Do you have a blog that you’ve let stagnate? Have you found that it’s just too time consuming and you’re not getting the results to make it worth your while?
You’re not alone! A recent study found that only 5% of business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers consider their content marketing to be “very effective.”
However, there’s a disconnect here. You’ll find countless studies that tell you what a great investment content marketing is for your business. For example, HubSpot found that small businesses with blogs get 126% more lead growth than small businesses without! Done correctly, this strategy will help you build your brand loyalty, attract new customers, and contribute to your bottom line.
If you’re not seeing these things happening, you might be making some of the most common content marketing mistakes. The good news is, once you realize what’s happening, these problems are easy to fix. Here’s a look at the top ten reasons why your content marketing isn’t working.
1. You Don’t Have a Master Plan
Do you tend to shoot off a blog post whenever you get an idea… then post nothing for weeks or months. This is a problem! If you want to be successful, you need a master plan.
Creating a content marketing plan will help you clarify your overall brand message, ensure you’re addressing the questions your target audience wants answered, and help you consistently create valuable content. By planning out your blog topics at least three months in advance, you’ll ensure that you’re not scrambling to come up with something at the last minute. You’ll also eliminate the chance that you’ll decide to just skip a week because you ran out of time. This is a slippery slope that will likely end with you giving you on your blog before it has time to give you a great return on your investment.
2. You Have a Plan But You’re Not Taking Action
While your content plan is important, it won’t do you any good if you don’t follow through. Many business owners who try to write their own content panic before pushing the “publish” button. Don’t let worries that your content isn’t good enough keep you from putting yourself out there.
However, this piece of advice comes with one caveat. Since your blog is a reflection of your business, it’s important that your content is well-written. If you’re worried about your ability to communicate your thoughts clearly or spelling and grammar aren’t your strong points, then it’s well worth the investment to hire a professional writer to take care of this for you. There’s nothing wrong with either option. Just decide what works best for you and commit to it.
3. You Don’t Understand Your Audience
If you’re putting out great articles covering topics your audience doesn’t care about, you’re wasting your time. Before you start creating content, take the time to really get to know your target audience.
Unfortunately, basic demographics and even a buyer persona aren’t quite enough. Instead, try conducting customer surveys, doing phone and in-person interviews with your best customers, and using social media or other platforms to gather more information about your ideal customers’ interests, the challenges they’re facing, and the problems you can help them solve. Then use this information to create posts they’ll find truly valuable and will want to share.
4. You’re Not Being Consistent
Lack of consistency is another common reason why your content marketing isn’t working. There’s some debate over the ideal number of times you should post each month. While there are many variables, in general, posting one to two times a week is an effective strategy. However, it’s just as important to make sure your audience knows they can depend on you to be there when you say you will.
This means if you start a weekly blog, you must make sure you post weekly. If you randomly post when you feel like it, you’ll have a hard time maintaining an audience. They might love what you wrote, but if you disappear for a while, they probably won’t still be there waiting when you get back.
If keeping up with a weekly posting schedule seems like too much, pick a number you’re comfortable with – like once or twice a month – and then make sure you stick with it.
5. You’re Not Promoting Your Content
You might have noticed that it’s called content marketing, not content creation. Simply writing a great post isn’t enough. In fact, the rule of thumb is that you should be spending 20% of your time creating incredible content and 80% of your time promoting it. If you aren’t already heavily promoting your content, this is one of the most effective changes you can make.
There are several ways to promote your content, including:
- Finding creative ways to share your posts multiple times on social media
- Sharing your post on community sites where it’s relevant (without being spammy!)
- Sending out your post as part of your email newsletter
- Mentioning your content when commenting on other blogs and posts
- Reaching out to other influencers in your industry who might be willing to share your content
6. Your Content is Poorly Written
We’ve all seen articles and blog posts online that immediately make you want to click away. From giant walls of content to posts that are written like an academic thesis or ones that are full of grammatical errors, there are many ways to turn off your audience. Unfortunately, these posts do nothing to help the businesses that publish them and actually hurt their reputation. Hiring an experienced professional writer or editor will help ensure that you don’t make the same mistakes.
While using keywords is important for your SEO, it’s important not to stuff so many into your posts that they make it awkward to read. Google and other search engines reward publishers who write for people as well as for search engines. It’s also critical that your posts provide value. Consistently churning out blog posts just for the sake of posting something isn’t going to do you any good. Make sure your posts educate, entertain, or inspire your readers. They should also do it in a way that shows your brand’s personality and your unique voice.
7. You Need to Improve Your SEO
While it’s important not to overdo your keywords, if you don’t consider SEO at all, there’s a good chance that nobody will ever see your content. It’s still important to identify the best keywords and use them properly. Having a well-written meta description and naming your images using your keyword can help improve a blog post’s SEO.
It’s a great idea to spend some time learning about SEO best practices so you can incorporate them into your blog. If you don’t have time, consider hiring a professional to take care of this for you.
8. You’re Pushing Too Hard
Nobody likes a hard sell, and this is especially true when it comes to content marketing. Readers want to consume content that will help them solve their problems, perform better at their jobs, or teach them ways to improve their lives. When you provide this type of information without pushing for a sale, you build credibility and trust.
Your job as a content marketer is to educate readers about what works and what doesn’t. Over-selling your company’s products or services is a great way to turn off your reader and ensure they won’t return to your blog.
9. You’re Not Pushing Hard Enough
While you don’t want to be too pushy, if you’re not including a call-to-action (CTA) in your posts, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. For example, if you’re a plumber, you might write an article explaining how to fix a leaky toilet. While the majority of the article will focus on answering the question at hand, you could easily add a sentence or two at the end that lets the reader know your company is here to help and provides your contact information.
This tactic primarily focuses on providing value by showing the reader how to fix the problem themselves. However, there will be some people who will read the article, decide fixing their own toilet is too much work, and give you a call instead. Since your information is right at the bottom of the blog post, they’re more likely to call you than they are to click away and start looking for another plumber. You will also have already established credibility and trust by taking the time to provide them with the information they needed for free and without a hard sales pitch.
10. You’re Expecting Too Much, Too Soon
It’s important to understand that blogging for business is a long-term investment, not a “get-rich-quick” scheme. You can’t just publish a handful of blog posts and expect to see a huge increase in your audience, subscribers, or conversions.
In general, you’re not going to see results in the first few weeks or even the first few months. You need to wait for your strategy to gain traction and start delivering organic results. When measuring your content marketing’s ROI, it’s important to pay attention to gradual improvements rather than looking for overnight success.
Bring Your Blog Back to Life Today!
If your content marketing isn’t working, don’t give up! We would love to show you the difference that consistent, professional blog posting can make. Whether you already have a blog that needs some improvement or you’re ready to add a blog to your business for the first time, we’ll provide you with everything you need.