Do you have a content strategy?
We live in a society with a short attention span. Creating a cohesive content strategy is hard, especially with a diverse work offering. But for the purpose of getting found online having a cohesive and focused content strategy is important. So before you even begin looking at what other things may be affecting your online efforts, determine whether or not you have a focused content strategy. If you don’t, and you’re simply creating content, stop reading now and sort out your content strategy first, then move on.
Are you publishing content regularly?
Take a look at your direct competitors. Now take a look at the competitors or companies you aspire to be. How often are those two companies producing content? If your direct competitors are doing more, than you need to step up your game. If they’re not, then you still need to. My guess is that the companies you aspire to be are creating lots of diverse content for each of their sales and marketing channels. Be that! If the saying goes, dress for the job you want, the same goes for your content. Create content for the company you want to be, not the one you are.
Is your content specific to your goals?
What are your business goals? Who is your target audience? Creating content that is tailored to specific demographics is vital to the success of a content strategy’s success.
For example, if you’re a web design and marketing agency (just an example, I assure you) you write a lot. Why? Because most of our traffic comes from organic search. We want to make our readers happy as well as Google. (Hear that, Matt Cutts? Help a brother out.)
Generally our audience is comprised of professionals who don’t mind reading a bit to gain some knowledge. If we were selling something that was a bit more targeted at a younger audience, this blog would have been a lot shorter and a video would have been 2 minutes or less. The goals and audience should match the content strategy. If not you’re spending time and money trying to be everything to everyone.
Are you amplifying this message?
Better yet, is everyone in your company amplifying your message? If you’re not pushing your content out to social media, it’s presumed you’re back at step one: you don’t have a content strategy. But yes, it’s possible you’re not. Or, more likely, you’re not pushing to the right social channels. It’s not actually necessary to have 2 million fans or followers on Facebook and Twitter to win at social.
If you’re a professional organization catering to other professionals, these may not actually be your best outlet. Conversely if you’re not creating enough content, you might get lost on Twitter because it’s tough for your followers to keep up. So if you are but aren’t seeing results, make sure your employees are helping you evangelize. If you’re not. Find the right channels and start. If you’re amplifying in the wrong areas, it could be hurting more than it’s helping because it’s frustrating and wasting time and money.
Are you gating that content?
Once you’ve created high quality content, it’s time to gate some of the great stuff. The white papers, the guides. Free stuff to inform your visitors is great. But getting insights into who they are is awesome. A good rule to follow is, the better that content is, the more data they should have to give up in order to get it. Otherwise, you’re simply giving away everything and not knowing who’s interested until they’re far down the sales and marketing funnel. You could have been nurturing them this whole time, or worse yet, engaging in a sales process too early and wasting everyone’s time.
If you’re buying a ton of ads, but want to start seeing results that go beyond your daily offering to Google, content is king. But relevant, gated, focused content is his goddess. A strong content strategy that stays consistent will tell both your visitors and the search engines who you are and what you do. Educating them will give them an opportunity to learn who you are, and gating it will help you learn who they are. Then you can nurture them into a sale. If you haven’t started your strategy yet:
Figure out who you are.
Determine what you want.
Write like it’s going out of style. (Or make videos, podcasts, whatever – I just wanted to make a Hamilton reference somewhere in here. I told you we have a short attention span in our society)
Then amplify where it’s appropriate.
Track your visitors to leads and beyond.