You’re stuck. Everywhere you look, thousands of businesses are skyrocketing revenue with content marketing — but you’re failing to drive any results. No matter what you try, no matter how many “tips” or “hacks” you implement, nothing’s working. Why?
It’s not as complicated as you’d think.
After analyzing thousands of different content marketing strategies, we’ve noticed that a combination of these three simple traits can turn an otherwise winning content strategy into a money pit:
Lack of differentiation
On May 21st, 1927, Charles Lindbergh flew his single-seated plane across the entire Atlantic Ocean for the first time in human history. He’s forever held as one of the greatest pilots to ever live — I’m sure you recognized him as soon as you read the name. But do you know the name of the second person to fly across the Atlantic? I’d bet you have no idea.
His name was Bert Hinkler. Bert was a better pilot than Charles — he flew faster, he used less fuel, and he was more handsome (up for debate). Yet, no one knows Bert’s name. Why? He didn’t do anything new.
So many businesses are trying to copy those with great content strategies. They don’t realize, however, that “doing what has already been done” leads directly to anonymity. Don’t blindly follow the strategies of the successful – take their lead but uniquely tie the lessons to your business. Do something different.
You aren’t connecting with the real desires of your audience.
When you ask most businesses why they create the type of content they create, they’ll respond with something like,
“It’s what our buyers want to read.”
Yet, when you ask them how they know that, they don’t know how to respond. They’ve just assumed that’s the case. But here’s the thing:
“Assumption” is the killer of great content.
The best content marketing strategies come directly from the wants and needs of your buyers. Not from your own intuition, not from what others in your niche are creating, but from the people who actively consume your content. How do you get this information, you ask?
Talk with them!
Ask the members of your audience what they struggle with. Chances are, you’ll uncover insights into their real desires and pain points that your competition aren’t capitalizing on.
You aren’t producing “share-worthy” content.
No one wants to share boring content.
Your readers are being bombarded by it on a daily basis. It’s what everyone is making. And if you’re following the same trends, there’s a good chance your readers won’t feel compelled to share your content with others either.
So how do you create share-worthy content?
- Surprise your readers. Go above and beyond what they expect from your content. Don’t just write a chocolate cake recipe — include a killer Guatemalan Coffee recipe to go with it.
- Leverage credible data. Nothing allows your readers to trust you more than data (and it’s even better if you’re the one who conducted the study).
- Address every pain point. This goes back to knowing what your audience wants — make every sentence an opportunity to solve your reader’s problems.
To put it simply, aim to knock your reader’s socks off with everything you publish.
By now, you should have a great idea of what it takes to turn a failing content marketing strategy into one of your greatest assets. But here’s the thing:
Without a great CRM, none of your inbound lead generation efforts are going to matter.
The SmallBizRising Blog is designed to be an educational content hub pulling information, best practices and practical advice for the small business owner and features topics including accounting, marketing, technology and more. Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with new content as it is posted. The blog was created by The Neat Company and receives contributed content from a group of contributing companies that provide technology, services and solutions to small businesses.