It’s a common complaint, “I don’t know what to post”; “Webinars are a lot of work and a waste of time”; “no one is watching my videos” and so on.
We’ve been told that content is king and inbound marketing is the way to go. We’ve been told to make more videos because people love video. So why with all that content, the leads and offers aren't pouring in?
Considering the cost of content marketing in terms of money, time and resources – you want to see a decent return on investment!
Here are some common mistakes which keep your content from performing at its best. Some people will trip up on one, and others will be able to tick “all of the above”. Hang in there and let’s go over a few important factors to get your content marketing working for you.
I’ll say it straight out – random content means random results. What is random content? It's:
- posting random thoughts and ideas on social media without a strategy
- creating videos without a thought as to what purpose they are to serve
- doing webinars without a strategy as to how you’re going to convert or nurture attendees after the webinar
- creating blog posts, podcasts and other long-form content without a plan as to how they'll contribute to the outcome you want.
It’s interesting, we wouldn’t deliver a presentation or pitch to an investor without strategy and preparation; and yet every day that’s what so many do on social media and with much of their other content too. Social media is your pitch. Your webinar is your pitch. It doesn’t matter that it’s shorter content, or that you’re not specifically selling with that piece of content – it’s still working towards your goals. A strategy ensures that any time you spend creating content, brings you closer to your goals.
Here’s a scenario I’ve come across a number of times: “We have a Zoom conversation we recorded, what can we do with it?”. The video in question is difficult to edit due to people starting sentences when others are still talking, or random powerpoint slides covering the speaker during great content. If you have a strategy for your video, you’ll be able to structure it in a way that allows you to use it in numerous ways throughout all your platforms.
From goals to strategy
The solution to random content is to go back to your goals. Is your content leading you towards your goals? If not, you need a strategy and plan on how your content is going to get there. Where are you in your business currently and where do you want to go? If you’re relatively unknown, then you want to include brand awareness as part of your strategy, then create content that helps toward creating that brand awareness.
If you’re going to do any sort of launch in the next 6 months, you’ll want to create a strategy around a campaign with a timeline and calendar to ensure the launch is successful. Then you can customise your content to fit in with your strategy so that your content helps you have a successful launch.
Of course it’s not all about what we want. You also need to take your audience into consideration, so let’s talk about that.
All the strategy in the world isn’t going to help if your content isn’t valuable to your audience. While it seems unlikely that your content might not be valuable, what we consider valuable and what the audience sees as valuable can be two different things. If all your content is based around what you want to say, it doesn’t matter how much content you put out – your audience won’t connect with it. I’ll go as far as saying that understanding what your audience wants, trumps everything.
One of the most disheartening things to see, is people who have an amazing message to share with the world, and yet they focus on tips, tricks and hacks to get seen, rather than understanding how their message fits in with their audience’s needs and content preferences. The result is an inability to connect with their audience in any meaningful way and they never gain the traction they need.
WHAT MOVES YOUR AUDIENCE?
Spending time researching and understanding your audience will continue to pay off, not just in getting your message out to the world, but also for saving time and frustration in reaching your goals.
The trick is to know how your audience prefers to consume their content, what makes them pay attention, and what moves them to action. You can create amazing content that doesn’t get seen or if it does, fails to move people to action. Your audience needs to identify with your content, and take the next step – whether that's signing up for your mailing list, making a purchase, or whatever else serves them best.
I know, I know…. this is where people’s eyes glaze over. But if you don’t know how each piece of content is performing, you can't know what works and what doesn't. The best way to create better content that hits the mark is to keep an eye on your analytics.
It’s easy to say “people aren’t converting from our webinars” but why is that? Let’s troubleshoot this. Has there been a lot of interest generated from content leading up to the webinar which also led to high registrations? If the answer is yes, but the webinar was unsuccessful in terms of your goals, then it’s probably the webinar content and not the marketing for it. If however you didn’t get many people signing up for the webinar, then it’s time to check your posts to see if you expressed what your audience needed to hear to attend the webinar.
The same goes for blogging. If your social media posts are getting great traction, but people are spending less than a minute on the blog post you sent them to, then the issue is with the blog post, not the social media posts (if of course, the posts weren’t clickbait) .
STOP WINGING IT AND START WINNING IT
One thing is for sure, winging your way through content marketing is an enormous drain on resources that unfortunately holds so many entrepreneurs and businesses back from getting their message out to the world.
While successful content marketing is clearly a massive topic, laying a foundation of research and planning helps you create content that converts.
The fastest way to content marketing success is to write down your specific goals; work out what your audience values, what they want to know, and how they want to hear it. Then you can create a strategy that serves both you and your audience. Of course when it’s done, you measure, adjust as necessary and repeat.
I hope you found this helpful. Now if you want to find out what else might be keeping you stuck in a cycle of marketing busy work, you can download my pdf which will get you moving in the right direction to get your message and business out to your perfect clients.