Content marketing is the way to go – you know that.
The problem is many companies try it for a while, don’t see a massive influx of traffic or sales and then give up.
Although they’ve been told time and time again about the importance of keeping their website fresh with great blogs and articles, the time and effort it takes to generate the content doesn’t seem worth it.
If that’s happened to you, there could be a couple of reasons behind the lack of response.
The first would be what you’re writing and how it’s written.
The content you’re putting out has to be the type of stuff that will interest your audience. That means no random posts about your office’s latest coffee machine or the CEO’s new car. You have to come up with stuff that benefits your readers.
It should focus entirely on their needs. Take this post as an example; it’s not telling you how long I’ve been a copywriter or how amazing my work is, instead it’s helping you solve the problem of why your content marketing isn’t working.
How it’s written is also a big issue. Commercial writing for an audience isn’t as easy as you think. Frequently, I am asked by companies to take a look at their articles to see if I can work out what’s going wrong. Usually they are either too focused on the business, or they are rambling, boring and downright dull. That’s why many companies bring in professional writers to take on the content production. That way, they know the output is on target and engaging.
OK, that’s just the tip of the iceberg; you’ve also got to make sure people find your content.
How to make sure people can find your content
Before you write anything, look at your target audience and think about:
- What is it that they want?
- What interests them?
- What issues do they have that they might want help with?
Then tailor all your content around those answers.
- Forget the search engines
No, I haven’t gone mad and strictly speaking, you shouldn’t completely forget about them. What I mean is forget about keyword stuffing and write for your reader.
The topic of your post is going to be your primary keyword anyway and will therefore crop up naturally in your content. The main thing is to make sure you write in a natural, conversational style – well written in simple language (no jargon) and easy to read.
- Call to action
When they do find your articles and posts, make sure you ask them to do something at the end.
The whole point of generating content is to drive people to your website, so make sure you tell them to visit your site, or place relevant links within your article to take them to the page on your site that holds all the answers to their questions. Just make sure you don’t over do it. It’s better to have an author’s byline at the end with a link in it than umpteen random links within the body of your content.
Yes, I know earlier I said don’t write primarily for the search engines, but you still need to get your keywords in your headings and body copy if you want to be found. But that doesn’t mean stuffing it with keywords.
Keep your writing natural – the keywords will drop in automatically without you even realising it.
- Social media
The only way people will know about your content (especially when starting out) is to promote it through your social media channels. This will help spread the word about your content and encourage others to share it.
If you decide to embark on a content marketing strategy, make sure you do it right. Consistent high quality content will pay dividends, but it’s a slow burn strategy. Over time, as your content library grows, you’ll start to draw in a constant stream of traffic to your website. Because of the long term commitment that’s required, it may be worth considering outsourcing to a professional, but take care about who you choose to work with.
There are plenty of companies out there that will supply you with shed loads of content, but they usually work on a high volume basis. They may be dirt cheap, but that will be reflected in the content you receive.
Remember, the content you publish directly reflects on your business. If your site is full of sub-standard work, people aren’t going to be inclined to work with you.
Although a more expensive option, a professional copywriter will take the time to get to know you, your business and your audience. The work they produce will be top notch, engaging and relevant to your audience.
When it comes to marketing content, quality should always outweigh quantity.