hiring a content writer, hiring a freelance writer for agency work, hiring a writer for your marketing agency, how to hire a freelance writer
5 Reasons Why Your Content Is Failing And What You Can Do About It
Eva Webster, VP of Operations @ Article-Writing.co
There’s no denying that a compelling, relevant content optimization strategy plays a huge role in success for online businesses – that’s why so many marketers and companies do it. Content marketing generates over three times the number of leads as outbound marketing and costs up to 62% less. Considering there are usually no storefronts, your business must employ effective content creation to develop an online space that is intriguing, easy to navigate, and inspires leads to convert all at once.
That sounds pretty difficult, right?
Fret not! This article will tell you why your current content is failing, and what you can do about it.
Why Should You Generate Content?
Did you know that 70% of marketers reported their content marketing efforts have been more successful in 2018 compared to the previous year? It’s no wonder content marketing is gaining more attention. As many as 93% of B2B purchases began with an online search! This makes content optimization the perfect strategy to attract new customers and develop long-lasting relationships.
However, content marketing isn’t as straightforward as you might think. It requires a lot of strategizing, brainstorming, and critical thinking. Out of the 94% of small B2B businesses that reported having a content marketing strategy, only 9% rated their strategy as “very effective.”
To generate great content optimization, you need to be creative, innovative, and engaging. Otherwise, your visitors won’t bother to read your content. And if they don’t read your content, they won’t transform into long-term customers that generate revenue for your business.
5 Reasons Why Your Content Optimization is Failing, and What You Can Do About It
Now that we’ve explored what content marketing is and how it can help your business succeed, it’s time to dive into the next part. We’re going to examine the five major reasons why your content optimization strategy might be failing, and follow up with pointers that will make your content stronger:
Reason 1 – You Don’t Know the Value of Your Content, Or You Don’t Believe in It
Before you can get anyone to realize the value of your content, you need to believe in it yourself. If you don’t feel 100% confident about the content you’re creating, how can you expect anyone else to?
Most businesses are so focused on getting their stuff out there that when it comes to content optimization, they don’t even consider this. Besides, if you’re not providing value to readers, then what’s the point of even creating content?
Solution — Determine Your Goals (and Purpose)
One of the major reasons why your content might be failing is because you don’t believe in it yourself. Is that the case? Then you better start believing! You can fix this problem by determining your goals before you start working on your content optimization. Make sure you do that first, or your efforts will be unclear and confusing. That way, it will be difficult to stick to a certain theme. This will also help you develop a strong purpose and a set of core values.
Recognizing what value you’re bringing target readers will help you establish a clear strategy and a common theme for the information you’re sharing. You should always be clear about what value you’re providing your customers as you go about content optimization.
To make this concept more straightforward, think about how you’re making their lives better. Whatever your answer is, that’s your value. And once you truly realize that value, you’ll start implementing content optimization that emphasizes the advantages it brings consumers.
For example, Airbnb’s core values clearly encompass their goals. The home-renting app promotes a world where “anyone can belong anywhere.” By focusing strongly on their values throughout their campaigns (and doing a lot of other things right), they have achieved great success and significant revenue growth. In the first quarter of 2019, the company saw $9.4 billion in gross bookings.
Take the time to sit down and brainstorm on your own or with your team. Figure out what kind of topics you need to cover to achieve that strategy with content optimization.
Reason 2 – You Aren’t Focusing On One Thing With Your Content Optimization
It might feel tempting to go off on various topics and cover a wide range of ideas. While this may sound like a good plan, you might want to think again. Lots of people cast a big net, hoping to catch a lot of fish. Unfortunately, people aren’t fish—they favor being wooed, rather than caught. Therefore, the biggest net doesn’t get you the biggest results.
When you’re trying to do too many things at once, your audience will feel tugged in multiple directions and won’t understand the point you’re trying to make. Your message (and the value you’re delivering) will feel unclear. Readers will feel confused and disinterested in what you have to say. They won’t look up to you as someone who’s an expert in the field — which is how you want them to view you.
Solution — Become an Expert in a Field and Content Optimization
To turn your readers into profitable customers, you’ll need them to click on your content in the first place. And to do that, you really need to get to know your target audience by finding out their needs, wants, and interests. Focus on your content optimization strategy and you will create compelling copy while building up your brand as an industry thought leader.
By focusing on doing one thing really, really well, you will expand your branding strategy. You’ll develop a greater amount of trust with readers.
Ideally, over time, you will become an “industry expert.” One example of an expert in the world of content marketing is Neil Patel. He focuses all of his content on SEO and marketing efforts that drive greater leads to websites. As a result, his own website drives over 3 million visitors per month. Neil has become an expert in his field, so he is the first name that comes to mind when people have an SEO issue they want to explore.
Live Nation Entertainment is another excellent example of a company that’s focused all of its efforts on developing services related to entertainment in the U.S. They are a global leader in ticket sales, producing concerts, and sponsoring events. The company has demonstrated a 10.06% revenue increase year-over-year, with a revenue of $3.157 billion for the quarter ending June 2019.
Your goal should be to become equally prevalent in your industry with a good content optimization strategy. That way, your consumers will know you are a reliable source.
“The shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at a time.” Richard Cecil
Reason 3 – Your Content Might Be Sexy, But it Doesn’t Increase Trust
It’s important for your content to look appealing and capture the attention of readers. This includes doing content optimization to include visuals, graphics, and styling it in a clear and easy-to-read way.
While visuals are effective for establishing your content marketing strategy, they aren’t everything. It’s also extremely important to establish trust with readers through your content.
