Quality content has solidified itself as a key ingredient in today’s marketing mix. It’s getting harder by the day for businesses to thrive without a good strategy in place. In fact, studies have shown that roughly 75 percent of marketers are currently increasing their budget for content marketing.
As effective as it can be for bringing in business, it often takes a bit of trial and error for businesses to find the right groove and start generating a substantial amount of leads. Regardless of how much research you put in, there is always the chance of striking the wrong chord with a mismatched audience.
In some cases, the issue can be solved with a simple fix. But if subscribers are dropping like flies, lead generation is in critical condition, and conversions are practically non-existent, it may be time for a full-scale revamp.
There’s no denying that a failed content approach is extremely discouraging. However, the beauty of marketing in the 21st century is that you can almost always return to drawing board and formulate a new plan without suffering serious losses. Here are five tips to keep in mind during the reconstruction stage.
1. Re-Evaluate Brand Personas
One of the most common culprits of a failing content strategy is a brand persona that doesn’t speak to common viewers. Content marketing is all about relating to audiences in an organic way to create genuine interest. To be successful, you need to speak at the same level as the people you are marketing to. In other words, if your brand was a living, breathing person, how would they be defined?
- How do they talk?
- Where do they come from?
- Where do they fall in terms of social class?
- What is the most important thing to them?
- What is something they would never do?
Once you have nailed down firm answers to these questions and have a clear picture of this persona in your mind, begin crafting content in their image.
These days, there is no better way to showcase a brand persona than on social media. Companies everywhere have been able to make huge strides in presenting a humanized identity through their accounts. General Electric is a quintessential example of this.
By itself, the name “General Electric” doesn’t sound particularly fascinating. But by using their Instagram account, they do things like provide close-up looks showing just how interesting the machines they work with can be and, in turn, display an educational, user-friendly persona.
Keep in mind: Content is only as good as the voice presenting it.
2. Promote Your Services in a Package
When you’re revamping a content strategy, the overall look and additional features are just as important as the actual information. If it has become blatantly clear that your content is undifferentiated from that of your competitors, it’s likely a good portion of the viewers are not paying any attention to you. When this is the case, it’s time to re-work your package.
In some cases, this could involve completely gutting your website and rebuilding from the ground up. At a basic level, the process should entail changing the template of your marketing emails and the look of your blog.
Let’s say you’re an entrepreneur or industry influencer looking to monetize your expertise. A solution like Kajabi is perfect for people looking to launch services based on their experience. It does away with the need to juggle disconnected software and tools and instead offers a set of website themes, landing pages, blogs, event registration, video elements, email integration, payment processing, and marketing analytics built in.
You need to focus on running your business without worrying about technology headaches by working towards timely and relevant promotion of your content. And regardless of how great your content is, it will be much harder to convince your audience unless it is packaged and promoted in an intuitive and aesthetic manner.
3. Back Up Your Promotion with Email
Content distribution is that critical part of the marketing mix that can never be ignored. But if you are a small business or entrepreneur, you probably don’t have thousands of followers or regular visitors.
You need to take a take a quality-over-quantity approach. You cannot beat your competitors simply by generating tons of content. You have to reach out to your audience in order to make them aware of your most compelling content. You can’t expect your audience to check in to your blog every day to look for new material.
What do you do in this case? Simple. You should be sending out emails with links to your new postings. According to a study conducted by Mailigen, 89 percent of marketers affirmed that email served as their primary channel for lead generation.
With the spread of content and conversations through mobile devices, consumers are more connected than ever before. Email is a surprisingly robust way to connect to them across all these devices. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to spend a lot of time configuring or automating a lead generation or conversion system via email. An email and automation solution like GetResponse will let you set up auto-responders, which are emails triggered by user behavior, changes in user profile data, or simply calendar events.
Continuing with our earlier example of an entrepreneur trying to monetize their experience, you could use triggered emails to inform subscribers of new services or a new course that might be of interest to them, automatically at the time of launching.
4. Reassess Keywords
Another huge culprit of content failure is poorly optimized keywords. A high bounce rate on your landing pages is a good indicator of this, meaning that people are googling for something, landing on your website, and realizing your content is not what they’re looking for.
This part will take a bit of research, as there are a couple of factors that come into play.
- Keyword relevance: This is by far the most important part of keyword optimization. Keep in mind, you don’t want to get too general here. For example, if you specialize in antique furniture repair, the term “furniture repair” would likely have a lot of competition on the SERPs. Therefore, you want to be more specific to gain qualified prospects. A term like “vintage 20th century furniture repurposing” might give you better luck.
- Location: If you are hoping to appeal to a local market, location-based keywords are extremely important to consider. Going back to our furniture repair example, incorporating your geographic location into your optimization strategy puts you in a better position for user accessibility.
Use an SEO tool like SEMrush to get a sense of how certain terms and keywords are performing across the web, how much visibility your competitors have for these terms, and how you can incorporate them into your content for quick wins.
At the end of the day, optimizing for the right keywords gives you more online visibility and helps viewers find the content they need. Everyone wins.
5. Compare Metrics
Now, it might be tempting to completely wash your hands of the old content results and forget they ever happened. But in order to gauge how well the new approach is working, it’s beneficial to have the previous metrics on hand to compare with (regardless of how bleak they are).
This is also a good tactic for setting goals. For example, let’s say you promote an annual event on your blog and social media accounts. Once the new plan is in place, you might have a goal to generate twice as many leads from the content as you did the year before with the old regime.
Using nothing more than Google Analytics, you can get a clear image of how well your content is faring and compare the effectiveness of your content strategies, both past and present.
Analytics are vital to any content marketing effort. Without the proper monitoring and measurement, it is much more difficult to find your weak spots and know how to improve.
Remember when Bill Gates published that article in 1996 titled “Content is King?” To say this prediction holds up to this day is an understatement. Content is the backbone of digital marketing, and the concept doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon. Professionals, businesses, and brands of all sizes would be wise to find an approach that works for both them and their audiences.
The truth of the matter is that resurrecting a content strategy takes time. The last thing want to do is come out of the gate too hot and fall flat. Take baby steps. Gauge reactions and keep producing.