Content is king
And content marketing in 2018 remains a brilliant and cost effective method to interact with prospects and customers, spread brand awareness and bypass the growing use of ad blockers.
That it is an electronic newsletter, a post on a social media or a blog on your own site or that of somebody else, people want to see your content. They accept it. J & # 39; approves. Whitelist. Because it’s the user himself who clicks on it, there’s no problem with spam complaints, or boring the recipient, or ending up in the folder spam.
It’s popular, powerful and, for all intents and purposes, perfect. If you are online in any professional ability you are already using it.
Google “Content Marketing” and you will discover millions (78,200,000 when I did it all at the time) results, everything from definitions to practical guides to studies of case. You can quickly and easily pick up the how, why, when, what, and where of content marketing. Every personality and online marketing business has its own advanced or step-by-step guide, allowing anyone to capture, experiment and eventually master the subtle art of content marketing.
“Content marketing is all that remains of marketing.” ~ Seth Godin
Surprisingly, the only thing you will not see a lot of these millions on millions of links is when your content marketing is not working.
Because there’s more to traffic and clicks in successful content marketing, and more than just likes, shares, and retweets. These are simply vanity metrics that do not tell you anything important by themselves … although it’s nice to see that people like your thing.
Now, vanity metrics may be used to find an exploitable preview, but it is the subject of another post another day. Suffice it to say that if you evaluate the success of your likes and share content campaigns, you do it badly and waste your time and energy.
Instead of focusing on metrics of vanity, use it to inform your marketing decisions. Dig deeper. Find the corresponding metric exploitable .
Content marketing is an active effort and most hard work begins after you published. It is not a question of reaching people; it is to reach the right people.
How do you know when you do not do that ?
Look for these five red flags before and during the push.
Content Marketing 101
But before we get there, let’s go over the basics.
If you only remember one thing about content marketing, do this: write your strategy down . Be explicit, detailed and clear about goals (use SMART goals and stretch objectives as appropriate), tactics, channels and how you will measure success.
What will “success” look like? How will you measure the return on investment? Make sure everyone on your team knows and understands.
How often will your marketing team meet? The best performers meet regularly to evaluate, refine and manage as needed. Your content marketing should not be put-and-forget-it.
Target your ideal clients. Segment your audience. A / B test Watch your efforts. Create an evergreen content. Measure the return on investment to maximize your budget. Watch your competitors and the industry to see what works, what does not work and what others do and do not do.
In its 2018 annual report on content marketing, CMI found that only 38% of B2C companies have a documented strategy. It’s terribly low.
Document your strategy. Do it, and you are ahead of 62% of the competition.
Diversify your tactics and your channels. The same report found that B2C traders:
- Use an average of five social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram being the top five.
- Use and average of four formats for distribution, with social media, email, blogs, events in person, and print the five most popular.
- Use an average of five different types of content, including social media posts, pre-made videos, artwork / photos, infographics, and interactive tools such as questionnaires and calculators that add to the top five .
Tips and tricks and hacks for better content marketing are many. Read in a few. Read a lot.
“We must stop interrupting what interests people and be what interests them.” ~ Craig Davis, former Chief of Creation at J. Walter Thompson
And that brings us back to a complete circle. Knowing when your content marketing is not working is as important as knowing when it’s … if not more.
How can you tell if you are on the wrong track and heading in the wrong direction?
Watch (and answer!) These five signs along the way.
Panel # 1: The wrong people register
Consider this hypothetical scenario: You’re launching an aggressive content campaign, with posts on blogs and social networks, videos, and infographics, to promote your new SaaS product launch.
Everything is an incentive to the action inviting people to participate in a free seven-day trial. They click on the CTA button, are transported to a well designed landing page and register.
This is an undeniable win in content marketing, is not it?
Bad. He could be a victory … according to who enrolled. Numbers alone do not answer this question. Even if you look at a foolish conversion rate of 60%, it does not make sense if those who sign up are not good.
So, who are the “bad” people? Anyone who is not in your target market. They may be interested in your content for a wide variety of reasons – research, curiosity, education – but they are not necessarily interested in your product or service.
Far be it from me to suggest that you should never target your market. I am not, and you should. Sometimes your best customers on the road are the ones you do not even think about yet.
Some entries outside of your target audience are not only not to worry, but a positive and useful goal.
That said, if 50%, 60% or 70% + of your interests do not match those you were targeting – geographic location, industry, background, occupation, income level, interest or otherwise – something is wrong not. If the majority of those who subscribe to your email newsletters, their free content, or their free trials do not match your expectations at all, your content marketing does not work.
Before writing a single blog line or sending a single tweet, you must be clear about your ideal client . Get to know him. You have probably heard about the importance of the buyer or the customer. Build and use them to guide your content efforts. Do it, and the probability that “bad” people will come to your content decreases exponentially.
