You produced your static pages, posted your blog articles, and threw a few videos up on YouTube for good measure—you might even be one of the lucky few with a viral hit. Unfortunately, the expected returns aren’t coming in; sure there’s some new traffic to your site, but you haven’t been getting any extra customers. What have you done wrong? Why is your content failing?
In truth, you may have fallen prey to a common myth about Internet content. The idea of “if you build it, they will come” is a trap that is easy to fall into–and one you need to get out of in order to make your content marketing strategies succeed. Content does not immediately turn readers into consumers; instead, it fosters awareness of your brand and gives you a little niche in their mind. Over weeks or months, as they continue to view your content, those readers will eventually find themselves in a position to want your kind of product or service and will know exactly where to turn.
What separates the content marketing failures from the successes is the ability to foster this form of continual reading and awareness. Unfortunately, there are a number of mistakes that can compromise this ability and leave your message unheard. Take a look at some of the more common reasons content marketing falls flat and compare them to your own approach.
1. You’ve Made Content Without a Community
A strong community is what gives content reach and helps it extend across the Internet. A content marketing strategy will never succeed if it fails to recognize and foster the right community connections. Look at what online groups exist among your targeted audience. Find out what the community is passionate about, what strong beliefs they have, or what arguments get people fired up. Community-targeted content will cater to these feelings and make those who cite or link it appear intelligent and informed; this will make your own brand appear more authoritative and reliable. By enabling the community to champion your content, you empower them in a way that helps cement the presence of your brand.
2. You’ve Done Creation Without Amplification
The reason the “if you build it, they will come” belief will lead to failure is because it doesn’t take into account the need to amplify the message behind your content marketing. A successful strategy will look at how to best amplify your message and have it reach the right people. Examine successes in your niche or field and look at how their content is spread and shared, as well as take a peek at any comments on their articles and see what kinds of questions their readers ask: are there any aspects the readers see as unaddressed? Any questions left unanswered? These are all gaps that your content can step in and fill.
3. You Don’t Promote Your Content
This is similar to amplification but focuses more on what happens after your content is created. Even the best, most well-targeted content marketing will fail if it isn’t promoted properly; after all, your audience can’t consume what they don’t know exists. While too much chest thumping is to be discouraged, there is nothing wrong with letting people know something new is available. Promoting your content can be both small things, like alerting your mailing list or sharing on Facebook and Twitter, or larger steps, like getting the backing of an Internet celebrity or influence-leader.
4. Lack of Focus on SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is not just page rankings. It is also about understanding the mindset of people who are actively searching for your service or product. When on social media, people are more akin to browsers in a mall; they’ll look at an interesting bit of content that catches their eye, but they lack an active desire to commit. When someone searches on Google, however, they are in a mindset that is ready to take action. This is something your content marketing strategy needs to be prepared for and able to capitalize on. Learn what terms people search the most and incorporate them into your content.
5. You Gave Up Too Soon
Successful content marketing is not a straight line from content creation to consumer purchase. Even products or companies that appear at first glance to be overnight successes actually have a long, winding path behind them, as well as a great deal of patience. You won’t see immediate returns from a single post and getting to the top of Google’s listings takes time as well. Your content needs time to ripen and be processed, maintained as a steady stream for people to take notice of. Recognizing when you need to change tacks is important, but being hasty can cause you to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
6. You Lack a Strong Strategy
Your business may have a lot to offer, but you can’t stretch yourself thin. A successful content marketing strategy is focused and precise. You have a specific message for a specific audience in a specific community to make them think about a specific service or product. You need to look at what you’re doing and how it can stand out against your competitors. There is a time and a place for throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks, but afterwards, you need to turn those findings into a coherent and focused strategy in order to stay strong in the long term.
7. Your Content is Dull and Boring
No one likes reading obtuse, meandering, jargon-riddled material. It doesn’t matter if your content is the greatest thing ever if reading it is an exercise in tedium and suffering. Even if you have a very technical topic or want to appear authoritative, it is possible to deliver your message without bogging things down.
When aiming to facilitate consumer attentions, it is integral to maintain clarity of consciousness that refrains from obfuscating the underlying message. In doing so, you will advance the positive leveraging of your brand without compromising the integrity of your market image or position.
Numero Uno Web Solutions is a provider of SEO and content marketing solutions for businesses of all sizes and across all industries. We use the latest research and techniques to advance your brand in the most effective and noticeable ways possible. Click here to learn more about how we can help.