Content marketing is one of the best ways to market your business, second only to social media marketing. Most companies make content marketing a priority, but it doesn’t work the way they expect. This is mostly because few people actually understand how to do effective content marketing.
If you really think about it, both content marketing and social media marketing involve content, yet they are distinct concepts. This is because the focus of content marketing should be on content rather than promotion, which is where social media marketing comes in. Few people appreciate the distinction, which is why they make so many mistakes in their content promotion plan.
This is not to say that promotion is not a part of your content marketing strategy. However, it is the end rather than the beginning, which is why you need to learn that content promotion is a conglomeration of different strategies, and not a single concept. Here are 5 reasons your content promotion plan doesn’t work.
Reason 1: No distribution plan
Knowing is not the same as doing.
More than half of the companies using content marketing know they need a distribution plan, but 74% don’t actually invest in planning and execution when it comes down to the wire. This is a big reason they fail to get the results they expect in content marketing.
They concentrate more on content creation, spending money and time on it without thinking about how, where, and when they are going to use it. As a result, their content does not result in leads or sales because only a few people get to see and appreciate the effort.
To avoid wasting your resources, you have to make a distribution and promotion plan for each new piece of content you create to ensure maximum returns. You should have a mix of organic and paid channels to get the most out of your investment because you can’t count solely on people finding your content amongst so many other posts. You need to go the extra mile.
Reason 2: Lack of engagement
The main focus of content marketing is engaging the audience in the content. While you do need to produce regular content, you should make sure it is relevant and interesting for your audience, or you are just wasting time and effort.
Creating content that has no value for your target audience is almost as bad as not posting content at all. Your audience will not engage with it in any way. Worse, they may start associating your site or company with the spammy content.
Create buyer personas so you can make sure your content is engaging and relevant. Not only your audience will appreciate it, you build a reputation as a credible source of information, perhaps even an expert in the industry.
It will not be easy, because engaging a fickle audience presents all kinds of challenges for most (60%) of companies, but as long as you keep your buyer personas in mind when creating content, you should be on the right track.
Reason 3: Not enough analytics
The proof of the pudding is in the eating. What this means for content marketing is you need to measure how your content is doing in real life so you can improve it if it isn’t working, or build on it if it is.
There are four metrics to which you need to pay attention together: consumption, sharing, leads, and sales. Many companies focus on only one or two of these metrics, but for effective content marketing, you need to pay attention to all of them all the time.
The most common analytic tools include Google Analytics, but there are a bunch of other free analytics tools you can check out and play with. You can then use the data you get to make adjustments to your content creation and make it pop.
Reason 4: No Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Some people think that content marketing should only be about creating great content, and search engine optimization or SEO is a bit of a sellout.
Content marketing and SEO are not mutually exclusive terms. You can go overboard and concentrate too much on SEO to the detriment of organic content, and that’s no good. However, having no SEO at all can also be a bad thing, because how will people find you or your content?
Judicious use of SEO can effectively drive traffic to your site, and generate leads and sales without compromising the value of your content. There are various SEO strategies you can use to do that, and it is not just a matter of using the right keywords.
Reason 5: Single channeled-ness
Many companies use a funnel-type strategy for content marketing. They publish content on their website, and then share a link on different sites to lead people back to the site. This is fine if people are willing to click on a link and follow it, but the fact is most people would rather have everything in one place. Promoting your content by posting links to your site on other platforms would be a bit of a turn-off.
Instead of the funnel strategy to get people on your website, create versions of your brand or company on different channels and post long-form content there. Omni-channeling just makes you more visible and accessible.
For example, you could have a kickass Facebook page where you post appropriate content for the FB audience, and also have a well-populated Pinterest board or YouTube channel. You could also send exclusive content via email or newsletter to your subscribers.
If you get enough people to recognize your brand or company, you will not need to rely on links (although you should still put them in, or at least have a hashtag) to get them to your site. Your audience will search for your website on their own to get more great information or related content.
A content promotion plan does not have to be complicated, however, it requires a bit of preparation and research to avoid common pitfalls that lead to failure. Steer clear of these 5 reasons your content promotion plan doesn’t work, and you can maximize any resources you pour into your content marketing strategy.
Karen Dikson is a writer and marketing expert at Careers Booster. She is a regular contributor for several marketing resources. Karen enjoys traveling and to stay up-to-date on the latest digital marketing trends. Chat with her on Twitter.