Something is wrong. Your follower count is stagnant. Your content is not getting the views you want it to. No one is converting.
You know something just isn’t working, but what is it? Your audience is clearly weary of your content , but you don’t know why.
We are here to diagnose your content marketing ills and teach you about some of the issues your audience might have with your content.
1. Your content is mistargeted
This might be the most important item on this list. Your content can be stellar and if all the wrong people see it… well you wasted your time and money.
You need to ensure that your content is created for a specific type of person, not the person you want to buy your product, but the person who will actually buy it.
Look closely at your content and figure out if it’s actually something that your current customers would want or need to read. If not, then you need to go back to the drawing board and come up with content that makes your audiences heart’s sing.
2. Your content has no purpose
You heard you needed content so you created content. Your boss said you needed content by Friday so you threw something together. But why? Because everyone else is making content? Part of having a marketing strategy involves creating a reason for your content.
Maybe you want your content to educate others and make your audiences perceive you as a thought leader. Or you want your content to help you sell products (more on this later). The thing is you need to make that goal specific. Say you want to build your newsletter to 100 people in 6 months BECAUSE you want to start being a thought leader.
Define a purpose, including specific goals, in your content and you’ll find it will often accomplish much more than just putting out random pieces of content.
Turns out, when you try to write for a purpose, sometimes it actually accomplishes that purpose.
3. Your content is inconsistent
Inconsistent content is bad content. Maybe it’s just me, but when I see a company who can’t decide whether or not to spell out numbers or to just use the numerals, it makes me cringe a little. Inconsistencies like sporadic use of oxford commas may seem minor to you, but it could be a sign of disorganization to your target audience.
Consistency is what makes your content look professional, as opposed to looking like a crappy college student put it together at the last minute. This is why newspapers have had stylebooks for years and many marketers have adopted a similar practice.
First you need to adopt a stylebook, then tweak it to reflect your business and industry.
4. Your content is a straight sales pitch
Honestly, this shouldn’t even need to be said anymore but it does.
In your content, don’t sound like a pushy sales guy itching for his next commission check.
It’s off-putting and disappointing for those who click on it. Remember all the times you click on a promising headline, only to get taken directly to piece of content that is trying to get you to buy immediately? I know I always leave those pages frustrated and I can’t be the only one.
Keep it educational, entertaining or some combination of both and you’ll find that that sort of content sells better than a typed out sales pitch ever will.
5. You don’t have a CTA
Somewhere on the page that contains your content, you should put a call to action. Maybe you want to entice your readers to answer a question at the bottom of the post as a way of engaging. Maybe you want them to sign up for your mailing list.
The point is, there needs to be a next step for the reader. An action to take. Every interaction with your brand means that the reader is that much closer to buying from your company.
Get them to interact with a poll, sign up for your newsletter, something. Get them to do something other than passively read the page. It will benefit your bottom line.
6. Your headlines are bad
Headlines might be the most important part of your content. Without a good headline, it doesn’t matter how brilliant your post might be, because no one will click it.
It’s hard to teach someone to write headlines, in reality writing good ones takes three steps. This goes along with the above step. You need to figure out what your target audience might click on and create a handful of headlines test. After that, A/B test a couple of different tactics and see what works for your audience. They might have slightly different preferences than you and, with testing, you’ll come to know them.
You work hard on your content, make sure your headlines are good enough to make others see that hard work.
7. You don’t plan your content
Disorganized content is the worst.
It’s really what differentiates a professional from a casual writer.
Remember in high school when the kid sitting next to you would brag about how he just made up his essay as he went along? Luckily for him, the standards for organizing an essay were pretty low.
Don’t be that kid. It doesn’t take long to sit down (after doing your research) to plan out a blog post.
The result will be a far superior, clearer piece of content than if you hadn’t planned it out.
You can write decent content that makes all of these mistakes, but it won’t make you a thought leader,, it won’t improve your bottom line, and it won’t cause more conversions. You’ll have spent your time and money on something that isn’t making an impact. In essence, it is useless.
Useless isn’t a word you want applied to your content. Luckily, most of these issues just take a little time to fix. Once you mend these mishaps, you’ll find that your content is drawing a better audience, filled with people that are interested in your company and even your product.
What mistakes do you see marketers make? How could they fix them? Let us know in the comments section.