You take pride in creating content for valuable resources such as blogs, e-books and training videos. You make sure you're dedicated to producing quality work that will “wow” your audience. You set aside specific blocks on your calendar to write and revise. You prepare yourself for deep focus and concentration. You even pay for professional design, editing and copywriting.
When you see the final product, you feel pro. You can’t wait to share it with the world. You post it everywhere and patiently wait. This is the one — and it’s going viral, baby!
The results? Minimal traffic, a few leads and no conversions. But how? This was the "no-boundaries" content you knew your audience craved. And you should know by now: You’ve been doing this for months with little to no return on investment.
So why isn't your content marketing working? Take a look below to see if you spot any missing elements that are burning up your time, energy and money.
1. Captivating personality.
Knowing your business brand will help you nail down your voice. The tone, language and messages that represent your brand will help humanize your business. Together, they bring your products, programs and services to life.
When you add personality and soul to what you do, it becomes much more emotionally engaging in the marketplace. People will want to read, watch and listen. It resonates with something inside them and ignites their imaginations. If your content isn't reaching viewers at a personal level, it will cost you.
Related: 5 Really Lazy Writing Habits That Are Stunting Growth of Your Subscriber List
2. Clear personas.
Profiling your audience helps you narrow down detailed target markets and precise buyer personas. When you've clearly identified key demographics and psychographics, you can effectively streamline audience needs, wants and other invaluable specifics.
As a whole, these tactics can help you gain your ideal customer's attention. Get these down, and you can bridge consumers' knowledge gaps with relevant information. In the process, you'll earn trust along with their interest. Each time your content helps them gain perspective, confidence and progress, you're positioning your brand as one that's hard to forget. This directed content also can increase organic clicks, likes and shares. Without it, you’ll struggle to connect.
Related: 3 Ways to Read Your Customers' Minds
3. Precise content.
Content type and a known customer buying cycle help you create relevant, valuable content for your audience. But what about the right format? Do you know where and when it’s best to drop an e-book in front of your audience? Or which time and place your followers will watch a video instead of reading your amazing white paper? Understand how and when your audience prefers to receive information, and you'll make an impact that transforms costs into profits.
Related: Repackage Your Long-Form Article into Something Memorable
4. Concise placement.
All of the above can help you pinpoint better, more relevant platforms. You understandably want your logo and products to be seen in as many places as possible, but you don’t want your brand to be just anywhere. Focus on finding two or three primary platforms to start. Refine your approach until you’ve optimized these through traffic metrics, leads and your desired return on investment.
Saturating the market with too many locations will spread your message thinly across scattered channels. Your team will end up doing more work and having fewer conversions to show for it. This costs you in more ways than one as employees grow frustrated and your marketing dollars dwindle.
Related: 4 Ways to Promote Your Portfolio of Published Content
5. Consistent promotion.
Promoting inconsistencies will kill your content-marketing efforts. Whether you’re generating leads or practicing your lead-nurturing activities, it's imperative that your brand stay top-of-mind for audience members.
It’s easy to get caught up in prospecting for new traffic and leads, but don't forget your current email and social-media communities. It's more profitable to serve your existing customers first than to expend resources finding new ones. Learn from the audience you already have. They'll help you save time, energy and money so you can operate even more effectively.
Related Book: Success Secrets of the Online Marketing Superstars by Mitch Meyerson
6. Collaborative planning.
Taking time to plan strategically is indispensable. As much as it’s enticing to jump on the current hot tactic, don’t — yet. You'll certainly want to explore different platforms and tactics, but think it through first.
Make sure these moves make sense for your brand, your audience, your team and your bottom line. That being said, overthinking during the planning stage can needlessly delay action and lead to missed opportunities. Find your balance between implementation speed and precision strategies.
7. Calculated production.
Planning doesn’t always produce the results we anticipate. Strategies can fail miserably. That's why you must put in place methods to test, track and measure your predictions and expectations against actual outcomes.
Every business is different, every audience is special, and new technologies mean the marketplace is a dynamic one. The content you "know" will go viral sometimes bombs. A campaign you think smacks of effort half-done turns out to generate massive engagement.
The market can be surprising and often is unpredictable. Unless you have a system for tracking, of course. Capture data and use it to better calculate outcomes so you can produce better results in the future.
Related: How Small Businesses Can Optimize Content for Better ROI
Learning to effectively and profitably promote your content will take time, energy and money — period. But it shouldn’t put you in the red. Be clear, be strategic, and be sure to evaluate these seven planning considerations. Your upfront effort will pay for itself many times over.