You convinced the CEO and the CFO to invest in a content strategy. You promised them it would drive business. You swore that you would track everything, measure the right KPIs, and guaranteed that inbound marketing would take the company to new heights. Now, you’re six months in and nobody is reading your content.


So, whatcha gonna do now?

First, don’t panic. Second, take a good hard look at the content you’re creating. Is it really providing value to the audience? Is it high quality, helpful and insightful? Probably not, and that’s probably because you’re “writing scared” – afraid to step outside the traditional marketing box and not write about how great your solutions are.

Forget business metrics. Really.

Don’t be data crazy.

Be audience crazy.

And I don’t mean obsessed with the number of people in your audience. I mean be crazy about the actual human beings that make up the audience. Be maniacal about giving them information they want and need. Stop creating content for the honchos that green lighted the project, and start creating content for the people out there, the ones that are might some day buy what you’re selling. This is not the seller’s journey, it’s the buyer’s journey, and you’re merely the guide along the path. The buyer is in control of the timing of when they’ll buy; your job is to draw them closer by creating helpful content and earing their trust.

ADDITIONAL READING: Buyer Personas – The Foundation of Content Marketing

To do this, your marketing team must have an editorial sensibility, an ability to understand what makes a story interesting and what makes it … not interesting. Journalists are trained to understand how to build a story that will resonate with the audience, and it isn’t simply churning out listicles. Journalists understand the essence of storytelling, how emotion can play a role even in the driest subjects, how to build drama and create something memorable for the audience.

And memorable content will find an audience. But you can’t build breakthrough, memorable content by relying upon algorithms or “trying to hit your numbers.” Yes, there is science to be applied to content creation and distribution, but greatness begins with focusing on the art.

Here’s an aside based upon the news of the day: Robin Williams tragically died last night. Williams was without question a genius. But there was never a business plan for Williams. No one ever in the world of comedy would have or could have dreamed him up. No one today is going to have success trying to be “the next Robin Williams.” Williams worked because he connected with the audience, and he connected with the audience because it was all he focused on. Odds are that your marketing team doesn’t have that kind of genius, but the lesson still applies. Don’t worry about the business; focus on creating great content.

So, yeah, you have to be a bit Zen. Let it go, and it will come back, oftentimes tenfold.

And then those metrics will take care of themselves. And the CEO and CFO will be happy.

Really happy.