Why? Because a detailed character allows you to bone your content specifically for them : their desires, their needs, their pain points, their values, and more. It’s more than half of the battle.
If you are starting out, it’s a little harder, but not impossible. If you already have customers and sales data, you can focus on what’s best. According to Duct Tape Marketing:
- Identify your most profitable clients.
- Identify those who refer to this group.
- Identify the common features and characteristics of this small group.
- Create a client character based on this data.
This is your ideal and most profitable client. Create content for him or her. Share it on the platforms that he uses and spends the most time.
Social platforms typically have built-in features, such as the Twitter Analytics audience statistics dashboard.
If you’re targeting English-speaking men over 50, and your Analytics report shows that most of your visitors are women under 25 and Italy, all of these conversions – signups, downloads, or others – probably will not be a big deal with your bottom line.
The sooner you know it, the sooner you can fix it. If the wrong people register or download your lead magnets, you must change direction. And quick.
Know exactly who you are targeting, and give them exactly what they want and where they want it. Then watch to make sure he’s attracting them.
Panel # 2: Inverse Reverse Link Profile Incompatible
[Backlinks] are still important for your search engine optimization. In fact, many will say that they are the key of your overall SEO success. The quality backlinks of respected sites are a sure-fire indicator for Google and the rest of the search engines as your content is valuable, useful and worth reading. It is a vote of confidence.
And this can mean a big jump on the SERPs. The closer you get to this coveted first place, the better the chance that someone will click on your link. The increase in traffic means an increase in leads, which means an increase in revenue. Google is happy, the users are happy and you are happy.
Backlinks and SEO go hand in hand But backlinks can also tell you if there is something wrong with your content marketing.
Imagine that your backlink profile – a report on external sites that are related to your content – is filled with websites that you do not expect from your target market. Good? Wrong?
It depends on your criteria. If these sites are quality sites, these backlinks will still give you a healthy SEO boost. It’s good.
However, this may be proof that your content does not resonate with your ideal customers. And it’s very, very bad. Your content, after all, is how you introduce yourself to them, educates them about your products and services, and persuades them to open their portfolios. If it’s missing that brand, you’re failing the marketing game. It’s the difference between leaving a flyer on hundreds of windshields in a mall parking lot and hand-delivering to prospects you know they’ll benefit from what you’ve got to offer.
Fortunately, generating a backlink profile and performing a link audit is quick and easy, and there are many tools to help it.
For a basic list, sign in to Google Search Console. Click on “Search for Traffic” in the left menu and select “Links to your site”. You will get a quick report with the total number of links and the sites that link the most.
Now you can determine if the sites that refer to your content are in your “demographic”. Some that you might recognize by name, others you may have to visit and evaluate.
For a more detailed analysis, you can try a dedicated backlink tool. Some of the best include:
If you are targeting recent university graduates and you are getting backlinks from pension agencies, there is a lag. You do not produce the right content to connect with those who enter the job market.
If you have done your homework, you should have detailed personas. You should know not only who they are, but what they need, and where they are. Too many people outside of these settings related to your content is not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not going to generate sales and massive revenue.
The sites that link you are an indicator of the identity of your content. If you’re targeting professionals, but most of your links come from gossip sites, stop. If you are after the grandparents, but Millennial Now is your biggest outside source, stop.
Check your link profile. Make sure that most of them come from sites that your target audience would patronize to increase your exposure with them.
Otherwise, reevaluate. Change Track Create more than they want, need and desire. Align your content on your customer .
Panel # 3: Nobody shares
Yes, I told you at the beginning of this post that sharing and taste is a metric of vanity. This is always true. But do you know what else is true?
Excellent content is shared.
If people read your content but not share it, then you are not producing quality content and your marketing is failing. Period.
This is especially true with influencers in your niche. If you create enough fantastic content, some influencers in your market will eventually share this content. If it is not the case, it is a problem.
Think about your own online behavior. When you read or meet a great blog, computer graphics or video, you share it with your own fans, followers, friends and family. It’s almost automatic. Each platform has built-in capability, and third-party tools like Hootsuite and sharing plugins make it easy and convenient.
We read or look, we share it instinctively. You want your content to be shared. You need your content to be shared.
Whenever you create something, you want it to become viral. This kind of reach and exposure is the dream. Although this can not happen for you, a consistent social sharing increases your exposure exponentially. A retweet puts your content in front of a whole new set of eyes. This leads people to talk about you and your brand. And the cycle repeats itself if only one person in this new group shares it again, and so on.
First, you must track the number of shares you receive with your existing content.
