If you have already jumped onto the content marketing bandwagon, it’s time to step back and take a hard look at exactly what you are accomplishing – assess your overall content marketing strategy (if you have one) and determine how it applies specifically to your business strategy and growth plan. The current content marketing phenomenon has created an unprecedented access to a wide array of articles, white papers, videos, infographics and other forms of content. Unfortunately, many companies are generating content for one sole purpose: to generate content. Yes, more content can help produce search engine opportunities and increase website traffic, but it may also be serving a dysfunction to brands and their intent to communicate with their audience.
There is a fine line as to how much content a company should produce based on their specific business model, depending on the audience type (B2B or B2C), the buyer persona makeup, and the engagement level of particular audiences in educational materials and/or industry trends. Most wholeheartedly, we believe that content is designed to educate and transfer information that will benefit our buyer personas, communicating our knowledge for the benefit of our clients, prospects and visitors. However, not all companies follow this line of thinking, inadvertently generating volumes of content that may be irrelevant to a particular marketplace. If content is of consistently low value or misdirected to a target buyer persona, the credibility of that brand will diminish over time.
73% of B2B content marketers will produce more content than they did last year and, according to WordPress, 33.7 million new posts are being produced each month. Content marketing options are endless and will continue to increase exponentially. Motivating visitors to donate their precious time to consume your content is a difficult task. If your content is being found, shared, or aggregated through an RSS feed, the reader has to quickly ascertain what piece of content is going to provide the best return for time spent. With millions of content options available, it’s vital to develop a consistent flow of high quality content in order to capture both your prospect and clients’ consideration in a way that will get them to return the attention. If not, you are likely to lose them as a consistent reader of your content, ultimately losing credibility in the process. Losing credibility potentially means losing sales.
How do you Not Kill Your Content?
Here are three simple exercises that we highly recommend for companies that are either currently producing content, or are looking to produce content.
- Put together a highly detailed buyer persona that clearly outlines the pains and interest points of your target audience(s). This will be the foundation for all pieces of content and topics that will be generated by your company.
- Create a content bank that specifically addresses the benefit to your target audience. Mirror buyer personas against content topics to assure that the content is of value to a particular audience and addressing pain points or educational aspects. Place all topics that are created for the sole purpose of selling at the bottom of the list.
- Don’t be afraid to generate content on a less frequent basis. There are arguments that support a high frequency/high-traffic relationship. However, if you want your clients and prospects to really enjoy the content you create, you are far better off with higher quality and less quantity. By following this strategy, you will capture and sustain their attention more often than you will if your content is more frequent and of less interest.
Content marketing will inevitably continue to kill content marketing, but there is a silver lining. Over time, the sheer amount of low quality content will increase, making the value of better content much higher (as long as it can get found!). You can quickly assess your position by taking a hard look at your analytics to evaluate what content drives performance, and most importantly, conversion. To stand out from the crowd without commoditizing your content, look at the true benefit your target audience gains and perform a competitive check to ensure that your material is on target and compelling.
If you would like a quick assessment and insightful feedback on the current state of your content, give us a call; we’d be happy to give you our honest opinion.