November 30, 2016
Today’s consumers are pretty smart. While old television commercials used to be able to persuade them to buy, they now understands the psychological techniques in use when companies “hard sell,” and they aren't impressed. They don’t believe much of the great promises either, because they've been let down so many times.
Today’s consumers wants to do their own research by asking their social media communities for recommendations, reading product reviews, and hearing from companies on a more personal level. 95 percent of small businesses use content marketing to pull in rather than to push. In fact, marketers are spending about $26 billion on content marketing, and that figure is projected to double over the next four years
Businesses believe that content marketing works, and they have seen evidence that it does. At the same time, however, they are not seeing their own content marketing work well, and they wonder why. Here are 6 reasons why that may be so.
There Is No Definite Strategy
Content marketing isn’t about just writing great posts and entertaining potential customers on Facebook. It is about developing a strategy. To do that, you have to ask yourself some questions.
- Who is our target market and where are they online?
- What are problems that your target market has that you can solve?
- What do you want to accomplish with your content marketing? More leads? More traffic? More conversions?
Answers to these questions will determine the type of content you need to create, where you need to put that content, and how you need to promote it. Just throwing it out there and hoping for the best is not a strategy. You have to decide very specifically what your content marketing is supposed to accomplish and then evaluate it in terms of that, making changes as necessary.
You're Not Spending Enough
Yes, content marketing is infinitely cheaper than traditional marketing. But you still need a budget for it. You have to have content writers. You have to have people who understand how content is promoted. You will either hire in-house or you will outsource. Make sure that you have allocated enough resources to do it well. Otherwise, the money is wasted.
Also, analyze the success of each strategy you put into place. Revise or dump the ones that are not giving you a return and increase what is working.
You're Not Promoting Enough
Every time you publish a post on your blog, think about what you can do to promote it. Do you have share buttons? Are there any incentives for your readers to share it? Do you advertise it on your social media platforms with great teaser statements? Do you look for arrangements with other bloggers to cross-promote?
These are just a few ways to promote your content. Good content marketers will be on a continual hunt for getting more eyeballs on their content.
Your SEO Strategies Are Outdated
The idea behind SEO is for your content to pop up when people search for answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. Traditionally, this meant finding the right keywords and repeating them all through your content. As search engine algorithms continue to improve, this has become an outdated practice, and businesses need to adapt their SEO strategies to keep up.
“Targeting the right keywords is the key to driving relevant and quality traffic to your website,” said Chris Holyoake of the Longtail Marketing Agency. “Consumers are getting far more specific in their searches and using much longer terms when they do search. It is the content marketer's job to do the research, identify those long-tail keyword phrases that potential customers are using, and speak to the specific value and benefit they can provide in relation to them.”
Your Content is Boring
Content quality is the bottom line. You may bring in traffic, but if you don’t give that traffic value and benefit, they will be one-time visitors. Use visuals and media as much as possible. When you can say it with visuals and videos, you will engage visitors.
Create amazing headlines. Speak to pain points, needs and solutions in creative ways. Your goal is to educate, to inspire, to entertain, and to do it in exciting ways. Just think about the difference between boring written instructions and a “how to” video.
Your other goal is to establish relationships. Let visitors know you personally. Tell stories about yourself, your team, your community involvement, and your customers. Have fun and be humorous.
Your Not Patient
Content marketing is not an overnight marketing tool. It is a long-term commitment. Visitors do not become followers and share your content quickly. They need to trust you first. Give it time and keep publishing on a regular basis – your visitors and followers expect that.
There is a lot of noise out there. And this is why some say that content marketing is “dead.” But it is here to stay, and the smart, creative content providers will always rise above that noise to get noticed, make relationships, and spread that brand in profitable ways. If you are not getting the results you want, do some serious soul-searching relative to the above reasons.
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