Content marketing is an on-going process where change is the name of the game. The field has evolved by leaps and bounds, with innovations and algorithm updates happening daily. When it comes to content marketing, you have two options.
You could hire content writers or set up an in-house team, the choice is yours. But you’ve got to stay on your toes to identify and cash in on the latest trends to get more eyes on your website.
Most organizations don’t seem to get the point and stick to traditional practices until they just go out of business because they fail to adapt.
Let’s get one myth out of the way: content marketing is only for marketers.
Think of content marketing as a large, highly-detailed advertisement plan with the highest conversion rates. Everyone needs content marketing, whether you’re a carpenter selling handmade wooden furniture, an online store selling video games, or a consultant offering advice. The bottom line is that you need a content strategy- and a good one at that.
Yet, most businesses don’t have an effective content marketing strategy. According to CMI, a whopping 94% of businesses have terrible content that doesn’t engage their audience.
So, how can you make sure you’re not among the 94% businesses? We’ve rounded up seven obvious and urgent signs that you need to revamp your content strategy.
1. You Focus Too Much on SEO
If you’re an online business, then SEO is your bread and butter. You’re embroiled in a constant struggle to target as many relevant keywords as possible, and that means you’re taking good care of both on-site and off-site SEO. However, if in the process, you’re losing sight of your audience’s goals and their pain points, then you’ve already lost.
Do not stuff your blog posts with keywords in an attempt to improve your search engine rankings. That’s just not good practice. The entire purpose of content marketing is to write creative, appealing, and engaging content that speaks to your audience. SEO comes later.
2. You Are Not Prioritizing Your Audience
Your blog posts just don’t provide a positive customer experience to improve business growth and increase customer loyalty. If your typical blog post reads a bit like, “We’ve hired a new consultant, read more about him here,” then you’re not getting the point. This title looks more like a press release than a blog post.
Press releases tend to be boring and emotionally void. Your audiences want something that doesn’t sound boring. As a general rule of thumb, if it’s boring to write, then it’s probably boring to read. Working with a professional content writing service provider will ensure that you have high-quality, authentic content that is well-researched.
A good blog should be relevant to your audience, and it needs to address their pain points. Boring blog posts make two things painfully obvious, a) that you’re not cool enough, and b) you don’t understand your audience. How to tell if your blog posts are boring? Ask an outsider to read it and rate it on a scale of 1 to 10 on the engagement level. Any score below 5 means that you’ve got to go back to the drawing board.
3. Your Blog Posts Look Unprofessional
People have an innate distaste for anything that looks remotely unprofessional and lazy. The vast majority of online users have an attention span less than that of a goldfish. That’s 8 seconds. In 8 seconds, they will have determined if your blog post is worth getting into. They’ll look for good website design, spelling errors, and anything that spells ‘lazy.’
Not only do you need a good website, but you also need exciting content. Thanks to low-cost WordPress themes and free website builders, you don’t have an excuse to miss out on website design. Make sure to use the free version of Grammarly to spot any obvious spelling errors, and you should be good to go.
4. You’ve Got High Bounce Rates
For the uninitiated, bounce rates refer to the number of users (or percentage of users) who leave your website after viewing only one page in just a few seconds or minutes. There are a plethora of tools out there that allow you to reduce your bounce rates, starting with Google Analytics. Anything less than three minutes of viewing time for blog posts is resoundingly bad.
This means that even if your blog post is not doing well, from an SEO perspective, then it’s not engaging enough for users. Google and other search engines pick up on user behavior via bounce rates and will penalize your ranking appropriately, so keep an eye out for bounce rates. Adapt and improvise!
5. You’re Not Receiving Any Mail from Users
Engaging content earns admiration from friends and competitors alike. When people find something they like, they will go out of their way to let you know that. They will visit multiple pages and spend tons of time reading your stuff or they will reach out to you via mail and give you their two cents. This is a good sign.
But if your mailbox looks like a barren wasteland, it’s a big wake-up call. Be careful though because there are bots that will spam your mail with links back to other websites (they’re just fishing for backlinks and do not count!)
6. You’ve Got No Idea Who Your Audience Is
Big tech companies spend a fortune every year to know who their customers are. It’s their big ace in the hole, so you need to follow suit. You need to create a whole list of buyer personas, such as stay-at-home moms, men with beards, video gamers who like to buy new ‘skins,’ etc. Things such as gender, geography, age, and interests let you create buyer personas. Once you know who you’re selling to, you can then create the most appropriate content for them.
An unspoken rule of content marketing is that all unfocused effort (almost all) will waste time, resources, and money.
7. You Don’t Focus on Long-Form Content
Content that exceeds 2000 words is known as long-form content. Most large-scale companies, even your competitors, are creating this type of content. Almost all websites that show up on the first page of Google habitually write blog posts over 3000+ words. It’s what gets the most eyeballs and also gets noticed by search engines.
In our opinion, you should write at least 2000+ words every day for 30 days, and see the impact it will have on your blog.
Content marketing isn’t easy. But it’s a low-hanging fruit that’s up for grabs if you just take your time to brainstorm relevant and authentic ideas that resonate well with your audience.