You started your content marketing efforts with great hope. After all, you’ve seen other brands use it to great success. Now, there’s a problem. All the things you hoped for aren’t bearing fruit:
- Increased Traffic
- More Followers
- Email Subscriptions
- Better Social Engagement
- Quality Lead Generation
It’s frustrating enough to tempt you back to more traditional forms of marketing. Don’t give up yet. Most content marketing failures can be contributed to one of eight factors. Sometimes, it’s a combination of these things. Take an honest look at your digital marketing efforts, and see if you recognize any of these.
1. You’re Being Too Impatient
Good content marketing efforts take time. If anyone tells you differently, be wary, especially if they are trying to sell you content marketing services. This is a marathon, not a sprint. There’s also no real finish line. You have to continue creating and curating content, engaging with followers, reaching out to influencers, and changing your approach as needed.
To put things into perspective, it can take 400 blog posts to really see an increase in traffic and inbound leads. So, keep an eye out for progress, but don’t lose hope if you’re just a few months in.
2. You’re Prioritizing Shares Over Leads and Subscriptions
People are becoming much more selective when it comes to sharing social media content. Perhaps they’re wary of cluttering their feeds, or of sharing fake news. In any case, the numbers are way down. According to BuzzSumo’s Content Trend Report of 2018 content sharing is down 50% since 2018.
It’s disheartening to work hard on a post only to see a dismal number of shares. Just keep in mind that lack of sharing doesn’t mean a lack of interest. Instead of focusing on that, work on harnessing the interest you generate and using it for other purposes. Specifically, focus on increasing leads and earning email subscriptions. Leave your share buttons up, but include links to contact forms and subscriptions as well.
3. You Haven’t Found Your Organizational Sherpa
Without support from people up the organization food chain, it’s difficult to make much progress. Unfortunately, even in companies that are forward-thinking, C-level staff swings pretty conservatively when it comes to digital marketing.
As a result, content marketing budgets are often tiny. The necessary staff isn’t there to support the efforts, and the campaigns tend to get cannibalized by other marketing efforts. Then, when progress isn’t made, content marketing is dismissed as being an ineffective trend.
If you haven’t done so, find one open-minded executive to convince. If you can turn them on to the idea of digital marketing, you may just be able to get the resources you need to plan and launch a workable campaign. Even more importantly, they can be the authoritative voice you need to convince others that digital marketing is worthwhile.
4. You Aren’t Putting Enough Out There
Recently, there’s been an emphasis on longer, thoughtful posts that are backed by data. These certainly have value. Still, to keep followers coming back for more, you have to produce relevant content on a consistent basis. If you don’t you’ll tend to fall off of your audience’s radar.
To determine just how often you should be posting consider this. Hubspot looked at B2B companies. The ones that posted 16 or more posts each month got more than 3X the traffic than those that published significantly less often. In B2C, there’s an undeniable correlation between the number of posts and traffic as well.
5. It’s Time to Organize Your Workflow
If you don’t have a well-thought-out workflow, you’re probably going to see some significant productivity issues. Content workflows provide the structure your marketing efforts need. They are used to define roles and responsibilities, set editorial standards, document procedures, and more. Without a well-organized workflow, things can go directionless quickly.
A good workflow ensures that:
- Content is created published and promoted on schedule.
- Any output meets quality standards
- Gaps in productivity are discovered and dealt with quickly
- Content meets the needs of the target audience
- Everyone involved uses a centralized content calendar
6. You’re Working Without a Strategy
Every content marketing effort should begin with a written strategy. That strategy is sure to evolve with time, but it’s imperative to have something in writing. Start by creating an overall content marketing strategy that meshes nicely with your overall marketing strategy. In fact, it can be created as an addendum to your overall marketing strategy.
Then, as you develop campaigns each one should have its own written strategy that is based on your core document. The strategy might include, customer personas, information on digital assets, which social media platforms will get your attention, and the types of content that you’ll be using. It can also define the tools to be used.
7. It’s Your Content
Your ability to run a successful campaign depends on your ability to produce content that people want to read. It should be compelling, accurate, and professionally written. It’s also important that it addresses the needs of your target customers.
If you aren’t in the business of writing, that can be a challenge. How do you meet those standards while still carving out the time you need to do everything else? Fortunately, there are some options that range from outsourcing content creation to outsourcing editing and proofreading. There are also a few content creation tools that can help content you if you are inexperienced or struggling to meet your demands. Here are a few of these: Rewarded Essays, Supreme Dissertations, Flash Essay and Hot Essay Service.
Another issue many businesses face is ensuring that their content is meaningful to international audiences. Fortunately, Is Accurate provides lists of recommended translation services that along with reviews.
8. You Aren’t Touching on Every Part of the Customer Journey
There’s plenty of great advice about addressing multiple customer personas in your content marketing. You should do this, but at the same time don’t forget about the customer journey. Potential customers have different needs depending on where they are in the buying process.
Early stage customers want to get to know you. They want to know if you are a brand they can relate to. They also want to know about your products and services, at a very high level. For these customers, create and share easy to digest content that reflects your values, and gives helpful insights into your business.
For customers that are closer to making a purchase, it’s better to emphasize your products and what they can do. Share tutorial content, demonstration videos, reviews, and tips and tricks.
Content marketing works. If it didn’t, you wouldn’t see so many successful brands engaged in it. If your campaigns aren’t measuring up, don’t lose hope. Just use the list above to identify your problems, and resolve them.
Pauline Farris is a professional Translator with a Masters in Translation Studies. As a native Brazilian Portuguese speaker, she has been working in translations for over eight years for big translation companies. She currently also works as an editor for RatedByStudents and TopWritersReview where she helps people make their best out of their essays.