By Aaron Aquilina | April 20 2020
Is no one reading your content? Not generating leads? If your content strategy isn't driving the results you need, read on to discover how you can turn it into a success.
Here's the scenario: you have a well-performing website, validated target buyer personas, a content strategy to steer all of your activity and a content calendar to underpin it. After weeks of researching, writing, editing, and design work, you've made your first premium content download available — you're all set to go.
But a few weeks on and you’re no closer to your goal than when you started. Your articles are struggling to rank for your chosen keywords, and your premium offer isn’t receiving the downloads you’d expected. Why isn’t your content strategy working?
There are countless reasons why a content strategy might not be performing. Without going under the bonnet of your website for a content audit, we can’t tell you definitely why that is.
What we can do is help you to diagnose where your strategy could be made tighter — and what you can do about it to turn your content strategy into one that helps you achieve your goals.
Start by deep-diving into your collateral. Whether your problems end up being with the content itself or more technical in nature, your data reveals all.
Depending on what your goals are, your content might be underperforming in any of the following ways. Here are four common signs that your content strategy isn't working. Do you recognise any of them?
Pinpointing where your content is letting you down may not be your favourite task, but identifying your issue(s) is half the work.
To put it another way, you could spin and rationalise and explain away why your content marketing isn't generating leads — or you could own up to it and tackle the problem so your blog does start creating new contacts!
So how do you solve these challenges?
Notice a trend? Above all, your content needs to grasp your target buyers’ attention and keep them engaged. And while many businesses focus on the technical benefits of their offerings — don’t get us wrong, this is still important! — creativity in your content will pay in dividends.
So how exactly do you keep your audience wanting more?
Read more: create and publish standout content in 5 simple steps.
The power of storytelling in content marketing is huge. Grabbing the attention of your prospects and drawing them into your content is the perfect way to demonstrate the value of your services and offerings and create long-term advocates for your brand.
“Create content that starts meaningful conversations between you and your readers.”
In fact, it’s all about your brand story and how you stand out from the crowd. What solution do you provide for the customer that other vendors don’t? This is rarely the actual services you offer — after all, your competitors are your competitors because they’re offering the same. What sets your organisation apart and gives it the leading edge likely runs much deeper than that. So what is your differentiator?
“We’re talking about the people who make up your business, the core values you support, and the behaviours those values drive”, explains Dr Thomas Brown, our Head of Content. “This is what puts your business on the top of your target buyers’ list and, told well, your brand stories communicate that, sometimes without ever having to explicitly state it. The right stories can move your reader’s heart or change their mind or invite them to see the world a little differently. This is incredibly powerful, especially when you’re implementing a content strategy week by week, month by month.”
“This goes way beyond better engagement or a higher click through rate. We’re talking about the building blocks of customer relationships.” Tom
Storytelling is crucial. Whether you’re leveraging use cases or case studies, discussing challenges your prospects are looking to solve, or even raising pain points they might not realise they have, you want your readers to sit back and think, “yes, I have that issue and they can help me solve it!”.
Your site may look polished and professional on the exterior, but something, somewhere, is affecting your content strategy’s performance… If you’ve followed our opening advice and lifted the bonnet to see what’s going on, and you can’t align the metrics you’re seeing with the quality of the content itself, you might be looking at some technical issues.
Do you recognise any of these?
Anyone of these could have been rendering your new content as 'unwanted' by Google. Put all four together and you aren’t going anywhere – no matter how good your editorial is. But there are steps you can take to change that.
Your content strategy represents a phenomenal opportunity for you to attract new traffic, engage your prospects, close business, and build meaningful relationships with customers.
“It’s crucial to make your content strategy work for you, and build a demonstrable ROMI to match your fabulous-looking website.”
Having spent some time looking why your content strategy isn’t working, take a moment to look at the components of a content strategy that does. Here are a few final tips for creating a content strategy that fuels your inbound marketing and meets your business’ objectives.
From the company directors, to sales, to customer services, each area of your business will be able to offer key insights into the pain points of your different personas and collaborate on ideas for content. That brand story will sound so good coming from the CEO. You’ll get content ideas from the whole business, and create resources that the whole team will use.
If you’re going to do it properly, do it right. Outsource some of the writing to a B2B content marketing agency, inbound marketing agency, a HubSpot Solutions Partner, or a freelance writer capable of translating your knowledge into a piece of content that stands out. Often, someone removed from the organisation can bring a fresh pair of eyes to your expertise.
The most opportunistic strategies start with what you already have. Review your existing content to quick wins and lucrative opportunities. Maybe you have a case study that could be repurposed into a video or infographic, or multiple pieces of content that would perform better as one. After all, it’s what we did here. The lower the touch, the greater the ROI.
We’ve barely scraped the surface here, but we hope this has been helpful. There are so many reasons why a content strategy might not be delivering the results you’d hoped. Whatever approach you take to diagnosing and solving the issue, start with analytics.
You might think a case study looks weak or an article doesn’t answer the question asked of it but without going under the hood to the reporting, you can’t say for sure. To make informed decisions and implement content strategies that deliver on your goals, your data is key.
To learn more about planning and implementing content activities across your business, download our free resource, 'The Beginner's Guide to Content Strategy and Implementation', below.
Discover everything you need to set up and implement a content strategy for your business
Content writer by day, football writer by night.
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