Once upon a time, there was a myth that content marketing was easy. That anyone could churn out articles on nearly any subject, that they could be SEO optimized with just the right percentage of keywords at the right density, the search engines would find them, and we’d all be on our way to the bank living happily ever after. The End.
Except – that’s not what happened. Google had to get in the way and insert those dang black and white animals into our fairy tale, and nothing’s been the same since.
The result? Content marketing has become a landmine-studded field of challenges. If you’re not careful and if you’re not successfully overcoming these challenges, you could actually be losing money!
What are the pitfalls that could be hindering your efforts?
1. Your content stinks
I wanted to write “sucks” instead of “stinks,” but admittedly, I’m still aware that my mother occasionally reads my blog. Go figure.
But here’s the thing. If you’re buying your content from the lowest bidding writer who hails from another country and doesn’t write like a native speaker of English, it’s likely your content stinks.
If your content is a barely veiled attempt to sell your product, it probably sucks for that reason too. (I’m getting on a roll now, there’s no stopping it!)
If your content is so boring and dry that it has absolutely no personality and could have been written by any of your competitors, that’s another reason it could suck and be lowering your return on investment. ‘
What’s a good way to see if the quality of your web content needs improvement? Check your social engagement. If no one is liking or commenting on your articles, either on site or via your social channels, chances are good that your articles – and their headlines – need improvement.
Solution: One of two things needs to change – you either need to become a better web copywriter, or you need to outsource to someone who is. You can either contract with a ghostwriter for web articles, or consider joining a service that produces high-quality PLR articles you can add your own personal touch to and publish under your own brand
2. You’re producing too much content
I know that there are a ton of people telling you that you need to produce more content, and that if you just produce more, you’ll get more traffic.
This is flawed thinking, and here’s why.
Producing content every day challenges your ability to produce high-quality content (see point #1 above). Low-quality content decreases your likelihood of engagement. And if you’re writing content that people don’t find useful and aren’t engaging with, you just about might as well not be producing it.
It’s also likely that too much content actually suppresses engagement just because there’s too much of it. People don’t have the time to read your site every day, and if you’re swamping them with too much information, pretty soon they’ll tune you out.
Solution: When you’ve started producing high quality articles either yourself or via PLR content or some kind of article writing service, experiment with your frequency of publishing. See what interval gets the most engagement from your audience, and then stick with it. Creating a content calendar can help you stay on target for producing quality content for your website on a regular basis.
3. You have the wrong person producing your content
This can sometimes be a cause of the problem addressed in point #1 (do you see me emphasizing different aspects of creating crummy content here?!)
Whoever is producing your content needs to have the mindset of providing value, not making sales. Of course if you’re a business, you need to be profitable – I’m not arguing against making money. But if your content is clearly a prolonged sales pitch because it’s produced by someone who believes that the point of your content marketing is to sell, sell, sell, it won’t convert. And honestly – it’s likely to push your readers away, causing your content marketing efforts to actually cost you money rather than giving you the solid return on investment that quality content been shown to do.
Another symptom of the wrong person creating your website content is that your articles are bland and boring. They read as if they could have come from Wikipedia or a textbook. It’s important to have a writer who is confident about writing in your brand’s voice. (Did you even know your brand had a voice?) Writing in your brand’s voice is one of the things that makes your content interesting, engaging, and likely to be shared via social channels.
Solution: Choose your content creator carefully. (I’ve always had a thing for alliteration.) Make sure that whoever is producing the content for your brand understands what your target market needs, in terms of information and is able to provide it. Even better, make sure that your content marketing producer has the ability to “hear” your brand’s unique voice and produce content that is believably in that voice.
QUESTION: What content marketing mistakes did I miss? What are your other questions about why your content might not be yielding results? Leave a comment below !