Content marketing is one of those strategies that divides opinion. Content marketing

Some see it as a great way to engage with their audience and add value to them. Others think it’s a complete waste of time because no one reads stuff.

Why do you think that?

If you’ve tried it but haven’t got the results you thought you should get, it’s probably because you’re not going about it the right way.

Content marketing isn’t about churning out loads of articles, sticking them on various websites in the vain hope of receiving a shed-load of valuable backlinks.

Why your content marketing isn’t working

These are the main reasons why your content isn’t working.

  1. Content marketing and keywords

These little suckers count for two of the mistakes you may be making.

The first is that you’re focusing on high-value keywords. If you’re trying to compete for a term such as ‘writing skills,’ it’s unlikely your content will be found because it is highly competitive. It’s best to concentrate on something more specific, such as ‘website writing for the fashion industry’ or something along those lines. The more niche your term is, the less competition there is likely to be.

The second is that you use your keyword too often in your content. Do yourself a favour, stop counting the number you have in your text and just write naturally.

  1. Going for quantity rather than quality

Many companies believe that more is, well, more. Well, they’re wrong because less is most definitely more.

Churning out loads of poor-quality content will damage your business – fact.

But investing in a smaller number of high-quality articles will elevate your business to the heights you want to reach.

It’s far more essential to produce high-quality writing that adds value to your readers.

  1. Over optimisation

For this one, less is definitely more.

Stuffing your keywords into your tags, descriptions, and text will make the search engines groan and, in all probability, ignore your page.

Don’t try to play the system because you will get found out, and your rankings will suffer.

  1. Be blinkered by rankings

Rankings used to be the be-all and end-all when it came to working out how successful your content strategy was.

Not anymore.

Now, the search results you see depend on whether you’re logged into your Google account or not and your location. So, if you do a Google search on one of your keywords and see your content, there’s no guarantee they are the same results someone 100 miles away will be seeing.

It’s far more important to look at other metrics when gauging the success of your campaigns.

  1. Social media fail

Using social media to boost your content marketing doesn’t equate to sending out a link and forgetting about it. Instead, it would help if you used it in different ways, such as tweeting the link, running an opinion poll about it on Facebook, asking for feedback etc.

How to put your content marketing right

The main thing to remember is that you’re not writing to get links or rankings; you’re writing to benefit your readers.

Here are our top 8 tips to help you get on the right track:

  1. Content calendar – this will make sure you have a constant stream of quality content
  2. Add value – make sure everything you publish adds value to your readers
  3. Practical – offering practical advice and tips will help your readers and make them more likely to come back again (think about also adding videos and images)
  4. Optimise – not to excess; just make sure your title tags and meta descriptions are written to market your writing (i.e. write them to make the searcher want to visit your website)
  5. SEO – always check your SEO, for example, for instances of duplicate content that will damage your ranking
  6. Images – not only is it important to use great pictures, but it’s also essential you optimise their ALT tags
  7. Quality over quantity – rather than churning out loads of poor articles for links, publish a smaller number of high-quality articles that will earn you genuine links
  8. Social – use social media A LOT

Try them out and see the positive effect these simple techniques will have on the success of your content marketing strategy.

Sally Ormond – copywriter, article writer, content goddess