So you’ve spent hours planning and writing blogs and social posts, hitting all your keywords and using all your hashtags, only for the results to come back a little underwhelming.
Sadly, an effective content marketing strategy isn’t that straightforward and requires more than just time spent writing blogs, but time spent researching, planning, promoting and analysing.
Here, we’ll go over some key areas where brands go wrong with their content marketing, and what should be done to create a successful campaign.
1. You’re not taking SEO seriously
If you don’t consider SEO important, or see it as an end thought to your content marketing process, we have some bad news for you: You’ll never get the traffic you desire.
Or you may consider it slightly important, checking off your keywords with every paragraph. But SEO goes much deeper than stuffing your content with keywords and phrases.
Firstly, how do you know your keywords are words worth ranking for? Use online tools like SEM Rush, Moz and Wordstream to find out how much traffic your keywords are getting, and their ranking difficulty. They’ll also provide great insights into other possible keywords to use, and analytics to see how your pages are performing.
After you’ve found your ideal keywords and created a winning piece of content, spend 10 minutes doing your SEO housekeeping. Add page titles and meta descriptions, create alt-tags for images you’ve used, and see where you can add other internal or external links to your page.
2. Topics you’re interested in aren’t always of interest to your audience
Sure, it’s your blog, you can write whatever you want, but that’s not always what your audience wants. Even the most entertaining, well-written blog post isn’t guaranteed to see a spike in your page visits. Whatever your blog or brand is about, your content needs to have a tangible benefit to your audience; something that’s current, entertaining or informative.
Take a step back from what you think people will be interested in and do some research into what people are interested in. See what’s new in the entertainment industry, find the latest must-have products, or check out what’s coming to Netflix next month, and put your unique spin on it. Not only will you hit your SEO keywords and metrics, but you’ll also expand into other areas of more current searches.
David Ogilvy, the father of advertising, said that when he saw an advert from a competitor he liked, he’d use that as a template for his next ad, but make it better. There’s no harm in using your competitors’ content as inspiration for your own, just make sure you inject your own ideas and personality into it. And of course, make it better.
3. Link building isn’t a thing
As mentioned briefly above, adding links to pages is another effective way to boost your SEO ranking. And if you’re worried you don’t have enough content to link pages, don’t be, they don’t even have to be links to your website. By linking content that relates to your blog post, you’re essentially piggybacking on the success of the linked page’s SEO ranking, while increasing the ‘authority’ of your website.
Remember when you had to reference your university assignments? Well, link building, or the skyscraper technique, is the same thing. No plagiarism here. And it’s not too dissimilar from the aforementioned Ogilvy method: Find something good and make it better.
Find link-worthy content and create a better version. Rinse, repeat and build a digital city seamlessly linking all your skyscrapers together.
4. You’re not engaging in online communities
There’s a million and one brands and bloggers out there gunning for people’s attention. So, unfortunately, you’re not going to hit that publish button and miraculously become an online sensation. It takes time and effort to build a following.
Start by finding established online communities that relate to your target audience and engage in conversation with them, answer their questions and share valuable links.
Reddit is the perfect place to start; there’s a subreddit for every area of interest imaginable, built by people who are actively involved in their online community. Join them in conversation and let them know what your content is about and how it can benefit them.
5. Performance and analytics aren’t being measured
Measure twice and cut once, right? The same principle applies to content marketing. If you’re not measuring or analysing the performance of a page, page views, return visits and clicks, your content marketing campaign will never get better. You can’t improve something if you don’t know how it’s already performing.
The best part about digital content marketing is that everything can be measured, so you should have total omnipresence over all your campaigns.
Think about your KPIs and the areas you want to improve before creating your content, and develop a campaign that’s goal is to achieve those metrics. If you want to improve brand awareness, create a strategy that encourages page views, return visits and social shares. Compare the data before and after this campaign to see how you’re doing, and what can be improved for the next one.
6. Not enough paid advertising
Or none at all, for that matter. You may be a little reluctant to fork out on search engine marketing (SEM) in the hope that your SEO will do all the work for you. Unless you have a high-ranking page that’s constantly been added to with optimised content, you may end up waiting a little while to reap the rewards of organic traffic.
For instant results, invest in paid search marketing to make it easier for your customers to find your content. SEM or Google Adwords is a sure-fire way to see a spike in your page visits, and in turn, conversions. And it’s measurable, so you know exactly what you earned from what you spent.
The main problem people face with content marketing is the expectation of instant results. It takes time, effort and money to build a winning campaign, but it’s one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing if executed correctly.
Scribly has a team of content marketing specialists ready to apply all these best practices and more to your campaign. Get in touch to see how the Scribly team can improve your content marketing with more visits, clicks and conversions.