A few important adjustments in delivering content in your marketing efforts can make a big difference.
David Haar, senior director of business development, Vertical Measures, Phoenix, Ariz., spelled out how to do it during the Professional Development Session From Frustration to Success with Content Marketing organized by American Marketing Association, Phoenix Chapter, with a full house at Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Winebar, Scottsdale, July 27, 2017.
Haar started his talk by encouraging the crowd of Phoenix Metro digital marketers to check out the Gartner Hype Cycle, which systematically plagues everything new, including marketing campaigns, product launches and content.
In addition, Haar said the emotional journey of content marketing can explain a lot about how excitement often leads to disappointment, depression and despair during the process of creating effective content.
Well, where does one go from here? Give up? Nah. Instead understand the eight common problems with content marketing, Haar said. Learn it, know it, live it.
8. Executive team is not leading the way.
“Typically the person doing the marketing feels like they are on an island,” Haar said. “Content marketing isn’t a campaign, a tactic or a strategy. Content marketing is a culture.”
The whole company needs to buy in and truly understand content marketing. Easier said than done, but the entire team will need to get with the program and into the groove before achieving the so-called office-speak “hockey stick” growth.
“It’s not a 30-day ROI,” he said. “But the long-term payoffs can be big.”
Promoting content with paid campaigns can produce an early spike, but real growth will take some time, sometimes six, nine or even 12 months. Can the executive team, focused on quarterly results, wait that long? Hmm. It will take some explaining on your part and possibly some teeth grinding before the results slowly begin to sink in and make a difference.
Google, however, eventually will notice and identify that new content regularly is being added to a website as it continually crawls the site. Plus, as one continues to create content, one gets better and better at it.
7. Not creating most of your own content.
Who should create the lion’s share of the content? Uh, you my friend. Leverage (oh, boy, more office speak) the most obvious sources for great content—your fellow geeks and freaks hiding in their cubicle cages with fascinating, well, engaging, well, let’s just go with useful stories, just waiting to be told.
Just how much does effective content marketing cost? As with everything, it depends. Haar deferred a bit to Marcus Sheridan of the Sales Lion for some of the answer.
6. The wrong kind of strategy.
Write down what you want to achieve to contribute to ROI, Haar said. Figure out what’s working and what’s not. Have an agile strategy for content marketing. That will take some work.
Consider creating a high-quality piece that can be used as a hub-and-spoke mechanism to promoted on all other available venues, including press releases, newsletters, blogs, AdWords, promotional emails, lead nurturing campaigns, case studies, webinars, presentations, videos, web pages, landing pages, infographics, social media channels, SlideShares and off-site articles.
Remember, Haar said, if you are paying an employee, writer or agency to do it, there has to be return on investment.
“Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress.” — Seth Godin
5. Failure to amplify
Build it and they will come. Wrong. If you build it, they might come, Haar said. Creating good content is the first step, but it has to be effectively promoted. This can be accomplished organically through links, social media, influencers and distribution. Pair this with paid efforts, including press release distribution, more influencers and pay-per-click advertising.
4. Nurturing leads is an afterthought
“Companies commonly have a large database, but do little with it,” Haar said. “Ask your best customers what you could do better.”
3. Lack of optimization
In no way shape or form is search engine optimization dead. By the way, remember to use tools like Yoast when creating new pages or posts. Yes, SEO is difficult, Haar reminded us. But we simply cannot forget about best practices for SEO when creating the content in the first place.
Most SEO problems, he said, are a result of unintentional duplicate copy, slow page load times, poor HTML, poorly optimized images and videos, bad backlinks, thin content, mobile unfriendliness.
Meanwhile, think about these statistics:
- Page one of Google captures 92% of the traffic
- 93 percent of all consumers use search prior to making a purchase.
- 86 percent conduct non-branded queries.
- 90 percent click on organic links vs. sponsored ads.
2. You’re afraid to publish the best content.
Don’t be afraid. Life is short. The beer is getting warm. It’s daylight in the swamp. Feel free to add your cliché here ______.
Meanwhile, write about and publish what people actually look for:
- Cost and price.
- Problems and issues.
- The best or top products and services.
- Resources pages.
1. Ideation gone awry.
“You must not skip the ideation step,” Haar said. “And, reward people for good ideas.”
For content marketing, go first for quality, then you can worry about quantity.
“Ask your staff what you should be writing about,” Haar said. “Talk to the people who are interacting with clients and know the product inside and out.”
Write about what the salespeople get asked about all the time. Consider refreshing the stale content, too.
“The companies that truly understand these principles are the ones doing incredible things online,” Haar said. “Just get started and see what happens.”
Presentation: From Frustration to Success with Content Marketing | VerticalMeasures.com
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