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10 Reasons your content isn’t sparking – Part I

Content marketing isn’t just about entertaining blog posts. Implement your content marketing well, and you’ll not only effectively increase user engagement, but you’ll also increase your profits. But whether it’s images, graphics, video or text – there’s always room for improvement. If your recent successes are lying a bit thin on the ground, the cause might well be one of the following reasons.

1. Your content is too promotional

Your boss might think your company should be central to your content (or universe). Your customers don’t. Your potential customers certainly don’t. Remember that content marketing is not the same as advertising.

Your content’s main aim is to make your company visible. With increased visibility comes a more significant interest in your company, more traffic and finally, more conversions. Following this route successfully can be done by going through the customer journey. Make sure you see what your customers see and use this to guide your strategy.

Rather than concentrating exclusively on your company or products, try and come up with solutions for your target audience. Don’t just present your product – make sure your customers realise their need for it subtly. Instead of advertising DIY tools, for example, create a How-To guide for simple household tasks. Remember that by presenting useful, relevant information, you’re displaying your expertise and promoting your company as a competent partner.

2. You publish too little

Research conducted by HubSpot has indicated that more frequent publishing leads to more leads per month. The ideal number of entries to publish depends heavily on the size of the company and the industry sector. Based on the responses from 13,500 participants, it’s fair to believe that 6 entries per month will lead to significant growth in leads.

This increase in traffic and leads won’t come overnight. A degree of continuity is involved, and it’s important not to forget that the effects of short-term methods ebb away pretty quickly. As a rule of thumb, you’ll have to publish content regularly over a period of 3-6 months before you can measure any real success.

How much content you actually publish depends on your goals, the nature of your content as well as the channels you use to publish and publicise your work. Social Media platforms, for example, lend themselves to frequent publications. Press Releases, in contrast, should only really be published when you have important news to share. To make sure you get the rate of publication right, it’s useful to create a content calendar.

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3. You’ve got the wrong strategy

Content marketing is one area where trial and error simply won’t work. Before you even start publishing, make sure you’ve got a fully functioning strategy. Set out the goals you want to achieve with your content. Studies have shown that it’s not enough simply to have a content strategy – writing it down in some form or another is a great factor in its success. Checking how far away you are from achieving your goals will inevitably also help you to adapt your strategy, too.

4. You don’t learn from your content

This brings us to our next point…

Content marketers test, analyse and optimise their work  Monitoring your content regularly with tools like Google Analytics will give you a greater idea about who is reading your content and where they heard about you  The bounce rate is a good indicator of how long users are engaged with your content  Depending on the type of content, too, you can use download stats, newsletter sign-ups or the number of comments as KPIs instead. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the social media side of things, too. What are your users saying about your company or products? What are they saying about the competition? Use these points to guide your strategy.

5. You’re not clearly connected to your content

Can you remember the hype surrounding the crazy chicken game? Turns out, the game was created by the whisky maker, Johnnie Walker.

Even though the game was a real hit, the impact on the creator was somewhat less impressive. The lesson learned: make sure your users know your content is from you! Your users have to connect your brand with your content; otherwise, there’s no way it’ll be effective. Here, a little branding comes into play – keep your logo visible on any ebooks and videos you produce, for example.

Tune in next time for the second in our two-parter series, where we’ll show you where the technical and distribution side of things might be dampening that spark in your content.

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