5 Easy Steps to Suck Less at Content Marketing
Please enjoy the following guest contribution by Kevin Goldberg of Walkme.com
Since content marketing has become the thing to do, especially with B2B businesses, we’ve gotten the chance to see the clear divide between the good, the bad, and the ugly. The majority of businesses are doing it, the real question becomes: how many of them are succeeding? Even though content marketing is one of the most affordable methods of promotion, a lot of brand and businesses are not able to see the return. There can be various mistakes and in this article we’ll explore the top 5 brands make.
1. Set Goals
You’ve already instructed your employees to develop content marketing strategies for your business, but have you clearly communicated the purpose of it to them? Are you aware, or have you set, KPIs and goals?
We all know the significance of drafting a plan before starting any business. A business without a defined goal is pointless -- the same is true with content marketing. When there aren’t clear points to strive for there’s a higher probability of doing it wrong. The first step is to be clear about your goals and communicate them to your team.
Typical content marketing goals include:
- Lead generation
- Brand awareness
- Increasing traffic
- Generating referrals
2. If Your Goal is Lead Gen, Get Leads!
Lead gen is one of the most common reasons for brands to focus on content marketing. Through blogs, white papers, ebooks, and webinars, brands try to find new and eager customers who are looking for an easy fix for their problems. Viola, your product solves these problems. However, some companies still haven’t figured out exactly how to harness these leads.
For white papers, ebooks, and webinars, there needs to be a gateway requiring contact info about the person and the company they work for. No exceptions. These contacts should be easily exported to your sales team and/or CRM of your choice.
Blogs are a little more difficult. I personally find it annoying for a blog to ask for contact info before reading anything. Rather, I like a more subtle approach like offering access to an exclusive newsletter.
The point of content marketing (and subsequent success) is all based on giving people value. Nobody wants to give up their info unless they believe they are getting something in return.
3. Lack of Consistency
This tends to be the most common mistake I see in B2B content marketing. Without consistent posting how are you supposed to keep readers engaged and coming back? Starting a new blog tends to come with great excitement and tons of article ideas. However, after those ideas wear off you see blogs start lacking in new content. The blog becomes a stagnant bore. To combat this growing problem, it’s important to keep a detailed editorial calendar which has the tasks clearly delegated each week. The roles of brainstorming new article ideas, writing outlines and drafts, and editing should be visibly defined and accounted for.
It’s also important to hold weekly status meetings to judge where your team is on their projects and what you’re currently working on to accomplish the end goals.
4. Delegate! Delegate! Delegate!
As I briefly mentioned before, it’s imperative to have an editorial calendar with clearly outlined tasks with a specific owner. I can’t say this enough. Your content team needs to know how they fit into the entire campaign with their specific job. If you have 10 people working on the team with no clear delegation of tasks, the entire campaign will suffer. Ownership of tasks is key for a finely-tuned content marketing campaign.
I’ve found it works best by giving each member of your team ownership, from start to finish, of a specific article. The other team members will help edit and research for that article, along with working on their own article. This helps create comradery and accountability.
5. Lack of Interaction
You’re trying to capture a greater share of online market by targeting all the possible platforms -- a dedicated Facebook page, LinkedIn group, Twitter, e-newsletter, email marketing and blog. All good, right?
However, is there anyone responding or interacting with the customers on a regular basis? Who’s going to answer the queries, posts, emails and comments on your company’s behalf? Engagement is crucial in content marketing. It both humanizes the brand and makes them seem more welcoming.
You can’t consistently talk without ever listening.
The main purpose of content marketing is to develop a comprehensive source of information for your clients, customers, associates and industry. In order to be successful, it’s vital to build your credibility. Help your customers resolve their doubts and queries. Do not forget to add a glitch of your personality to your blog and posts. Share the information and knowledge with passion and consistency.
Kevin Goldberg is the Marketing Director at WalkMe, an interactive online guidance system and engagement platform. He is the lead author and editor of Product 2 Market, a blog devoted to news and ideas on product marketing. Follow him at @Kevin_Goldberg.