After all the pestering from your management, staff, and online gurus, you decided you needed a content marketing strategy.

That’s great.

The only problem is you’re not seeing the results you should (or rather the unrealistic wants you were hoping for).

First off, content isn’t a quick organic SEO (search engine optimisation) fix. There is no such thing. Organic rankings come from hard work, continuous high-quality writing, social media engagement, and SEO sensitive writing (not an inclusive list).

Now you realise that you can also forget about a barrage of web traffic coming your way from one article.

You have to be patent in this game.

If after a few months you’re still not getting a lot of interest in your content, you’re probably doing something wrong.

Content marketing is not about paying peanuts for a raft of poor quality content and publishing it in the vain hope it will attract clients. It’s not about posting the same article again and again on various websites in the vain hope of receiving a shed-load of valuable backlinks. It’s not about writing stuff that’s a blatant advert for your products and services and pretending it’s a blog post.

There are a few reasons why your content isn’t performing, and here are a few to get your teeth into.

Your content marketing isn’t working because…

  1. Keywords

These are responsible 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’re using your keyword too often in your content. Do yourself a favour, stop counting the number you have in your text and write naturally.

  1. Going for quantity rather than quality

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

Churning out, or paying for loads of poor quality content will damage your business. Don’t forget, everything you publish reflects on your business. So if your content is substandard, poorly written and downright dull, that’s how your company will be viewed.

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

  1. Over optimisation

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. Being 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.

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 set of results someone 100 miles away will be seeing.

It’s 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 then forgetting about it. Instead, you must use it in different ways, such as tweeting the link, running an opinion poll about it on Facebook, asking for feedback etc.

How to get 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 eight tips to help you get on the right tracks:

  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, 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 rankings
  6. Images –not only is it important to use great photos, 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.