Does the following sound familiar?
- Send out a newsletter,
- Update your social media,
- Check search engine rankings,
- Try to engage with your audience and respond when needed,
- Put some effort into blogging.
Is it getting you somewhere?
Or do you fit the more common mold: unhappy, the results aren’t what you had hoped, and it’s A LOT of work to get all of this done. It should be easier than this, right? Shouldn’t the product, as amazing and worthwhile as it is, sell itself?
Unfortunately, this scenario happens a lot in content marketing.
We hate to break it to you, but it’s kind of like paying for McDonald’s and expecting Panera – or P.F. Chang’s.
Why Your Content Marketing is Failing: You’re Not Doing Anything Different
What is your favorite fast food joint?
Before you go touting your love of all things organic and kale-based (I’m a clean food freak, myself) – keep in mind that fast food restaurants in America serve millions of customers every day, even while we claim to understand the health benefits of all things green.
So why do those greasy, salty chains still do so well? Why are seven out of the top ten chains marked by fried food, calorie-laden sodas, and “unclean” food?
Graphic from QSRMagazine
Because somewhere along the way, they set themselves apart and became different from the competition – and made a permanent impression upon their target audience’s mind.
When it comes to content marketing, you get what you put into it.
There’s a reason your content marketing efforts are producing Happy Meal-sized results when what you really want to serve is a delicious, home-cooked meal with a side of conversions and authentic engagement.If you're not doing anything different than the competition, you're not going to stand out. @JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet
The good news?
You can change that, and we’re here to help you. Ready to chew on it?
Creating Compelling Content By Using the Right Approach
Joe Pulizzi reminds us at CMI that what we are creating must be valuable, useful, compelling, and different.
This means we have to step aside from the time we spend worrying about the process and approaches to content creation and move toward being more concerned with the actual content we create and the difference it makes for our audience.
Which means it actually has to make a difference.
Why post to social media? Why send out a newsletter? Why should your readers step away from their fried greasy plate over to your buffet of deliciousness and take a bite?
After all, there is a fast food joint on every corner.
There are 300 hundred hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute in addition to over 4 million Facebook “likes” and 347,222 Tweets.
Graphic from Contently
So – what’s so great about you?
3 Ways to Take Your Content Marketing from Greasy to Great
Our content marketing is failing not because we aren’t trying, but because we all look the same. There are some ways to change that and take your content from greasy, drive-thru fare to take-a-seat, dive in greatness of the finest of meals.
Are you ready to begin creating quality content with the maximum amount of engagement?
1. Be okay with changing course & diving deeper
No one likes to be in pain, but changing course and diving deeper usually means pain:
- More investment/money
- More time on your part
- More hassle
But there is good news! This effort and time will give your content marketing so much more of a return on investment. Have you always done a blog post, social media post, and e-newsletter, right on time? Switch it up and do a podcast, experiment with Facebook Live, or move toward something more interactive.
It’s okay to pass up that burger place and keep driving for something more satisfying.
This is the number #1 trait that goaded me to work harder and achieve greater results since early 2016. Before that, I was a mediocre blogger. But today – I care.
Check out the case study I wrote last year on where we’re at: and for an example of a “more time/investment” post, check out the big spend infographic we did. Content like that isn’t cheap, but it’s worth it. Don’t do anything less.
2. Turn your focus back to your audience
Are you confident in the voice you are developing as an authority in your field? This requires effort on your part and takes some investment in understanding the readers and staying current on the content you are offering.
One way to turn the focus back on the audience – where it belongs – is to create a list of the biggest and best blogs in the niche you are in, and then analyzing the good, the bad, and the ugly.
No matter the subject matter, if it isn’t different, the audience won’t care. They will keep looking until they find the relevant and interesting solutions for their needs.
Remember that you aren’t writing to the whole world.Find your niche, get to know it, and write/publish/create for the people in it. @JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet
3. Use only the best tools
Let’s say you are looking to market your new business, which sells custom-made home décor. Besides the obvious competition from the big names, you have a host of smaller shops on sites like Etsy that will be selling similar products as your own.
How do you even begin to market to your audience and set your brand apart from the others? Here are a few tools we love.
- Quora: This collaborative information-sharing and learning site connects the information needs of real humans (your target audience) with solutions provided by real people (you).
- Answer the Public: This site finds and maps keyword suggestions and predictions that users see when they search on Google. Here, you can find out what questions your customers will have by way of a free report.
- KW Finder: When you’re ready to research keywords and get the best bang for your buck, KW Finder gives you exact search volume data for your needs. The process is simplified and your results are a helpful way to find out which keywords to use based on the competition.
- BuzzSumo: This powerful online tool lets any user find out what content is most popular by topic or by website. Quickly identify what content works well in a given industry and who the major influencers are. See a more extensive guide I wrote on BuzzSumo, here.
Boost Your Content Presence & Never Worry Why Your Content Marketing is Failing Again
The question now becomes, what are you going to do differently?
How can you change course, focus on the audience, and use effective tools for maximum impact?
You don’t have to be average, or settle for that – in any shape or form. There are so many ways to be different, so many ways to stand out and let your brand authenticity through.
Dare to be different – I dare you! 😉