When a patient is on life support, the options are typically to hope a miracle comes or to pull the plug. What do you do as a small business owner when your content marketing program is in a similar position? Do you hope for a miracle, try something different or decide to hit the kill switch?
It should not come as a surprise that many CEOs and marketing directors have had to confront this problem in the past or may be doing just that as we speak. It is also safe to say that many of them are holding out hope that their content marketing efforts can in fact be resuscitated, without even understanding why they aren’t working.
If you have found this to be the case in your office, why do you think that your content marketing efforts are off course?
There is a high probability that you think your content is really great and eye-catching, which makes the problem all the more baffling. Well, that can be one of– if not the biggest– problems right there. Having too high an opinion of your own content can doom you from the start.
In order to get your content marketing off life support and again assisting you in achieving a better return on investment (ROI) for your business, keep the following in mind as to what may be hurting your efforts:
- You want people talking, but they aren’t. Let’s assume for a minute that you are using your company blog to help drive traffic to your business. One of the biggest problems, however, is that your blog content is generating little or no interest. In turn, you receive very few comments with your posts. The bottom line is that people are not talking about what you have to say online, meaning there is no buzz about your company, your products and/or services, and your ability to stand out as an authority in your respective industry. No discussion means no recognition.
- You sport a high bounce rate. Let’s assume also that you are keeping metrics regarding your site and the amount of traffic that is coming to it. Now let’s also figure on the fact that you are seeing a high bounce rate on the site. While you may be getting a decent volume of traffic, the problem is that they are coming and going faster than a summer thunder storm. Your goal once you get someone to your site is to keep them there so that they peruse what you have to offer them. High bounce rates signal a problem in messaging– either visitors don’t see what they expect to when they show up, or they really don’t like what they see. You need to learn how to talk to them directly with succinct message and a “hook.”
- You don’t explain how you will help someone. Your content marketing can be grammatically precise and flow smoothly, but what is your message? Consumers in today’s day and age have many options at their fingertips, so your message needs to stand out to them. Is your business offering something they can get readily elsewhere, or are you seen as head and shoulders above the competition? If your business is seen as a commodity, your content is not communicating your unique value, expertise, professionalism or credibility. Trying to sell every visitor is different than sharing ideas that make you the obvious choice. Be the obvious choice.
- You fail to write and market your content regularly. While all companies would like to have the problem of having too many customers and not enough time in the day to get all their work done, the reality is many businesses are searching for more customers. In turn, you need to crank out solid marketing content on a regular basis, not when you’re in the mood to. One of the biggest turnoffs for visitors coming to your site is if the content is stale, meaning you are not up to speed with what is going on. On the flip side, any content you are sending out should be fresh, too. Given that many consumers want today’s information yesterday, you owe it yourself and your business to be fresh with consumers.
- Your content flat out stinks. Remember a little earlier in this piece when we mentioned that you probably hold a high opinion of your company’s marketing content? If truth be told, your content probably falls more along the average to satisfactory levels. While you may not think the content is that bad, someone else besides those coming to your site may think so. Keep in mind after the most updated algorithm change that search engine giant Google noted that it now pays closer attention to a site’s quality of content. If your content isn’t cutting it, it isn’t just the potential customer that may be thinking that.
- You do not properly utilize keywords. Keywords play a key role in helping to bring traffic to your site. Without the proper keywords in place, consumers have a harder time being drawn to your site when you post a blog or other form of content. Your keywords need to be relevant your business and your prospects’ needs. Along with seeing what your competition is using, utilize a keyword tool program that shows you which terms resonate with the public in order to bring better, more profitable visitors to your site. Bringing more visitors doesn’t always help you, if they aren’t the prospects you need.
- You don’t engage in social media. Those businesses that fail to engage in social media are not doing themselves any favors. Content comes to life in social media. By promoting and marketing your content on venues like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and other social channels, you are engaging with potential customers each and every time, building better engagement and credibility. If you are reluctant to use social media because you or your company heads think it is a fad, think again.
Using content marketing to bolster your brand and reach new prospects is by no means rocket science. It is does, however, take the right amount of thought, time and effort in order to keep your content (and your business) off of life support.