Content marketing is not only about providing quality contents but also converting your text, pictures, infographics, and videos into the lead for sales generation. If you publish just for the sake of SEO and keyword targeting, you are more likely to discover that your content isn’t meeting your marketing objectives.
There are lot more reasons which bar your content from performing to the expected level. We have heard for the thousand times -’Content is King’ and that is true. Content sits at the center of every marketing strategy. When it fails to serve the purpose, you see a direct impact on the aspects of inbound marketing, which includes SEO, social media marketing, website branding and much more.
So, are you among those content marketers who are not able to meet the marketing objectives with their contents? Or simply, do you have an idea why your content is not performing?
Stay tuned, because I have compiled a list of 7 solid reasons for why your content is not performing. It will help you to prepare a solid content marketing strategy that performs well and gains conversion. So, let’s hope in and understand.
1. You don’t have a documented Content marketing strategy-
According to Content Marketing Institute (CMI), “88% of marketers currently use content marketing as part of their marketing strategy, yet only 32% have a documented content marketing strategy” – source
This is really sad to notice and not a good start to lean on. It’s good that 88 % of marketer believes in content marketing, but hardly 32 % of them seem to be serious about a documented plan.
There are numerous excuses for why a documented content marketing strategy is not adopted by many marketers.
- Marketers are so quick to go “do” something that they neglect documentation and consider as a ‘not a priority’.
- They think it’s not important so, don’t have time for that.
Well, the go “do” something is not what you should lean on in content marketing. You have to know what you are doing and what you would be doing. In order to master the content marketing, the first step should be preparing a plan and then document it.
Through a well-planned documentation, you can always have a track of what you have been doing and what you need to do from now. It’s wrong to think that documenting is an optional requirement and you don’t have enough time to do that. There is always time for what that is important, and documenting your content marketing strategy is important. You have to find the time for it and wrap up in the very beginning itself.
If you still don’t have a documented strategy, you are contributing to the poor performance by default.
2. You don’t care about meeting with your team regularly-
Before we start with this point, it would be wise to refer this stat:
“61% of the most effective B2B content marketers meet with their content team daily or weekly”- source
Content marketing is not a one man army game. There is always a team involved in different activities. An uncoordinated team with no one knowing what to do next is what that bars your content from performing.
Even if you don’t have a dedicated team, still there are people involved in it. It’s so important for everyone from the team to understand their roles and responsibilities and perform accordingly. By carrying out regular team meetings, you can ensure everyone is well informed and know their responsibilities.
When everyone knows their responsibilities, they give their best in doing their job and get the things done. Moreover, through the regular meetings, you can also ensure that your team stays updated with the latest trends and opportunities. A simple guidance from a leader would move things in order.
What can you cover in your meetings?
That depends on your needs and objectives with the content marketing. For now, I can enlist some examples like the following topics to discuss:
- How many new contents were created since the last meeting?
- Are they performing well? If yes or no- why?
- What is the status of content amplification through social media?
- What our competitors are writing these days? How can we do better?
- Has anyone to suggest any trending topic to write upon?
- What type of content would we be publishing this week? Which keywords are being targeted?
3. You haven’t decided the business objective for your content-
If you are publishing just for the sake of publishing, you are going to fail nine out of ten times. When you don’t have an idea of why you are writing a particular content and what benefits it is going to give to your business and the readers, you are writing an already failed content.
When the Content Marketing Institute carried a survey on B2B marketers they found that “85% of B2B marketers say lead generation will be their most important content marketing goal in 2016. Sales will be their second priority.”
That was in 2016 itself, where 85% of marketers knew some of their business objectives- Lead generation and sales generation. Whether you are writing for lead generation, brand awareness, customer retention, or for all of them, you need to stay clear and focused while writing. Write your business objectives somewhere and do consider to tally them while planning your content.
While creating the draft of your content, always be sure to check if these business objectives are included or not. If not, consider reworking on it or write something else that corresponds with your business goals.
4.You don’t have an idea of which performance metrics to track-
When you talk about the performance of your car during the previous year, you refer to certain base on which you decide the performance. You may say it gave a mileage of 10 Km/L, or I have spent $ 1000 on servicing of the car last year. The mileage and the expense on the servicing are the metrics here.
On the same line, when you post a content on your web blog, you want to know how it is performing. If you don’t have an idea of the base that you would use to measure the performance, you fail to do two things- fail to boost the performance, and fail to identify the key issues, if there.
