Your digital marketing efforts could all be for nothing, if you don’t use content.
Seems a little dramatic perhaps, but if you have ever felt that your website is pushing people away, that your leads are disappearing, that your SEO efforts are in vain – well, you’re probably not using content effectively.
So here are five common problems we all have faced, and how content can be the solution.
1. Your website doesn’t encourage people to return
Your website looks great. You’ve invested in cutting edge design and your company message is clear.
But are you giving people a reason to come back?
Your customers will not return to read your homepage or ‘about us’ page multiple times. They will only become regular website visitors if you provide them with fresh, valuable and relevant content.
How to produce regular content that brings your audience back
Start by committing to write just one great blog post each month. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and consider the types of content you would want to read if you were them.
Steadily increase the frequency of published content to one article each fortnight, then each week, then twice per week, and so on. In time, you will see an increase in traffic and the time people spend on your website.
Begin to gather insight into the types of content your audience prefers so that you can produce more of it. Becoming a thought leader in your space will open up more opportunities for you to monetise your content marketing efforts.
2. You are bringing in leads but they are not being nurtured
Around 80% of new leads never become sales according to Lead Generation for the Complex Sale by Brian Carroll. The primary reason for this is lack of effective nurturing.
Lead nurturing is about understanding the needs of prospects and delivering relevant and timely content at each stage of the buyer journey.
According to Marketo, companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost.
How to stop leads slipping through the net
Develop a scoring system that determines where prospective clients fit within your brand and service model, and how likely they are to convert to a sale.
Categorising leads in this way enables you to deliver the most suitable and relevant content at each stage, thus improving the likelihood that it will generate the desired action.
B2B content marketers primarily use email (87%) and educational content (77%) to nurture their audience but you should test different mediums and formats to see what suits your unique audience.
3. Your email lists are shrinking fast
If you’re battling high attrition rates it pays to develop a content mix that values informative content over self-promotional.
According to Marketing Week, 73% of marketers rate email as the number one digital channel for return on investment.
How to get the most from email
It is essential that you only ever send emails when there is a specific need.
Prepare a set of relevant templates to suit each critical stage of your buyer journey and be sure to personalise the content as much as possible.
According to the DMA’s Consumer Email Tracker report, personal and relevant emails are an ‘absolute must’ for consumers, and unsubscribes are driven by a combination of customer churn (customers moving away from a brand) at 55% and receiving too many irrelevant emails at 53%.
To retain customers and avoid unsubscribes, test different content formats and topics, and never send an email without a defined purpose.
4. Your SEO needs attention – and content
There is no such thing as SEO without content.
Words, articles and keywords are fundamental to ranking well, and a regularly updated blog provides the perfect opportunity for you to write frequently about topics your audience loves.
If you’re relying on static landing pages alone to make you competitive in search engine results pages (SERPS) then you are missing a major SEO trick.
How to make content work for SEO
Search engines reward websites that publish quality, consistent content – providing answers to popular questions and solving problems for your audience.
Plan your blog content around a network of related long tail keywords and subjects, using tools like Answer the Public to help with titles and ideas.
Killer content will encourage linkbacks from authoritative third parties which further feeds SEO and guarantees continual ranking success.
5. Your PR efforts are starting to fall flat
PR used to be all about self-promotion, however publications now demand thought leadership content over press releases.
The CMI reports that 90% of the most successful B2B content marketers prioritise their audience’s informational needs over their company’s promotional message.
Successful PR strategies must address issues that readers care about, not what your business thinks they should care about.
How to refresh your PR strategy
The main goal of public relations is to boost the reputation of your brand, and the best tool you have at your disposal is expert industry knowledge.
What do you have to say that is different and more poignant than your competitors?
Here are a few ways to refresh your PR campaign:
- Conduct your own, primary research
- Comment on important happenings in your industry
- Take advantage of any speaking opportunities
- Engage on social media
Stick with it and commit to continually improving your content marketing strategy.
As your content marketing matures, success will come.