Content marketing needs more than great writing to take off. While engaging articles are important, they are only part of the equation for increasing traffic, recruiting audiences, and driving conversions. If your technique consists of posting on your blog and social media pages a few times a month, your returns will probably be disappointing.
On the flip side, you don’t need to recreate your college all-nighters to write your blog posts, and you don’t need to sacrifice your valuable client time to spend more time on posting to social media. What you need to do is work smarter – not harder. You’re already putting in the effort, but you need to know your blind spots to keep moving forward.
You’ve written dozens of articles, maintained a social media presence, and consulted every industry blog imaginable. Still, your content marketing goals are flat-lining. Don’t over think it—here are the five most common reasons why and how to solve the problem.
1. Your content is too self-centered
More often than not, marketers write like introspective personal bloggers. While personal blogs can read like diaries and still be compelling, professional blogs need another approach. B2B and B2C content should be focused around an audience, not a company or person.
People consult your content to learn, solve problems, and find concrete answers to pressing questions. For that reason, all content marketing needs to be focused around two-way dialogue. Instead of writing about what’s on your mind, research real questions that your clients and customers have. Know what they value, give them a real solution, and ask them to tell you what they think about it.
2. You don’t actively network
You’ve spent two hours writing a perfect blog post. You hit “publish.” Now what? Now, it’s going to sit on your blog, and nobody will ever find it. After repeating this process 10 or so times, you consider blogging to be big waste of time.
You’re thinking about it all wrong. Especially at first, you need to actively recruit your audience. Overtime, they’ll come to you, but you need to kick-start and maintain the momentum.
To grow your blog, one strategy is to actively guest post on other blogs that your audience is likely to read. Another strategy is to participate in social media discussions in Quora threads and LinkedIn groups.
3. You’re not writing enough
Even though you haven’t blogged since 2010, you’re wondering why people aren’t reading your posts. It’s the same reason why you aren’t actively reading your magazines from the ‘90s—people care about freshness, and they want content that’s new.
As a publishing medium, the Internet moves extremely quickly, and as a blogger you need to keep up. Otherwise, you’ll lose your readers. There are millions of blogs online, and if you’re not maintaining your reputation as an avid blogger, they’ll go somewhere else for content. Blog regularly, and blog often. Use an editorial calendar to stay on track.
4. You’re rambling
On the Internet, your reader’s attention span is like a bee’s. Usually, they’re buzzing around until they see something attractive. Then, they zero-in. But even when they’re ready to focus, it’s only in a limited capacity because they have so much other stuff to read: emails, other blogs, memos, etc.
As a blogger, brevity will be your best friend.
5. You never defined your end goals
All marketers know that their campaigns need well-defined objectives up front. Blogging and content marketing are no different. Is your goal to increase traffic or to create a resource for your existing clients? In what market are you hoping to grow your business? What do you want people to do after they read your content? Do you want them to request a quote or sign up for updates to your blog? Be sure you answer these questions answered before writing your first post