You have probably heard hundreds of times that content is king and that content marketing is the most powerful and stably efficient approach to promotion in the age of constantly changing Google algorithms. And this constant nagging has its results: according to The Manifest, a well-known online business guide, 53 percent of businesses spend time and money on this type of promotion.
Unfortunately, a huge portion of these resources could have been spent better, by their own admission only 5 percent of B2B marketers rate the effectiveness of their content-based strategies as “very high”. However, this happens not because of innate problems of this approach, but due to poor choices of strategies and their realization – and in this post, we will touch upon some of the things you may be doing wrong.
You don’t have a strategy to begin with
First of all, even a bad marketing strategy is better than no strategy at all. If you’ve just started a company blog, hired a writer to churn out 3 posts a week, and believe it is enough to improve your brand awareness, you are very much mistaken. You are putting money in it, and just like with any other investment, you have to first understand what you are doing and only then take action. Creating a strategy for the first time may look intimidating, but it shouldn’t be. Start with studying the activities of your currently successful competitors and try imitating what they are doing: what kind of content they create, where they share it, how often they post, etc.
Your customers feel exposed to your marketing strategy
The difference between a successful and unsuccessful strategy is that customers targeted by the former don’t feel exposed to marketing efforts. When people feel you are trying to sell something to them, they naturally bristle up and take everything you say with a grain of salt. This is exactly why traditional marketing efforts fail so much these days – customers are too jaded and habituated to normal marketing efforts to be impressed by them.
The way out is to place customers at the center of your universe. Offer solutions to their problems, provide valuable information free of charge, entertain them, and they will naturally drift towards buying from you.
You don’t use various types of content
If you firmly stick to a single content type, you effectively refuse to reach out to all the potential customers who aren’t interested in it. Instead you should make a complex effort encompassing many different media: you should promote across blogs and social media using everything you’ve got: text, video, images, infographics, audio, case studies, e-books, etc. Of course, you are unlikely to have relevant specialists in all these fields on your team, but you can easily find them online. For example, guest posting can be highly effective, but doing it on your own means manually looking for relevant blogs that would agree to work with you and writing posts for them to publish – or you may simply check out LuckyPosting for their guest post services. The same goes for most other content types.
You only create content for the top of the sales funnel
One of the most common mistakes marketers make is the perception of content marketing as something that is to be used only to lure in new customers, to increase brand awareness. While it is an important task, and there cannot be two opinions about it, it is far from all you have to do. You should create content tailored for the customers who are currently at each step of their buyer’s journey, so that you lead them up to a sale naturally.
You are impatient
When done right, content marketing shows some very impressive results – but it won’t bring them overnight. The usual rule of the thumb is to give your strategy at least 6 months before making conclusions about its viability – otherwise you may call it quits just before reaching a milestone you’ve been expecting.
Content plays an incredibly important part in any marketing strategy today, and its importance is only going to grow as time goes on. So make sure you understand how to work it before you make your first steps in this direction.