that your prospective customers as looking for. In other words, the questions that they are asking Google. You can easily research these questions through tools like Answer the Public and via keyword research. Then with good search engine optimisation your content will not only resonate but will be more like found as well.
Be consistent and fund dedicated Content Marketing resources
Becoming a content producer, publisher and optimiser on top of an existing marketing workload is not a recipe for success. Content Marketing requires dedicated expertise in the form of writing, design, digital marketing and SEO… And more. It’s going to be your decision to take this in house or hire an agency – either way, without proper funding, it is going to be hard to achieve your content marketing goals.
Having consistency around your publishing, tells search engines to more regularly index your pages as your site is active and therefore in the eyes of the search engine more authoritative. Conversely, if you don’t regularly publish, then it will take longer for new articles to get ranking as it will be longer for the site to be crawled by the search engine.
Content Marketing is also about engaging prospects. You might attract a prospect, however it’s unlikely that they will convert upon their first visit. So regular content publishing will engage prospects over time, nurturing them and position your business as a trusted thought leader.
Take a scientific approach to content and call to actions
Too often, scant attention is paid to call to actions (CTA’s). You should actively question whether your CTA’s standout - do the graphics stand out? Are they relevant to the content your prospect is consuming?
With a tool like HubSpot’s Marketing Pro, you can set up dedicated landing pages and forms for your CTAs to be downloaded seamlessly by the user. Marketing Tech platforms like HubSpot can provide you with the tools to evaluate the effectiveness of your content and in particular your ‘lead magnets’.
Lead magnets are those pieces of content that are gated via a form. To be effective, they need to be valuable and worthwhile for someone to exchange their email address for. Over time you should A/B test your CTA’s to build a knowledge bank on their performance and what content offers drive conversion.
With these performance insights in mind, you can update existing content with these insights and take a scientific approach to measurement and performance.
Content Marketing is new for many businesses. It requires new thinking and an inbound philosophy that impacts the entire business. And while it may seem daunting, the benefits of being seen by your prospective customers as a trusted advisor are immense.