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Stop Putting Out Content For Content’s Sake – Doing Content Marketing Right

When wielded properly, content marketing is a powerful weapon. It engages potential customers. It converts them. It builds brand ambassadors over the long term. But it can also derail your marketing efforts if mishandled.

The main problem business owners are facing these days is that their content marketing plan is no longer making a substantial return on their investment. But the bottom line is that without an underlying strategy, producing content for the sake of it will never yield you the desired results.

Here’s how to overcome this common mistake.

The pitfalls of poor content production

Everyone can write, but not everyone can write well. This issue seems inherent in a lot of businesses, especially small businesses with minimal marketing budget. It’s just easier to knock out a few hundred words instead of paying a professional, right?

But poor content marketing can be hugely damaging to your brand. What’s more, it wastes your time and threatens to drive away loyal customers. Here are a couple of warning signs for poor content production:

  • The content is irrelevant or not aligned to what your customers want to see from your business.
  • It’s poorly written or poorly designed.
  • You’re producing content that doesn’t add any value for the reader.
  • There’s no creativity or originality, and they can find better content elsewhere.

How to turn those pitfalls on their heads

An ongoing trend these days is to just create a basic content calendar of topics and then tick them off as you go. But that’s not a content marketing strategy – it’s just a foundation. A fully fledged strategy involves research, competitor analysis, keyword research and a healthy feedback loop with your audience.

Want to start producing great content? Make sure it:

  • Looks great, jumps off the screen and is fantastically written. Engagement is key!
  • Adds real value for the reader. Give them something they can’t find anywhere else.
  • Is original and creative. Find your own voice and shout it from the rooftops.
  • Tells a story. People want to hear exciting tales, so use content marketing to tell good stories.

Content marketing isn’t a sole strategy – it’s a tactic

If there’s one takeaway from this blog that we really want to drive home it’s that content marketing isn’t the be all and end all of marketing. Rather than relying on it as a sole solution, content should be part of a multi-pronged, overarching strategy.

It’s a tactic that can deliver great benefits for your business, but it must be supported by other tactics like analytics, social media, SEO, audience research and more. The biggest mistake you can make when starting out is to invest in content but forget about all the other arms of marketing.

3 steps to using content more successfully

Ready to get back on the horse and take your content to the next level? Here are three questions to drive your new marketing strategy:

  • Who do I want to speak to? Do you really know your audience? Consider who it is you want to speak to, research what they want and then give it to them.
  • What’s the purpose of my content? Determine what you want to achieve with your content. Obviously converting customers is your ultimate goal, but when you create content with a purpose in mind, that will translate to your readers and make them more engaged.
  • What does my audience want? Your content should always be solutions-oriented, and more importantly you’ll want to guide your audience along the content journey. Put yourself in their shoes and help them solve their problems.

By cultivating and nurturing your content marketing in line with a solid strategy, it will soon flourish into a key driver of ROI for your business.

Want to get more out of your content marketing efforts? Contact us to find out how we can help you define a strategy that produces results.

You can also read more about content, social media and all things marketing at The Beat.

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