Chances are someone has told you that you need to start investing content marketing. So here you are, you’ve launched your first campaign, and you aren’t seeing the results you’d imagined. Here are a few key places to start and evaluate, you might think every aspect of your campaign is optimized but under further consideration it’s easy to identify key elements that are holding you back.
You Forgot to Promote It
There is really no excuse here. Even publications with millions of followers are always looking for ways to get their content in front of new users. If you have a strong social presence or are trying to build one, content is a great way to provide value and start the conversation with your followers. Instead of pushing promotion after promotion that drives users straight to an offer on your site, give something back and position yourself as a leader, or, at least, contributor, in the space.
When it comes to deciding which promotion strategy is best, there is no one answer. The best place to start is with your target audience, what is the best place to reach them? Is it through native advertising? Facebook? LinkedIn? Also, consider the fact that when people are browsing through their Facebook feed, they want to consume content, not ads.
We often find that even when we are offering a promotion along with an interactive piece of content, such as a quiz, that the mention of the offer drives our CPC way up. This wasn’t what we initially anticipated, but that is the kind of insight the power of testing brings to light.
In order to have a clear picture of what works best and how you can leverage the wins, you have to test a number of content formats and frameworks in addition to testing the promotion strategy as well. Is this a lot of testing? Yes. Do you need to do it in order to get the data needed to iterate your strategy? Yes. A lot of people talk about being data-driven but if you’re only relying on other people’s data and insights (which is a good place to start) you’re leaving a lot of cards on the table.
Your Content Isn’t Share-Worthy
While you can’t depend on organic engagement and shares to carry your overall strategy, the main goal is to create content that people find valuable enough to share with their online community. What makes your content valuable? It depends. If it’s meant to be funny and entertaining—it better be really funny and entertaining. If the goal is to bring something to the table and establish yourself as a thought leader, offer actionable insights that people can start applying the second they finish your piece.
When they feel like the insights are there and they you are giving away the secret sauce, they are more likely to share it. This is for a number of reasons, some of which are more obvious than others. First of all, they’re generous; they want to share the helpful information they gained with their online community. Second, they believe that what you are saying is on the cutting edge and want to be associated with the message and overall brand.
A lot of people out there are looking to build their brand, be active within their community, and encourage others. If your content consistently resonates with them, you will find them in your sweet spot as they become brand advocators, well for your blog at least. And if you’re tying it all together for them they’ll hopefully soon be vouching for your product or service.
Crafting Value-Driven Content
If you feel like this is where your content suffers it’s time to diversify your strategy and make providing value to your audience a prerequisite for every post. What if you have nothing unique to contribute? First of all, I’m sure that’s not true. But if you’re feeling like you’re putting out subpar content compared to your competitors there are a few ways to get creative.
One easy fix is to start creating “best of the web” and curated posts where you pull in the highest quality resources from around the web and add in some actionable steps and insight into each piece. In these posts, a good tactic is to pull from influencers you want to build relationships with and reach out to let them know you enjoy their work and that you’ve featured them. This is also a great way to build up the domain authority of your site as healthy links from reputable sites help to increase the amount of trust and “authority” your site has in Google’s eyes.
It’s Been a Month
You’ve probably read that content marketing takes time. And maybe you thought it might be different for you, I wish it was! The fact of the matter is that it truly does take a while to build up a strong following and start driving organic traffic to your posts (that’s when the real magic happens). One key reason is that you have to build up a good amount of valuable content and resources for followers to develop a relationship with your brand.
With a highly targeted promotion strategy in place and content that helps or entertains people you are well on your way to building a healthy following. Consistency is key here and without a steady stream of content the entire strategy will fall flat on its face.
Give it time and track each piece of content, measure how you are ranking SEO-wise, and recognize that with a strong keyword research strategy and promotional support in place you can work towards building a good amount of organic traffic.
Take these three things into account as you begin revamping your content marketing strategy and feel confident knowing that you are laying a strong foundation for the road ahead.