Tools like Hootsuite can monitor your mentions on social media, Google Alerts can warn you when your keywords and phrases are used, Likealyzer analyzes your Facebook page, Snaplytics provides data on Snapchat and Instagram Stories, BuzzSumo shows you how Google Analytics can indicate the traffic generated by social networks (under Acquisition> Social> Overview), SharesCount displays individual URL-based shares and all-in-one management platforms. as Sprout Social can monitor most major platforms from a dashboard.
If you do not have shares, you have a serious job to do. If you have shares, it is always better. If you are satisfied with the actions you see, you are selling yourself and your content in the short term.
“This is not the best content that wins.It is the best-promoted content that wins.” ~ Andy Crestodina
More actions, more exposure. More exposure, more tracks. More leads, more conversions. So, do everything you can to increase the amount of social sharing you already see:
- Produce only incredibly high quality and value content. Do not share anything other than what you have best to offer.
- Spend more time on your title than on the rest of the room. Your title should hang them and force them to click, read or watch.
- Write on topics that are both relevant and timely. What is happening in your niche?
- Try tools like Click-To-Tweet or a scrollbar like AddThis to remove friction and allow your readers to share what and when they want.
- Make it easy to share with share buttons at the top and / or side and / or bottom.
- Ask them to share. Remind them to share.
- Use attractive visuals.
- Create an evergreen content.
The increase in your shares should be part of your content marketing strategy, no matter how many of your current visits. Step 1: Monitor your actions. Step 2: Increase your shares.
None, few or many, the better.
Panel # 4: Your prospects do not talk about your content
This one is reactive. You will not know until you start generating quality leads. This requires asking them or asking them where and how they heard about you, your brand and your products.
It can be a simple matter in your series of emails or when you talk to them on the phone, or during an online survey or a field to fill out on a registration form. “How did you hear about us?” Is cost-effective and relevant data to collect.
The answers should be varied if you have diversified your marketing efforts. Some might say that it was a reference from a friend, another might mention a criticism or recommendation online, while others would have clicked on an advertisement PPC, or would have read a newspaper article or would have searched on Google for the targeted keyword.
But we hope that some of you will talk about your content. In a perfect world, they will discuss it without solicitation on your part, choosing to mention how much they liked your blog article about X, or how they found your infographic on Y. That’s when you know that your content marketing crushes it.
Excellent content with good promotion should elicit great reactions (and unsolicited).
“What you do after creating your content is what really matters.” ~ Gary Vaynerchuk
If none of your prospects talks about your content, it’s a major red flag. If none of them mention “content” when you ask it, it is a neon sign. Do not pass Go. Do not withdraw $ 200.
Ask. And if the answer is anything but content, you know you have to go back to the drawing board. Do not stop everything that works, of course, but tidy up your content efforts at the same time. It’s just a tactic too lucrative to allow it to fail so miserably.
Ask yourself: What do my ideal clients need most? What are they struggling with? How can I improve / simplify / improve their lives?
Answer these questions and others with the content you create, and the languages will be moved .
Panel 5: Your prospects want what you can not do
Lead generation is a major element of any business plan. A steady stream of prospects at the top of your sales funnel means a steady – albeit smaller – stream of customers and advocates standing at the bottom of the ladder.
But not all tracks are created equal.
Imagine this: the tracks that touch you ask for things you can not or do not do. Once or twice is an anomaly. But if it happens regularly, your content is probably at fault.
Tracks asking for something other than what you do are often a symptom of content creation that is [directement lié à l’entreprise] .
If you are in the field of analysis, you should write about analytics . If you produce quality content on SEO as an extension of that, do not be surprised if people contact you for advice and SEO solutions.
If prospects ask you about things you can not, do not do, or do not do, you are not creating the right content for your business. Content marketing is meant to introduce you as an expert and authority in your field. It is supposed to initiate a discussion between you and those who need what you have or do.
As part of your content efforts, only respect topics and subtopics directly related to your product or service. Write only on these topics. Speak, share, comment and engage only in these areas.
Everything else is just noise.
“Traditional Marketing Negotiations in People: Content Marketing Talks With Them.” ~ Doug Kessler
No traffic. No clicks No tracks. No Return on Investment These are some common reasons that your content marketing is not working for you. These are easy to recognize and relatively easy to correct. Jay Baer suggests four categories to repair a broken campaign:
- Set your topic (s).
- Correct your amplification and promotion.
- Set your format (s).
- Correct your creators.
But content marketing can fail in many less obvious ways. It’s your job to monitor, monitor and manage these silent killers.
The five discussed here are far from exhaustive. The list of potential killers is long. You must remain vigilant.
It is possible to get and stay on the right track in the right direction.
To you. In what other ways did you find your content marketing fall short? What hiccups did you find in your marketing? Which red flags are you still on the lookout for?
About the author: Neil Patel is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital.