Content marketing seems simple, right? Publish some engaging blog posts, upload a couple of captivating videos and maybe throw in a few infographics for good measure. But if it were really this easy, every marketing leader charged with developing online content would see the ROI they dream of. Unfortunately, the reality is much more sobering.
Putting your content ideas out there for audiences to see doesn’t mean they will. Even if they do, the pieces your team works so hard to create must be relevant and timely to work. Complicating matters is the fact that what resonates today won’t necessarily do so tomorrow. As a result, most marketers need to shake up their strategies once in a while. If you want to breathe new life into your approach, here are four tips to try.
1. Match SEO to Audience Interests
Your content strategy isn’t complete without using search engine optimization. But a common mistake is to direct your focus toward company-centric SEO tactics. What does this mean, exactly? Well, it usually looks like keyword research that only includes a list of high-ranking phrases.
While you don’t want to aim too low, there’s more to developing successful content than ranking for keywords at the top of a list. Who’s to say those phrases match your audience’s search intent? Perhaps the words don’t even align with your business goals and areas of expertise.
Content and SEO may be interdependent, but it’s more important to consider the big picture. You’re more likely to discover a winning formula when you match selected keywords with the information your audience craves. To do this, begin with defining who your audience is and what topics they’re searching for.
2. Expand Partnerships
Over 75% of brands dedicate budgets to influencer marketing. Yet not all partnerships have positive effects on ROI. Influencer posts announcing new products reduce ROI by 30.5%, while originality boosts it by 15.5%. Other factors, such as follower count and posts with brand links, also increase ROI.
Surprisingly, you won’t get the best results from an influencer who seems to fit your brand like a glove. Rather, optimal follower-brand fit is governed by what researchers call a “Goldilocks effect”—not too little and not too much. If an influencer’s followers are too aligned with your brand, they may already be inundated with content similar to yours. If there’s too little alignment, your content won’t matter to them.
Expanding your partnerships with “just right” influencers can expose your brand to new leads with a balanced interest in your offerings. Say your company markets financial services, including retirement accounts. Instead of limiting partnerships to thought leaders in the same space, try branching out to those with audiences interested in passive income. That way, you won’t compete in the same space and overload consumers with repetitive content.
3. Experiment With New Platforms
You can create intriguing content all day long. But it won’t do its job if it’s not in the right places at the right time. In the digital marketing world, publishing your pieces on the correct platforms is key. It’s like choosing the radio stations your target market listens to.
Putting content on social platforms and channels where your audience members don’t hang out means you’re not giving posts a fair chance. Content about your new energy drink will likely gain more traction on TikTok than on Facebook. The reverse is true if you’re marketing retirement timeshares.
If your posts aren’t getting the response you anticipated, you might need to mix up your distribution strategy. Assess where your markets are and meet them there. Also, pay attention to shifts in audience preferences, platforms that up-and-coming markets gravitate toward and new channels with impact.
4. Refine the Message
Content marketing might be a cost-effective way to increase revenue, but it’s also highly competitive. There is lots of fascinating stuff in the digital jungle for people to find. However, they won’t think all of it is worth their time.
Another reason content performs poorly is that it doesn’t add value. The consumers marketers compete for are smart but have short attention spans. They’ll be turned off by content that seems disconnected from a brand’s purpose. People also don’t want to engage with the same information they’ve seen before.
While expanding your content calendar might seem like a good idea, make sure those slots emphasize quality over quantity. Publishing more pieces usually isn’t the solution to lackluster performance. More than likely, your content isn’t adding to the conversation in a convincing, helpful way. Go back to the drawing board to find places where your market’s interests and your brand’s purpose intersect.
Don’t Give Up
Creating high-performing content isn’t as straightforward as it looks. Developing effective strategies is a science and an art. You can’t overlook the basics, but you must also be willing to interpret what your audience’s behaviors say. When you do, your content will get a new lease on life.