Think Content Marketing Doesn’t Work? Think Again
Think Content Marketing Doesn’t Work? Think Again
As a business owner, you have probably heard about how popular content marketing has become for attracting customers to your website. It is estimated that by 2019, content marketing will be a $300 billion industry. Year-over-year, content marketing budgets are growing and experts forecast that the future will demand more content than ever before. Businesses that don’t invest in it now will be paying for it down the road.
Have you tried to implement these strategies in your own marketing efforts, but been disappointed by the results? You are not alone. Many small businesses have abandoned their content marketing efforts after they fail. However, examining why the strategy failed and making a few corrections can lead to incredible success.
Why Does Content Marketing Fail?
Half-hearted attempts at content marketing don’t yield worthwhile results. As nice as it would be, there’s not a single cure-all for failing strategies. Usually, these tactics don’t work for a combination of reasons. The following are the most significant causes for content marketing efforts that fail.
Using Outdated or Incorrect SEO Tactics
Content marketing and SEO work in tandem with one another. You don’t need to be a Google Adwords certified SEO expert to know the basics, Keyword research, linking, and tagging are just a few simple techniques for improving the SEO quality of your content. Whoever is managing your content marketing efforts should be well-versed in these beginner strategies so you are getting the highest return on investment.
Not Investing Enough
Research indicates that B2B companies spend 31 percent of their marketing budget on content. If you’re not investing in well-crafted content, your audience will not respond to it. You have to give your target audience a reason to click on your blog posts, download your white papers, and view your videos because the content itself is unique, engaging, thoroughly researched, and valuable.
You have to not only invest in high-quality content, but you have to allocate part of your budget to promote it. On many platforms, such as Facebook and Google, it pays to play. Using advanced tools to target your audience with stellar content delivers results when you pay for them.
Content marketing is not an instantaneous fix for low sales numbers. Fractl reports that it takes at least six months to see results from on-site content marketing, and up to one year for off-site efforts. Of course, you’ll see incremental growth after you initially launch a fully-fleshed out content marketing strategy but the results you are looking for take time. Stick with it, and you’ll be happy you did this time next year.
Never Created a Content Marketing Strategy
The most pervasive reason content marketing doesn’t work for a small business is due to the fact that a strategy was never developed. Data from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs shows that 66 percent of the most effective content marketers have a documented content strategy.
You’re a business owner, not a content marketing expert. Developing a successful content strategy may sound like a lot of work to you and you may not have the vaguest idea of where to begin. Fortunately, the process is fairly straightforward.
- Define your business goals. Without a purpose, your content marketing strategy will be aimless. However, defined business goals allow you to know exactly what you are investing in with your marketing efforts. If you want to increase traffic to your website, your content marketing strategy should work to achieve that goal.
- Research buyer personas to define your target audience. Without knowing who you are trying to reach, it will be harder to engage your potential leads. Researching and developing buyers turns a vague audience into actual humans with real needs that your business can meet with its content.
- Perform a content audit. You’d be surprised how much content you have saved on the cloud. Sales emails, copy for other marketing campaigns, research data, and so on. All of this can be transformed into outstanding content that your audience will enjoy consuming.
- Develop a brand story. Who is your brand? Light-hearted and casual or buttoned-up professional? A brand story or persona is the unique voice and personality that you convey to your audience when you share content. If you’re a beer company, your brand story can be fun but if you sell life insurance, your persona should convey reliability and trustworthiness.
- Determine a content creation schedule. Now that you are committing to a content marketing strategy, you have to make a schedule for the process and stick with it. Plan out the next few months, at least, by assigning deadlines for daily social media messaging, weekly blog posts, monthly email newsletters, quarterly webinars, and so on. Once those dates are the calendar, you’ll be more likely to stick with the strategy you’ve put in place. An editorial calendar can be really helpful for this step.
- Get to work. It’s time to start publishing and promoting. Have regular brainstorming sessions with your team so you can consistently deliver informative and useful content. Execute your plan following the schedule you put in place and innovate whenever possible.
Phew. That’s a lot. Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed? We get it. Content marketing is a huge topic! The most important takeaway is that content marketing doesn’t work if you don’t put the work into it. Like many small business owners, you might not have the time to dedicate to this undertaking. Contact Alt Creative now to discuss the right strategy with content marketing experts.