Content marketing consists of not only creating the content, but constantly analyzing and optimizing the content as need. It’s a reliable and cost-effective way to generate leads you can nurture and eventually close. However, what happens when your content is struggling to prove ROI? Exactly. You don’t get leads and you miss out on potential sales. Take a look at these 4 reasons you aren’t seeing ROI from your content.
1) You aren’t taking your buyer personas into account
If you do not use the language your ideal customers use to ask questions or describe problems, then chances are your content is not providing the right answers to your target audience. You can create content all day long, but don’t expect much of any (quality) results if your content isn’t made with your buyer personas in mind.
Solution: Develop and use your buyer personas
By stepping in the shoes of your target customer, you will be able to create content targeted around their needs. A well-developed buyer persona will give you questions to answer, topics to explore, and even the best format to publish it in (ebook, whitepaper, blogs, etc.).
2) Your content is not a priority
Content marketing isn’t something you can just set and forget. Sure, once PUBLISHED your blog posts, webinars, whitepapers, etc. will work for you until you take them down, but what happens when your audience doesn’t know when to expect to hear from you next? When you publish blogs or post on social intermittently you bore search engines and confuse your audience.
Solution: Establish an editorial calendar
An editorial calendar will help you in two ways: It will help you think of topics to create content around, and it will keep you accountable to a publishing schedule. To begin, develop your calendar with topics your buyer personas care about.
Next, choose a publishing frequency and stick to it. Keep in mind that it is better to under promise and over deliver. How much you post is important, but consistency trumps frequency every time, and you can always publish more content as time permits.
3) You only offer branded content
We all love talking about ourselves. After all, who knows me and loves me more than me? However, no one likes being in a conversation with someone who can’t stop talking about themselves. The same rule applies to your content marketing. If you’re only pushing out branded content, you’re the person that’s always talking about themselves.
Everyone has a story to tell, but there is a time and place to tell it. When a potential customer learns of your business by searching for an answer to their question, they want the answer they came for before they begin to entertain the solution you offer. Content that disrupts a user or looks more like a way to sell than a way to engage is less attractive to today’s plugged-in consumers. When content educates or is presented at a natural point in the conversation, people are more likely to see your company as a trusted advisor.
Solution: Develop educational content
Going back to our first point about incorporating our buyer personas into our content, to develop educational content you will need to have your buyer personas in mind. What kind of questions do they have? What kind of tips and tricks would they be interested in learning? Educational content not only draws in leads for you to nurture, it also helps establish your company as a thought leader in your industry. Best of all, educational content can still support your brand through complementary color schemes and appropriately places logos.
4) Your content lacks context
Format, buyer’s journey and time define the context of your content. It doesn’t make sense to ask first-time blog visitors to “schedule a free demo” just like it doesn’t make sense to send a slide deck to someone who uses podcasts on their daily commute to absorb information. Context is key to the success of your content.
Solution: Use your buyer personas
It’s obvious that a lot of common problems with content can all be addressed with developing and using your buyer personas, and context is not the exception. For your content to thrive you need to take into account:
- The format (ebook, whitepaper, etc) that your readers prefer
- Your readers’ location in the buyer’s journey
- When you will be pushing out the content and for how long
All of these issues are easy to address once you have developed your buyer personas.
Hopefully, these 4 reasons will help you identify holes in your content marketing so you can begin to improve your results. However, content marketing is only one part of the many aspects of inbound marketing. Check out our ebook to get a more wholistic view of inbound marketing.
2017 Marketing and Editorial Calendar
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