Here at Haden Interactive, we’re all about web content. The content at your website, your blog, the content of your email blasts, your whitepapers and ebooks, social media, video scripts — we know that this is what makes the most difference for SEO, for conversions, and for connecting with your customers. But what if content marketing isn’t working for you?
When content marketing isn’t working
But we meet people who tell us that they’ve tried content marketing and it doesn’t work. We don’t argue, but we’re always interested to learn more about their experience. Here are the things I don’t say to them:
- Are you sure it’s not working? We’ve seen quite a few companies give up on their content marketing. We usually see a drop in traffic of about 1/3 and a drop in conversions of about 1/2. Sometimes those companies believe that their web traffic doesn’t affect their bottom line, and they may be right. But “Reduce walk-in traffic by one third” isn’t what you’d usually put on your list of marketing goals. Check your data before you decide that it’s not working.
- Are you doing it right? If your idea of content marketing is a monthly blog post about your company, you’re probably not doing much for your customers. If you’re not providing useful, entertaining, engaging content, you’re not adding value for your customers.
- Are you still in your time machine? Often we see old-school marketers trying to use new technologies in just the same way they used the old ones. They put their TV ads on YouTube, tweet the things they used to put in print ads, and make every blog post a sales pitch. Marketing used to be about yelling loudly at people till they bought, but it isn’t any more. It’s about having the answers your customers are looking for when they look for them.
Consumers like to find out more about products they’re thinking of buying, brands they’re interested in, and subjects they care about. The point of content marketing is to be there with what they want when they look.
How can you be there?
- Have good content — quality and quantity. You can’t wait until you have a sale and then make a great infographic just in time for the sale. You have to have a strong body of content. HubSpot does a lot of research in this area, and they’ve found that the rewards of blogging grow exponentially as the number of blog posts grows. If you give up at 20 blog posts, you will never see the rewards of having 200.
- Be customer-centered. Is it all about you? Not in content marketing it’s not. We often see companies that focus on their accomplishments. It’s good to have accomplishments and they can help prove your brand’s value, but really your visitors aren’t that interested in you. They’re interested in what they were searching for — healthier pet food or a better way to organize their beauty products or recipes for a diabetic diet. Why should they quit paying attention to what they want and pay attention to what you want them to pay attention to? Simple answer: they shouldn’t, and they won’t.
- Give it time. Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Kraft is great at content marketing and they report that it has the highest ROI of any marketing they do. They can look back to Jell-O recipe pamphlets from 1904 or at their 10,000 pins on their own Pinterest boards — content marketing has been like compound interest for them. Do they still do traditional advertising? Sure they do! But they also have thousands of eager, unpaid brand ambassadors sharing their content. It didn’t happen overnight for Kraft and it won’t happen overnight for your company, either. So don’t wait to start.
Content marketing takes time, it should be strategic, it works best if you use analytics to track and tweak your strategy, and good design is a big advantage. The most important thing for your content marketing efforts, though, is the quality of your content. Haden Interactive has excellent writers on staff, and we’d love to help you with your content marketing strategy. Contact us, and let’s talk about how we can help you.