Almost every business in the world is dependent on good marketing strategies, and content in the form of articles, infographics, video etc. is often a key component in those strategies. So, how do you know when your marketing plan is or isn’t effective?
Knowing how to spot the signs of bad marketing and understanding how to fix broken marketing strategies is absolutely essential to making sure your business thrives. Once you recognize the problem, you need to sit down and re-organize your plans to come up with something more effective.
Before getting into the 4 signs that a content marketing strategy needs to change, it’s important to start at square one.
Setting Proper Goals
One of the biggest problems with content marketing (and marketing in general) is that measuring its success can be a difficult process. It relies on a corporation being clear on its goals from the top-level executive to the entry level employee.
The first step is to decide what you want to gain from your content marketing. Is it awareness or sales? Is it social media engagement or app downloads?
When goals aren’t clearly defined, what may be considered a huge success to some may seem like a colossal failure to others. Plus, when there’s uncertainty around the purpose of the campaign, identifying the problem and the correct solution is like throwing darts in the basement with the lights off.
1) You Aren’t Getting Traffic
The most obvious sign that a content marketing strategy isn’t working is that there’s a lack of new visitors to your website or a lack of interaction on your social media channels. Yes, it’s true that content marketing can be a slow way of gaining traffic for non-established brands, but it’s a bad sign if you’re actively putting a lot of content out there and noticing:
- Website traffic is staying low.
- Sales are flat-lining.
- There’s no difference from before you started marketing.
At that point, you probably have a problem. The solution to the traffic problem is making an adjustment to the marketing medium or the marketing message.
If you’ve been emailing articles, try posting them to LinkedIn or turning them into videos. Reaching out to partners who would be willing to share your content is another avenue worth exploring.
To properly adjust the message you content is spreading, try starting with research. Answer the Public is a great free resource to find topics that people are actively searching for.
2) You’re Under-Spending
You may also need to adjust your marketing strategy if you aren’t spending very much on it. Spending is referring to both time and money put into the campaign.
This isn’t to say that you have to blow a fortune on creating and promoting content, but keep in mind, social media is becoming more of a pay-to-play environment for businesses. Start by experimenting with small budgets. If nothing else, the additional exposure will give you an indication of how your audience feels about the content.
Also, consider how much time is being invested into researching topics, developing a plan, and creating the content. If the content isn’t reaching the right people or isn’t high quality, the culprit may be time put into the materials and plan. Knowing if time invested is the problem requires an honest evaluation from decision makers.
3) The Content Isn’t High Quality
When you’re driving people to your content, that content may be one of their first interactions with your brand. This is extremely important. If you’re showing off shoddy design, unreliable information, or poor grammar, you aren’t doing your business any favors.
Keep in mind, there is A LOT of content out there. You need to convince people to click on yours. So, simply writing a bunch or articles and filming some videos isn’t enough.
Improve the quality of your content by leveraging a professional designer or copywriter. Remember, if people aren’t wowed or can’t trust your content, they may not put much faith in your business.
4) The Content Isn’t Fun
Content should be engaging and exciting. It needs to be memorable, and it needs to appeal to the right people. You can post highly informative articles with lots of technical jargon, if that’s what appeals to your audience. Otherwise, it’s not going to draw customers in.
A great way to start is by integrating engaging media such as videos, images, or audio clips. Also, utilizing a conversational form of delivery is a great way to get people reading or watching your material. Try to create a ‘voice’ which will keep all your posts in a similar tone, so people come to associate that tone with your brand.
If you recognize that some or all of these points relate to your campaign, your strategy may need adjusting or changing entirely. Refocus the strategy on customer engagement and promoting good content. Create a formal, written strategy with concrete goals for what you want to achieve. And most important, make sure everyone in your company understands and is on board with this strategy.