The fact of the matter is that content marketing is one of the most important strategies that companies and marketing departments need to be focusing on. Thus, a content marketing plan is key to your success.
If done properly, your company should be able to connect with your targeted audience and in return expand the reach of your marketing efforts, increase brand engagement and ultimately increase the profitability of your business.
This is a way for brands and businesses to create content in a variety of different forms and show that they are leaders within their industry.
It’s essentially the new way that marketing is working to replace traditional advertising, without having to provide a sales pitch.
However, one thing you must keep in mind as a marketing manager is that it takes more than just creating any sort of content.
You must ensure that your company is pushing out current, relevant and valuable information in a strategic way. With the wealth of information that is available these days, content marketing does have the potential to fail if not executed properly.
Here are a few reasons why your content marketing may not be working for your business and a few ways you can improve it!
You Don’t Have a Refined Strategy
Either you have no strategy at all or your current strategy isn’t working. It is important to note that merely publishing content is not a strategy.
If you do have a strategy in place, but not getting the results that you are looking for, go back to the drawing board and make tweaks in the areas that are weak or under-performing.
It’s key to ensure that your strategy is working in line with your brand and specific to the business that you run.
The two most important parts that will determine the success of your strategy are:
- Goals: what do you ultimately want to accomplish with your content marketing strategy? Create goals that are specific, measurable relevant, timely, attainable and achievable.
- Measurable Outcomes: what numbers will determine whether or not your content marketing is successful? Some things to consider are: audience, frequency, likes, follows, traffic, impressions, conversations, average reach, revenue and profit.
If possible, do not outsource the creation of your strategy. No one knows your business better than the people who work there and they will be able to create more accurate goals and measurable outcomes that are specific to your company.
Create a strategy that only looks two or three months ahead so that you can keep a close eye on how things are going and you are able to easily re-evaluate and tweak on a regular basis.
Check out A Go-To Checklist for Your Online Marketing Strategy to get more tips on creating a successful strategy for your content marketing.
You Don’t Have the Personnel to Execute the Strategy
The key to content marketing is quality – if you aren’t willing to do it well, then it will ultimately end up hurting your brand more than helping it.
Creating different types of content, posting, promoting and integrating it into your other marketing efforts is a full time job, and you need to invest in the personnel to execute your plan efficiently.
Someone who specializes in content marketing will know the landscape of the industry and will be able to spend your marketing dollars efficiently, increase your ROI and fulfill the goals of your strategy.
It may also be beneficial to outsource and invest in a good quality writer as they will also help you achieve the results you are looking for.
Many writers are freelancers, so you only need to invest per article, which is not always cheap but worth the extra dollars. Hiring a bad writer is a waste of money – so choose wisely!
Your Content is Boring
The quality of your content is the most essential part of your content marketing strategy.
If you are promoting terrible content, you will not receive the results you are looking for and it will actually be harmful to your brand. Everyone is being bombarded by content, so it is important you make yours stand out above the crowd.
Here are a few tips to increase the quality of your content and take it from “blah” to “wow”!
- Edit, edit, edit: we can’t stress this enough. Ensure that all of your content is looked at by at least two sets of eyes before being published to ensure that it is grammatically correct and has proper sentence structure. There is noting worse than reading an article and spotting a huge error – this lessens the brand’s integrity and shows the standard of quality they subscribe or don’t subscribe to.
- Produce engaging content: engaging content is new and original content that takes different angles on various aspects of the industry. You can also come up with different themes and topics that are challenging yet interesting to your audience.
- Produce light and easy to read content: there is nothing like reading an article with no subtitles or visuals on a not-so-stimulating topic. Write content in an engaging tone, while staying professional and within brand standards, but give it some personality.
- Add visuals to your content: this will grab your audience’s attention and encourage them to keep reading.
Here are some interesting stats to think about on adding visuals to the content you are producing via HubSpot:
- Researchers found that colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.
- When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.
- Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.
Your ROI is Not Favorably Gaining
In order to successfully execute your strategy, you need to invest an adequate amount of money into the right places, like any other type of advertising. Content marketing is possible to do on a tight budget, but you will see greater results the more money you put in to it.
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to have your following and exposure go viral organically any more, and you must invest in order to see a faster return.
The key is figuring out what parts of your strategy need to be invested in, by spending your marketing dollars smartly.
Continue to revisit your strategy and keep track of what efforts you have the greatest ROI and invest more into them – these areas will vary depending on your industry, brand and the nature of your audience.
You’re Not Promoting Your Content
It’s important to note that creating content is only one half of your content marketing strategy. The other half is how you promote it.
It’s not enough to just publish content; no one will ever see it that way. You must combine your content marketing strategy with your social media strategy in order to get your content exposed.
Here are some efficient ways to effectively promote your content once you have it published:
- Email newsletter.
- Posting on company social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Linkedin. Also, promote internally and encourage employees to share on their personal accounts to extend the reach of your audience.
- Influencer marketing. Get bloggers, notable people and social media influencers to share your content on their channels. This will connect your content with a wider relevant audience.
Your SEO Strategy is Not Aligned with Your Content Marketing Strategy
In short, your SEO and content marketing need to work together to improve the visibility of your website and the content you are publishing.
You’re Not Using the Right Type of Content to Reach Your Audience
There are content types beyond blog posts, and blogging doesn’t necessarily work for all companies. It is important to use multiple types of content to leverage your efforts and reach a wider audience.
Here are a few different types of content you can create:
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- White Papers
- Social media ads
Some of these are more costly than others, but cumulatively retain larger results. Find the best combination of the different types of content that works with your brand, and encourages your target audience to engage with the published content.
You’re Not Posting Consistently
We live in a society that is very in-the-moment, and everyone expects results overnight. Content marketing unfortunately does not work that way, as it takes time to build your audience and create a bank of content.
In order to see results, you must be posting content consistently and evaluate the results of your efforts over a full year.
The more content you publish and promote, the greater the results will be. Ideally, you should build up to posting daily or every other day.
However, this requires a strong team effort with multiple people working to create and publish quality content.
Have you determined why your content marketing plan is letting you down?
Do you have any tips or ideas to add to this discussion?
We look forward to seeing your comments below!