Content marketing fails because of a lack of planning and follow-through. This form of marketing involves creating and sharing material online, whether that’s a blog, video, infographic or other type of content. It succeeds when the content creator is able to get their work in front of the right audience and encourage them to perform a certain action. In order to reach that point, you need to have thoroughly researched your target audience, discovered their challenges and where they turn for help, and provided useful answers. To achieve success time and time again, you need to be measuring what works and what doesn’t. If you have neither the time or ability to produce your own content, you might benefit from our copywriting service.
Choosing titles without a strategy behind them
Content marketing requires more than simply writing what you know about. It’s not just normal blogging where you pick a title out of thin air and let the words flow. Greater thought and strategy needs to go into producing content that you audience actually wants to read, and in a format that they enjoy. You will need to actively research exactly which questions your audience are asking, what their problems are, their pain points. Any content you produce should then look to answer these questions and provide value to the client. You want them to leave your site feeling satisfied and like they have all the answers they need.
Google rewards sites that regularly upload fresh, high quality content. With that in mind, we recommend that you create a content calendar for a minimum of 3 months ahead of your schedule to help you with consistency. This should note upcoming titles, the form the content will take, who it’s targeted at and who is responsible for not only creating it but also distributing and measuring its success (more on those below!).
2. Distributing content in the wrong places or failing to distribute at all
Congratulations! You’ve produced an incredibly useful and valuable piece of content that answers all your audience’s questions on a topic. Job done, right? Wrong. By only uploading your content to your website’s blog and not mentioning it anywhere else, people are only going to find it through organic search. Put simply, this means that the only individuals who will view your content will be those who have actively searched for it online or happen to be browsing your site.
It can be easy to forget the many different ways that people discover information online, whether that be through a link someone has shared, paid adverts or an organic search. For your content to be as successful as it can be, you need to understand where your target audience prefers to find their information online. It’s easy to say that you’ll post all your content on social media but have you truly considered which social media platform is most suitable for your audience and format of content? For example, you are unlikely to find much of a teenage audience on LinkedIn and your content will require an excellent visual component to make a splash on Instagram.
For a long time, email marketing was the favourite method of content distribution and it certainly still has its merits, particularly for e-commerce clients who can capture emails through sales. However, you need to double check that all your email marketing efforts remain compliant with GDPR.
3. Failing to measure success
Every content marketing strategy needs goals. Without them, you have no motivation or impetus to ensure that you’re constantly trying to improve the quality and reach of your content. You want to know that the time and money you’re investing is paying off and driving revenue to the business.
In order to make the necessary refinements, you need to gather as much information as possible about how users are interacting with your content. Google Analytics and social media interaction reports will be able to provide the bulk of this information. At first, the amount of data available to you might seem overwhelming so focus on answering the following questions:
Are the people looking at and engaging with your content the audience that you were looking to target? If not, it could be that the way that you have written it could be improved, , you’re answering the wrong problem, or promoting it on the wrong platform.How long do users spend viewing your content? If Google Analytics shows that the bounce rate is high, it is a strong indication that your content isn’t what people were expecting when they clicked through from a link, or it is simply failing to engage them in those crucial first few seconds. To lower the bounce rate, you either need to change your title to more accurately reflect the message of the content or, make the format or opening more impactful in order to keep people’s attention.
Do they engage with your content? Ideally, you want your audience to share your content with others to help boost brand awareness, or alternatively signal their interest in your product/service by completing an action onsite. For example, they might choose to sign up to your email newsletter, download an ebook or fill out a quote request form.
Do your readers/viewers come back for more? An excellent sign that someone has identified you as a trusted source of information is if they return to your site to re-read your content or explore a new topic. This can be a really key metric for some organisation’s looking to build their brand awareness or authority within a certain sector. Google Analytics is a perfect tool to help you analysis this and see where you can improve.
At Ultimate, we recommend that you investigate the status of your content on a regular basis in case you need to react promptly to something. You might notice that a particular piece of content is performing particularly well and so wish to promote it further, using PPC or paid social media advertising. Over time you will begin to identify patterns and trends within your content from which you can draw conclusions about what style of content performs best, where it should be distributed and when. This is all vital information that can be fed into the planning and creation of content in future months.