You already know that a solid content marketing strategy is critical to your company’s success. Content marketing can help attract potential customers, make more sales, increase brand awareness and establish you as a leader in your niche.
However, so far, you just haven’t had any luck.
There are a number of different reasons why a content marketing strategy doesn’t take off immediately. Let’s look at some of the common reasons marketers fail to do well with content marketing — and how you can improve your own campaigns.
Reason No. 1: You Haven’t Invested in Video
Cisco predicts that by 2020, video will account for 79% of all global internet traffic. If you’re not using video already, this is the time to start creating engaging, educational and entertaining videos for your audience. Experiment with different formats and platforms to reach different target audiences.
For instance, if you’re selling B2C products, create product videos. In fact, 90% of users say product videos are useful in the decision-making process. In addition, after watching a video, 64% of people are more likely to purchase a product online.
The other types of video marketing you might want to invest in are:
- Live videos
- Instagram stories
- IGTV broadcasts
- Snapchat videos
- A YouTube series
- Product review videos
- Event videos
- Testimonial videos
No matter what type of video you’re producing or what platform you’re using, similar best practices apply: Keep your (non-live) videos short, because 33% of viewers won’t watch for longer than 30 seconds. After one minute, you’ve lost 45% of your audience and after two minutes, 60% have tuned out.
If you’re doing a live webinar, the ideal length is 60 minutes, although if you’re going in-depth on a certain topic, it could run longer. Testing different lengths will show you how your audience responds to shorter and longer videos.
Above all else, be sure to provide value content in your videos. Tell a story, teach your viewers something new, give them inside access to your products or company and provide them with a customer testimonial that make them want to do business with you.
Reason No. 2: You’re Too Salesy
Your content marketing strategy works only when you’re aiming to provide valuable information to your audience – not when you’re attempting to sell them products. Instead of mentioning your brand and constantly talking about your products and services, research what type of content your audience wants to see and then produce it.
In the B2B space, that might mean sharing information on how to improve a certain process. (You’ll earn extra points if that information is novel and hasn’t been shared before.) The more insider and valuable information you have, the more influence you’ll have in your industry.
For instance, your CEO might write a blog post called, “How I Landed 10 New Clients This Year.” Prospects can learn from that post, be inspired by it and trust that your CEO’s products and services are worth their time.
If you are a B2C company, focus on creating entertaining or informative content related to your brand. For instance, if you sell makeup, create tutorial videos for YouTube showing how to apply it or create exciting new looks.
You can use your products in the videos, of course, but don’t mention them over and over. The audience understands that if the person in the video looks good after a makeup demonstration, your products are worth purchasing.
Reason No. 3: You’re Not Speaking to Your Audience
When planning your content marketing strategy, always keep your audience in mind. If you don’t know who your audience is and what they want, you’re not going to convince them to purchase from you.
Any good marketer starts with creating buyer personas before attempting to market to prospects. You’ll need to know your audience’s basic demographic information including their name, age, gender, where they live, how much money they make per year and family size.
Dig into more specific information, like what pets they have, cars they drive, how they vote, what technology they use and how often they’re on social media. Research their pain points and what motivates them. Figure out what stops them from accomplishing their goals. Once you have all that information, you can create your content marketing strategy.
For example, you may sell baby products, and determine that one of your buyer personas is a 31-year-old first-time mother living in the suburbs with a part-time job and little time on her hands. She uses her iPhone to read about safety tips for babies, but doesn’t have time to do heavy research before buying products.
That’s your starting point; from there, create a short video that this mom could watch to get the information she needs before purchasing a product. Once she finds that video on your baby products website, which contains further information on the high safety standards of your products, she may be compelled to purchase from you.
Reason No. 4: You’re Not Spending Enough Time or Money
Your content marketing strategy cannot be an afterthought. In a time when every B2C and B2B brand is pursuing content marketing, you need to invest the appropriate amount of time and money into it to stay competitive.
If you do it right, it will pay off. Content marketing receives three time more leads than paid search ads, and 47% of buyers view three to five pieces of content before talking with a sales representative.
How much time and money you spend depends upon your goals, the size of your company and your budget. On average, B2B organizations spend 29% of their budgets on content marketing, while the top performers spend 39%.
In addition to having a dedicated content marketing strategist, you should have a budget for both the time and money for a content marketing strategy. Factor in things like content creation and promotion (think blogging, video production, text/video editing and backlink research), search engine optimization, social media marketing and email marketing, to name a few.
Make sure you are planning out your content weeks or even months ahead of time, and use analytics tool to measure your success so you’ll know what works best for you.
Just because your content marketing strategy isn’t working now doesn’t mean it can’t work in the future. Marketers are constantly reworking their strategies; if you’re willing to try new tactics and invest time and money into making it work, you will see improved results over time.