When you grow a strong base of visitors that trust your business, you’ll develop stronger relationships with customers.
Solution — Build Trust and Credibility With Your Audience Using Content Optimization
As previously mentioned, establishing trust with your consumers is critical for developing long-term relationships. There are several ways to establish trust through your writing — including the following:
- Understand your target audience and find ways to connect with them. You can do this by sharing personal details that resonate with readers on a deeper level. Try showing more of your brand’s personality for them to embrace.
- Back up your facts, quotes, and statistics with reliable sources. It’s easy to make a claim. But, if you’re not providing reliable information for readers to reference, how can they tell if it’s true? Readers want content that’s reliable and trustworthy. If you provide that to them, your business will become an established, reputable brand. Keep this in mind when doing your content optimization.
- Be transparent with your readers. As soon as they notice you’re not being entirely honest with them, they won’t trust you. As many as 85% of consumers think it’s more important than ever for businesses to be transparent. For example, retailer Everlane is known for being transparent with their approach, promising fair wages and reasonable hours to factory workers.
- Demonstrate consistency by posting regularly and frequently. If your posting schedule isn’t consistent, your readers may become less devoted to your brand. Sticking to a set schedule will help keep your audience interested. And most importantly, your readers will know when to look forward to your content.
Reason 4 – You Give Up Too Easily
It’s important to be persistent and consistent with your strategy. You should never give up too easily. Content marketing is a patience game—it takes time to build your content base and see results. Keep working on your strategy and growth will come. As with many things in life, combining hard work with dedication and patience will get you the results that you really want. Continue moving forward, no matter how fast.
Solution — Mix it Up
You can’t start a content optimization strategy and expect your results to show in a few days. Building a strong base takes time, so don’t rush the process. The entire process requires a lot of patience and persistence.
Maybe you’ve noticed you’re not seeing success with Instagram as people aren’t engaging with your posts. In that case, you should create a new strategy that increases activity and engagement. Rather than simply posting photos, you could create giveaway contests that encourage people to click on your posts, comment on them, and like them. You could also create short videos that capture viewers’ attention, and publish regular stories. Go about your content optimization wisely.
But how can you tell when your strategy isn’t working? According to industry expert Neil Patel, if you see positive growth in the first 6 months of executing your strategy, you’re probably on the right track. It typically takes about 3 months to see results from your SEO efforts. But if you really want your efforts to grow, you should wait at least 6 months before expecting more serious results.
“Nobody likes to be sold, but everyone likes to buy.” Frank Kern
Reason 5 – You Don’t Put Your Audience’s Information Needs First With Content Optimization
According to research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, 90% of the top-performing B2B content marketers prioritize their audience’s information needs with content optimization.
You might be determined to push an agenda or plug a fellow business, but that’s not what your audience is interested in. Your goals and priorities shouldn’t determine the topics you discuss or the information you share — that should depend on what your readers want.
And while it might seem easier and faster to save the time it takes to do proper research on customer data, it won’t be worth it when your strategy doesn’t work.
Solution — Tailor Your Content
The truth is that as you develop your content optimization strategy and make it more informative, engaging, and valuable, your sales will naturally grow.
While you’ll want to promote your business and services, you definitely won’t want to do that too much. If you overwhelm your audience with too much overly promotional content, you might risk losing your client base. They will get tired of seeing the same things over and over. In the end, you will lose your reputation of being a distributor of valuable content.
It’s important to prioritize your audience. Be considerate of what they’re looking to learn or achieve from reading your article.
Many readers will turn into long-term customers who trust and value your services. These customers will drive greater profitability for your business.
Provide readers with valuable information without the hard sales pitch. While you’ll want to eventually promote your products and services, you can do this by writing an informative article with subtle links to your pages as you go about your content optimization.
For example, SEO expert Brian Dean writes blog posts that provide his audience with valuable information. His posts are long and informative (and non-promotional in nature). But, they also provide high levels of exposure for his website and services.
Bonus Tip — Make Your Content Actionable
Your goal should be to inform your readers and provide valuable information. How can you do this? By sharing advice that’s actionable. You need to make it clear to readers what steps they should take to achieve their goals and objectives.
Don’t make the entire post promotional — just leave it for the end. You can include a CTA in your content optimization strategy, directing readers to where they can go to learn more about those services (ours is coming up soon, so keep your eyes peeled).
At this point, your readers should be hooked on your content. Some might even be interested in finding out where they can get specific sources from. What could be better than finding those from a company that they trust? Here are a few examples of CTA phrases.
Interested in what companies have been saying? Check out the infographic below:
How Can You Generate Great Content?
While the end goal of creating valuable content should be to increase your customer base and grow your sales, it’s important to make sure it’s engaging and persuasive enough for visitors to want to read and explore.
In conclusion, developing a great content marketing strategy will benefit your business in many ways. It can:
- Generate greater exposure for your business through effective keyword research
- Boost website traffic with greater Google search rankings and high-quality SEO strategies
- Increase customer interest, engagement, and activity on your website
- Establish a deeper connection with visitors and build deeper relationships to increase sales and profitability
- Attract more customers through positive W-O-M marketing that your customers spread
- Establish your business as an authority in the industry
Final Thoughts With Content Optimization
Keep in mind that creating content that drives traffic, generates leads, and converts readers into long-term customers isn’t easy. A lot of thought, critical thinking, and creativity must go in to master this process.
Content marketing is an investment that you’ll be making in your business. Therefore, it’s important to dedicate a reasonable amount of time, energy, and detail to the process.
After all, what you put in will be equal to what you get out.