Once you have a defined business goal as per the previous point, your next job is to know how would you track the performance. You can’t measure your content performance using a single metric, you have to track on multiple grounds.
The possible metrics for tracking the content performance may include the following metrics:
- Content consumption metrics to find how many people have viewed the content- Page views, CTA conversion, page visits can be used to measure the consumption metrics.
- Content sharing metrics to find out how it is performing on the social media such as retweets, likes, shares, etc.
- Lead generation metrics to find out how many readers are actually following your business objective such as newsletter subscription, event registration, quote submission, PDF download etc.
- Sales metrics to find out how many readers are actually converting to final sales and conversions.
Google Analytics is undoubtedly the best tool to track such content performance metrics and providing deeper insight. However, you can also use various other analytic tools like heatmap tracking on your contents to have a clear understanding of how exactly readers are reacting.
Not knowing the performance metrics that you should track would guide you to a trapped situation where you will lose the control on your content and never understand ‘why it failed’.
5. You are creating for your company; not the users-
It doesn’t matter if your content has a value proposition and you have included million dollars valuable information in it. Your target customers/readers/audience won’t consume it unless it is relevant to them. If you are writing for the sake of finishing your daily work plan, you are already into creating a failed content.
Before you start writing, understand what information your target readers want or need and provide that information in your content.
How to do that?
It’s simple, decide your target population by focusing on a narrow niche and specific demographic. Stay updated with their needs and requirements that your business can fulfill. You can leverage social media, blogs, forums etc to identify the personas.
Carry out some market research, survey or a casual interview with your target audience and discover what they actually want or need. Google trends is also a great place to discover trending topics.
After knowing your audience, you will have a better insight and you would know what to do next.
6. You don’t have a content amplification strategy-
Oh! It’s so easy to do content marketing now. Follow the above points and post a content and wait for the traffic to pour in and convert. Sounds familiar?
I pray if content marketing was all done after posting a content, but it’s not that easy. Creating and posting your content is just the one-half of the picture. The other half demands you to promote it.
Doesn’t matter if you have written the best piece of content ever, no one will read it if they don’t see it. By not having a content promotion plan, you are pushing your content among millions of others on the internet. This is where content amplification, the other half, come into the play.
“94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn as part of their content strategy. Other popular platforms include Twitter (87%), Facebook (84%), YouTube (74%) and Google+ (62%)”- Content Marketing Institute.
If you don’t want your content to get lost in the giant heap of the useless contents, promote it. Amplify it’s visibility so that more and more people can see it and thus read it.
How to do that?
That’s not simple but not that cu-cumbersome too. You can use the similar strategies like these:
- Tweet it and retweet it for few days
- Share it on Facebook
- Post on Google plus
- Share on Linked-In
- Send your posted link to the sites which do social bookmarking
- Add internal links from other contents
- Interlink it with other contents on your site
- Mention about content while commenting on forums and other blogs
- Share a link on Reddit
- Include click-to-tweet option while posting and so on.
7. You are not writing SEO friendly contents-
SEO and content marketing are hardly separable. They are so linked with each other that sometimes it is hard to differentiate. If your content is not optimized for search engines, it is surely going to fail. No SEO means no visibility on the search engines.
While it’s important to consider the SEO of your content, it more important to avoid the black hat SEO techniques. Keyword stuffing, duplicate content, bad links etc are some mistakes that you should avoid.
Stick to the white hat SEO and write the meta tags, meta descriptions correctly. Using organic methods to promote your content and you can gain the best visibility. Black hat techniques would surely ruin everything at some point in time so, stay away.
Ask these questions to yourself:
- Are you using keyword research tools like Google keyword planner?
- Does your blogging platform have an SEO plugin like Yoast WordPress SEO plugin?
- Are you considering the keyword density while writing?
- Are you interlinking your contents?
- Are you linking from outside wherever necessary?
- Are you bookmarking your newly posted contents?
Well if you are doing these, you are on a right path. If not, you should consider adopting these methods, or it would be no surprise if your content fails to perform. Just keep in mind that search engines like Google are really smart. With so many updates and added new algorithms the relevancy of their SERPs has improved a lot. So, stick to high-quality SEO content marketing and never try to fool them.
Hemant is Digital Marketer and he has 3 + years experience in SEO, Content marketing etc.