Is your business already using Content Marketing?
If you have a blog, a Facebook page or a list of subscribers that you send e-newsletters to, you absolutely are!
Maybe you just haven’t defined it as content marketing, and perhaps you’re not seeing the results you deserve for the time and effort you put in to publishing posts or sending newsletters.
Despite the overuse of the term, “Content” does remain “King”; that said, I often find that new clients will say… “We blog but nobody visits our website”; or even worse they don’t know how many people are visiting their website. Sometimes they find they’re sending newsletters and nobody opens them… So why is that?
Well sometimes, they’re new at the game, and it’s fair to say that content marketing is no quick fix to falling sales or low conversions, like all good things, it takes time… It takes time to build credibility, trust and an audience that you can convert to customers further down the track.
However, all too often I see businesses making common content marketing mistakes, that are never going to engage their audience, let alone see them coming back for more! So today I thought I would share the top 5 with you.
- They haven’t yet learned the “Art of Not Selling” – It’s so important in the age of digital information overload to stop selling and start helping. This freaks out traditional sales people and marketers who often wonder how on earth can they make a living from helping? Take a look at Jay Baer’s “Youtility” to find out more about how smart content marketing is about help not hype. I write a blog post every week that I know offers free information around services that I sell as part of my business; but I haven’t seen a drop in income or sales. Instead, I’ve seen an increase in the number of people that trust my brand, read my posts and talk about what I’m saying and doing… Resulting in more inquiries, and new clients.
If content reads like an advertisement or a promotional post, it will turn an audience away. Some years ago, I began working with a retail client; prior to my engagement every Facebook post they made began… “New in store…” When I asked them whether they greeted customers at their physical store with “Look at this, it’s new, buy it!” they were horrified that I could even think such a thing. A business’ online presence and behaviour should mirror their exacting standards of offline customer service and engagement.
- They don’t optimise their content marketing for search engines – I’m not talking about stuffing a post full of keywords and links, those days are thankfully gone… When I write a blog post it is written with you, my audience, in mind. How can I help you? What questions can I answer? However, as well as capturing your attention, I need to capture Google’s; so after I’ve written my blog post and I know the content fulfills its purpose in helping you, I’ll go back and tweak it so that Google loves it too!
- They don’t use all channels available to them – A single Facebook post does not make a content marketing message… Businesses must have an integrated content marketing strategy across all channels. Social, web or blog content and email marketing all have to work together. A business cannot have a successful blog without a robust presence in the social media space; and vice versa. You may find this previous blog post I wrote useful in understanding the concept of reusing and re-purposing content.
- They neglect their headline – Whether you’re drafting a Facebook ad, a blog post or a newsletter the headline counts. What will ensure your audience wants to read further? What’s in it for them? What are they going to learn from reading your content? We are time poor, and it takes just seconds for us to decide whether we will click your link or skim over it. Compelling headlines can sometimes start with “Discover…”, “Tips to…” or “Your guide to…”. List headlines are everywhere, why? Because they work, a recent study by by Fractl and Buzzfeed over 6 months and 220,000 articles, looked at 5 different types of content and “listicles” performed best.
- They don’t create regular content – Companies that commit to regularly publishing quality content reap the biggest rewards from website traffic and leads. If you commit to a content marketing timetable and stick to it, your audience knows when to expect your content, and will look for it, rely on it and share it. Consistent fresh content also makes Google love you more, it’s a win win situation!
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