You’ve heard time and time again that “Content is King.” And since it seems everyone’s engaged in content marketing and singing its praises, you’ve probably been convinced to give it a whirl yourself.
So you settle down in front of your computer, with a blank new document opened up and ready for you to pour your thoughts onto it. Eventually, you finish up what you think is a great piece of work, post it to your website, and wait for the customers to come swarming in.
But they don’t. And they never do.
That’s right, you’ve just experienced a content marketing epic fail.
Not everyone has a successful experience with content marketing. But that doesn’t mean the issue is with the strategy itself; rather, the issue typically lies in the hands of the content creator.
The problem with content marketing today is that it often fails to live up to the extremely high expectations that come along with it. Here’s why that frequently happens and what you can do better to improve your content marketing strategy:
You only talk about yourself.
Ever since advertising and marketing came into existence, the goal was to blatantly promote your brand by placing the name everywhere and into every piece of collateral. But not anymore. Consumers are smarter than ever, and they’re more likely to be repelled by your content when you only talk about your brand. Instead, you need to turn the focus onto them.
You don’t bring any value to your target audience.
If you can’t talk about yourself, then what is there to say? Well, you can educate your audience by giving them helpful tips and information to hopefully make their lives easier and/or better. Whole Foods, for example, has a fantastic website filled with all kinds of content such as recipes and diet tips. Discover how your brand impacts your audience’s lifestyle, and jump on that.
The quality of your content stinks.
Whether the writing on your blog is so-so or the presentation is mediocre, you’re going to want to kick it up a notch. This means you’ll need at least one person who has the talent and time to dedicate herself fully to the job of creating quality content (you may need more people depending on your content needs). Next, consider re-designing or getting a new template for your blog/website. Creativity is encouraged, but make sure it aligns with the tone of your brand.
You don’t have a strategy.
Content marketing isn’t just something you can pick up one day and execute. It’s also not something that can be done for only a couple of months. Content marketing is a beast that must be fed, and you therefore must have a continuous strategy to ensure it both brings value to your audience and achieves your company goals. (Here’s a little bit more about developing a content marketing strategy, if you’re interested.)
You’re not promoting it.
Distribution is practically as important as the content itself. Why? Because even if you post it onto your website, that doesn’t mean people are going to magically come across it. Post it to social media, send it to your email subscribers, and consider syndicating it through other websites.
You’ve neglected analytics.
Although we’re finally beginning to discover how to appropriately analyze content, it’s important to at least perform basic analyses to determine what type of content resonates well with your readers. Doing so will help shape your content strategy and gain a better understanding of what you should be writing about.
You aren’t waiting long enough to see results.
It takes time to build up momentum with your content marketing strategy, so be patient. As I mentioned before, content marketing is not a one-time campaign, it’s a lifelong commitment.
And it’s certainly worth it.