Business owners big and small use the Internet to get an edge. The goal is the same for most. They want their company to pop up in search engine rankings, giving them leads they don’t have to work hard for every single day. Many of these owners and their hired marketing managers will choose content marketing in hopes that words will be the magic pill to bring in new clients. Many of these individuals will walk away from the process feeling defeated. They’ll feel as if they’ve lost time and money, and they might grow weary of the Internet-based business world. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. Here are four important reasons your content marketing might be failing you.
1. You’ve gone cheap for poorly written copy
Content mills are all over the Internet. You can pay two cents per word for a college kid to pound out a few hundred words filled with messy keywords. This type of content presents two problems. For one, it won’t get results on the search engines. Google’s algorithms are great at identifying useful copy and even better at identifying things readers hate. At best, your copy will land on the 50th page of some sad Google search. At worst, the content will attract readers and turn them off. Good content can motivate people to action, while bad content reflects poorly on your company.
2. You fail to locate customers in action mode
The best content that gets great results tends to help a person in need. It answers a question a person might have or introduces them to a new skill. The upside to this sort of content marketing is that you’re building credibility while appealing to people who are in action mode. Those looking to fix their issues or develop new skills are more apt to become your long-term clients if you can help them with something valuable.
3. Your industry knowledge is suspect
Great content is written in a personal way from a professional perspective. It’s written to an individual, but it comes with a load of knowledge about a particular topic. If you’re not totally familiar with an industry, your writing will reflect it. Today’s readers understand when they’re reading fluff that doesn’t teach them anything. Writing that sort of non-authoritative content won’t give you the clicks you need to convert more sales.
4. Content that ages too quickly
Content marketing is a long game. You can’t expect to post articles and see results overnight. Rather, the key to content marketing is to build a tremendous backlog of excellent work that helps consumers. With this in mind, all of your articles need to be working on your behalf months and years into the future. In the industry, this is called “evergreen” content. This doesn’t mean that you can’t focus on current issues. You just have to find a way to relate those current issues to some consumer need that will last for many years.
Content marketing doesn’t have to be a headache. Many great companies and small businesses are using content with good success. You have to have a plan, though, or you’ll end up burning through your budget with little to show for it. Keep these rules in mind and always remember that the ultimate goal of every article is to assist the reader in some tangible way. Just as offering a helping hand is a great way to build personal capital in your own life, offering a helping hand to consumers is how you build trust and credibility in business.