Content marketing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Each brand has a unique product and consumer base that informs the content strategy. That said, certain aspects of content marketing remain the same regardless of the field: quality content, scheduling, distribution, and others. With so many best practices, it's easy to make mistakes in your plan design. Luckily the most common most content marketing problems are easy to fix.
Problem: Boring titles and headlines
Solution: Metrics show certain titles entice more readers to click through on the post. These include using the phrases, “How to…,” “You need to…,” and “...can learn from…,” amongst several other common title phrases. Another tactic is crafting titles that appeal to a human curiosity. Think of something along the lines of “8 Web Design Features That Makes Users Angry.” Visitors see the title and starting wondering what those features are and if they’re incorporated into their website. Asking a question is another way to solicit click-throughs. Puns, cliches, and cultural references are creative ways to attract attention. Around Christmas time we published, “Do You See What I see? Infographics Should be Part of Your Content Strategy.” The title plays off the holiday carol, “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Be wary of overusing puns and cliches as too many can turn off readers.
Problem: Small audience reach
Solution: Do you know when your audience is most likely to be active online? If not, it's time to turn to your metrics and find out. Publish your key content at the times when people are most likely to see it. For new content marketing plans, there are generalized trends on each platform to help users get started. See when to post your content for maximum exposure and start tracking immediately to fine tune your results.
Problem: Low engagement with content
Solution: If your content is published when the majority of your users are online, it's time to analyze your content and its distribution. Perhaps your content marketing goal is to increase shared engagement on your social networks. Start by checking if the sharing options are easy to find. Social sharing buttons hidden at the bottom of the page don't encourage visitor sharing. Buttons must be visible, match your audience’s preferred networks, and are located near the top or move with the user as they scroll through the page. Next, analyze what content received the highest amount of engagement. What type of content was it? Try replicating previous successes to identify what material catches your audience’s eye. Once you know what your audience likes, create similar new content.
Problem: No call to action
Solution: Nearly every piece of content exists with the purpose of getting the audience to do something with it or to convert that visitor into a lead. How can you do solicit that action without a call to action? Tell your readers what you want them to do: leave comments at the end, share this video, subscribe to the blog, etc. Make the call to action clearly visible on the web page. A verbally and visually clear call to action is a must-have on every piece of content.
Problem: You don't know your metrics
Solution: All content can be measured. That's how the best marketers design better content. How can you define a clear objective for your marketing strategy without knowing your return on investment? Start looking at your metrics. Decide if you're going to drive conversions and track them. Use the data to measure your success, revise the type of content and its delivery, and evaluate the impact of the changes. The most successful content marketers experiment with changes as subtle as the CTA button color when investigating improving return on investment.
Content marketing is an exciting and complex field that can be done well with the right education. The Content Funnel team sees these problems frequently and knows how to revamp content marketing plans to include quality content with the right promotional strategies.