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If you’re chasing after the perfect blog post or e-book to get you ten thousand email subscribers, we recommend changing your expectations to something more long-term, based on posting frequent content to attract fans. It’s those gradually collected people who anticipate every new piece, tell friends, and support you online.
However, making consistently effective content, while easier than trying to hit the jackpot with a single piece, is still challenging. If you’ve been having a hit-or-miss content campaign, take a look at the most likely reasons why. We’ll tackle each of the common problems and explain the solutions.
A business still getting the hang of content marketing may find that certain pieces are well received by their audience, while others get low engagement or even negative feedback. To begin with, isolate the ineffective pieces and listen to the complaints laid against them.
Imagine, for example, that a business offers a special hidden newsletter for email subscribers. If people have complained about this because it delivers only once a month and they occasionally miss the email, the business could consider making something more frequent, such as shorter, weekly newsletters. There could also be links to a page with all past content so that people don’t have to hunt down emails to read the older ones again.
Sometimes people don’t understand what they want, but they’ll usually tell you what they don’t like. People might tell you they don’t like the tone of certain videos, or the editing style, or any number of things. The important thing is not to take the immediate solution of cutting out any sense of personality, making the videos mostly unedited, or diminishing the work in some other way. Learn from critics how to be better, and incorporate their feedback without reducing the effort or quality behind your content.
No Clear Strategy
Image via Flickr by Listshack
Content marketing has no real chance of being consistent if it doesn’t have a clear set of objectives and plans. Making a clear strategy for your content may not be feasible in the very beginning, but if you’ve been working at this game for a while, you probably have enough insights among your team to put together some new rules and goals.
A B2B business, for example, might decide that its key performance indicator should be email conversions, as these all have a chance to turn into a deal with another business. Based on experience, they choose to make one weekly content chunk broken into three formats: a blog post, an accompanying infographic, and a video version of the infographic with animated assets. A chain of teams would work together each week from idea to finished product, and then release each piece on the ideal dates, times, and social profiles.
Rules like this are critical to producing consistently valuable content on a schedule, but there will be some growing pains if you’re handling it entirely through your own business. It’s best to embrace that fact and take inventory of your overall performance, augmenting your strategy over time.
Perhaps your business has been running a successful, smaller-scale content marketing campaign for a while, but every time you attempt to scale up with more content, your return per piece drops. While there are many pitfalls of scaling content, the first thing to wonder is if you are jumping too far ahead. Perhaps your team was at a size and experience level that releasing three blog posts a month was manageable, but if you try and expand this to three a week, with no adjustment period, you’ll inevitably be faced with forced ideas, lower writing quality, and other cut corners.
Instead of doubling or tripling your content output all of a sudden, gradually introduce more talent on your content marketing team and adjust the workload and responsibilities appropriately. Tell your team how the campaign is expanding, and offer members a chance to adjust their roles. Experienced editors, for example, could become managers; writers familiar with the guidelines could switch to editing; and from there, you can add new people to the open positions.
Scaling can be a scary word to content creators, so communicate clearly and listen to their perspectives. They may tell you, however, that scaling in the desired way will be more troublesome in-house. Outsourcing is often the best solution for businesses without the infrastructure to scale their content. Working with the talented and experienced teams at CopyPress is an excellent solution if you want to supersize your campaign.
It’s a mistake to assume that you should make content first and then think about how to get it seen. Every step that comes before composition should be designed with an equal balance of two questions: How can this idea serve your audience and thereby benefit your business, and how can it be marketed?
Make it a priority to have clear and sensible reasons why you expect an idea to succeed before you approve it. Be sure offer actionable insights during production that the marketing team can focus on. For example, a blog post about great horror authors could be attractive to a number of literary bloggers — influencers who the marketing team can communicate with to plan out cooperative sharing and promotion.
You’ll find that when you take this approach, it’s much easier for your team to get excited about each piece as it’s in production, especially on the marketing side. With a clear goal, social media managers, and influencer connections, you can build interest in the piece just before it comes out and help guarantee a big splash on release day.
Consistent content doesn’t amount to much if you don’t have consistently effective marketing, branding, and quality control. This often boils down to responding to feedback, having a clear but malleable campaign strategy, knowing when and how to scale, and taking the marketing as seriously as the content. This sort of itinerary might seem like a lot of work, especially if your business isn’t the kind that is naturally attuned to creating and promoting online media.
Whether you trust your content’s transformation and success to yourself or to experienced professionals, take pride in every piece and never stop hunting for ways to be the best. Sooner rather than later, your target audience will begin helping you, and that’s a beautiful relationship indeed.