6 questions to ask if your content marketing isn’t converting [INSIGHT]
As content marketing takes up an increasingly large share of overall marketing budgets, content marketers are facing more pressure to show a return.
Our Content Marketing Survey 2015/16, which will be published later this month, shows that Aussie and Kiwi marketers are now much more likely to be measuring the return from their content marketing than they were a year ago.
There is much more focus in this part of the world on finding ways to prove that all the time and energy that goes into producing great blog content, building your social media footprint and rewriting all your landing pages was worth it.
More traffic or more social shares only go so far. There comes a time in any marketing relationship when you need to show that you’re generating more conversions. So, if your content marketing strategy is falling short of this crucial test, here are 6 questions to ask yourself…
1) Are you targeting your most valuable customers?
Your content marketing strategy should target the customers who make you the most money, but you can only do that if you know who those customers are. For a lot of businesses, the customers who contribute the most to the bottom line tend to spend their money in peaks and troughs.
These binge consumers need to be nurtured and content marketing can be a great way to do that. A potential customer who’s not ready to make a purchase today is more likely to think of you when they are ready if they’ve seen your blog or been given a reason to start following you on social media.
If you’re not creating regular, useful and interesting content that can maintain a connection between purchases you could be missing out on these potentially very valuable customers.
2) Do people know how great you are?
You might have a great business with amazing stories to tell and the sorts of values your potential customers can identify with. But are you keeping all this awesomeness to yourself?
Even if you don’t sell anything through your website or even use it as a major driver of leads, you can bet potential customers are still checking you out online before they make a purchase. They’ll be Googling you to help them decide if you deserve their hard-earned dollars.
If your landing pages are terrible and you never update your blog these potential customers will get a bad impression of you or they’ll make their decision based on what other people are saying. A good content marketing strategy can have a big influence over what people think and something you can control.
3) Did you let your personal preferences wreck your strategy?
Are you creating content for your customers or for yourself? Marketing managers, business owners and even agencies can let their own preferences or their misconceptions about what people want cloud their judgement and mess up their content strategy.
If you’re not regularly asking yourself questions like “what do my customers want from me and how does this piece of content deliver on that” then it might be time to hit the brakes and have a rethink. Content you like is not necessarily the same as content that will convert and help you make more money. Unless your blog is purely a vanity project for your own entertainment it’s important to remember that point.
4) Are you forgetting what it is that makes your business unique?
In this digital, global age there are fewer barriers to entry and monopolies rarely last. Whatever it is that you do, the chances are there are plenty of other businesses doing the same thing. And if that’s not the case then enjoy it while it lasts because if you found a way to make money the competition won’t be far behind.
So how do you differentiate yourself from the competition? What are your unique selling points (USPs)? And are you highlighting those USPs in the content you create? If your coffee is ethically-sourced and that’s something your customers care about, blog about ethically-sourced coffee. If your management consultants have more published journal articles than your closest competitors, talk about that in their website bios.
5) Did you put off potential customers by coming on too strong?
So much of content marketing is about balance. Your content needs to be search-friendly, but not crammed full of keywords. Your blog needs to be updated regularly, but not flooded with lightweight, irrelevant posts that nobody reads.
The effort to drive more conversions needs balance too. Some of your content should be aiming for a quick conversion by satisfying a particular need at just the right time, while other pieces of content are investments in the longer term relationships that will lead to conversions in the future.
Get this balance wrong and you risk turning potential customers off by coming on too strong. Just as you might click away from web pages that beat you over the head with their advertising, you need to make sure your calls-to-action don’t drown out everything else you have to say.
6) Is your content a bad fit for your conversion goals?
Whether you’re aiming for a quick conversion or nurturing future potential, the conversion you’re looking for should be a natural next step from the content it’s sitting next to. Who’s most likely to download your case study about how to make recruitment more efficient? Someone reading a blog article about recruitment is a pretty good bet.
So, if you have a conversion problem take a look at how well your calls-to-action fit your content. Could you improve how you present your conversion opportunity? Will your website visitors see it? Is it easy to complete? Or is the problem with the content? It could be something as simple as the mood you leave people in when they’ve read or watched what you’ve created.