You're into the infancy of 2018. How are you feeling about your department and company? And just how much can you take on before things start falling apart? Every marketing professional has a limit, and there’s no doubt yours will be tested. Does your leadership team have you going in so many different directions that you feel as if you’ve lost control of the brand? You are not alone. If you are seeing any of these red flags, it may be time to take a step back and take another look at your content marketing plan.
What are those red flags? There are typically five that can derail or partially take companies off course like:
A Clog in Your Sales Funnel
Your Website Stats are Shameful
Nobody “Likes” You
Your Opt-Outs Outnumber Your Opt-Ins
Nobody Wants Your Premium Content
Now, with so much emphasis on driving conversions with content, it's easy to get caught up in managing content production, and lose sight of strategy. Don’t forget, done is not the same as done well.
Let’s look at each of these culprits and explore why and how each one happens, and what can be done to fix it.
Problem: There’s a clog in your sales funnel
It’s easy to get excited when your marketing campaigns generate leads, but what happens when those leads fail to convert? Like an overflowing bathtub, a clog in your sales funnel can turn out to be a very big problem if it is left unchecked.
What’s the difference between okay, amazing, and shameful website stats? The answer is “it depends.” It depends on previous performance, how hard you’ve been working to boost your stats, how effective your efforts have been, and ultimately, how much demand there is for what you offer. If your website is not generating enough leads, that’s a problem that you need to get solved ASAP. Here is a nice infographic on UX stats.
Solution: Reevaluate web design and content
The best solution for this problem may be getting a fresh set of eyes, with user experience (UX) expertise, to evaluate your website. Here are a few of the reasons a website may fail to generate sufficient leads.
Its navigation is not intuitive
It’s not optimized for mobile
It doesn’t answer your visitors’ questions about your products and services
It doesn’t provide enough information about you
Seems like a lot of bad news, huh? Well look at it this way, you cannot begin to solve a problem until you identify it, right? Even the best websites need to be improved continuously to stay effective. Fortunately, with the magic of Google Analytics, and that of all its friends, we have tools that can pinpoint exactly how visitors find a website, which pages they visit, what interests them on each page, and how long they stay before they decide to move on.
Problem: Nobody “Likes” You
Believe me, you are not alone if you cringe when someone in your circle starts talking about social media. Sometimes it seems like there is no other form of communication happening besides text messages, Instagram, and Twitter. But, like it or not, communicating through social media has become the new norm and therefore it must be a part of any content marketing plan. If you are having difficulty cultivating relationships through social media, there are a few easy solutions you can implement.
Solution: Read up on social media best practices
Make yourself a cheat sheet that contains the character count, link, and image guidelines, and other pertinent info for each social media channel you use.
Ask your ideal customers which social media channels they like the best and why.
Deliver added-value information in your social media messaging, and only occasionally introduce an offer or pitch.
Keep up-to-date on the latest developments in social media, especially as it pertains to your industry.
Get social media training from experts who focus on attracting, converting, and delighting customers through social media.
Don’t worry, with the advice of the experts, the convenience of social media scheduling tools, and a solid content marketing strategy, you should be able to boost your social engagement in no time.
Problem: Your opt-outs outnumber your opt-ins
Hopefully, this exaggeration brings a smile to your face. Considering that it typically takes several team members several steps to launch an email campaign, a poor response rate can be very disappointing. While there are a number of issues that contribute to this problem, the most common reasons include bad lists, an undesirable frequency of messages, unattractive subject lines, and unwelcome content. Not to worry though, realigning your email campaigns to better carry out your content marketing strategy is a solution that is well within your reach.
Solution: Know your audience
One of the most important ways you can maximize the effectiveness of your email campaigns, (or any other marketing content for that matter), is to be very familiar with your ideal customers. Who are these people? Are they 30-something elementary school teachers? 40-year-old corporate middle managers? Do they live in the city, or out in the suburbs? Do they drive Lexus or Ford? There are many differences between these possibilities, and for that reason it is imperative to focus all content marketing messaging on buyer personas, or semi-fictitious representations of our ideal customers. Not sure where to start? Here’s an easy-to-use template.
Problem: Nobody wants your premium content
Your team took weeks drafting, editing, laying out, and adding graphic design elements to your ebook. Everyone was happy with how it turned out, everyone in the office that is. Your prospects don’t seem to have any interest in it. What went wrong?
Solution: Provide solutions to customer challenges
While I might like to go sailing sometime in the future, I am not going to spend my time today downloading and perusing an ebook on the basics of sailing. And, unless you offer sailing lessons, sailboats, or sailboat accessories, I would say you probably shouldn’t either. The topics you choose for your premium content must provide valuable information – answers to the concerns and challenges of your target market. If, and only if, you achieve this goal will you be successful in endearing your prospects to you.
Always begin with your content marketing strategy. What are you trying to achieve? Walk through each step of the buyer’s journey to ensure that your premium content offers are a perfect fit.
Go forth and solve
When you have too much going on, it can be easy to lose sight of your content marketing strategy and brand message. You can get so focused on meeting deadlines and preparing presentations that you totally miss the mark. Achieving success with content marketing is like training for a marathon. You will have moments of doubt, but if you consistently produce outstanding content that meets the needs of your personas, and you promote it like your life depends on it, you can expect to see amazing results – not overnight, but over time.
Would you like to know more about how our team of experts can help you get the most out of your marketing efforts?
As Director of Inbound Marketing I get to explore all areas of marketing including writing, brainstorming, strategizing, analyzing, and thinking big. My enthusiasm for people and creativity fuels my commitment to creating inbound content that produces positive results for our clients. I love writing, talking, learning, laughing, doodling, and finding a great quote. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, all things musical, and being crafty.