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6 reasons your content marketing is heading for an 'F' this school year


Posted by Mark Parent - September 13, 2016

School is now in session. Is your content marketing strategy making the grade?

If lead generation, conversions, and click-through rates are down, you might be headed for detention. Why is your content getting a failing grade? Let's find out.

1. You're handing in lots of low-quality assignments

How will your content make the grade? Quality is always an important factor. Image of click to tweet icon

When you're producing content, it's easy to get wrapped up in quantity and forget about quality. But the only way to succeed is to produce great quality content, even if that means you're putting out a lower quantity.

Drop the unnecessary blog posting and other redundant work and focus on delivering high-quality, relevant, and informative content that visitors and customers will find useful and will want to read and share.

The ultimate key to creating quality content might already be obvious to you: keep it compelling. Give your readers something captivating and interesting that they'll actually want to read.

>> Even the best content needs to be delivered to its audience somehow. See how an inbound marketing strategy can help you get your content in front of your prospects and customers. Read our article: "If content is king, then what is inbound marketing?"

2. Your reports lack depth and substance

Are you merely scratching the surface of your product and industry, or are you really digging deep, providing your customers and readers with insightful, timely, and instructive content?

You need to be the expert. Show them what you know. If the subject matter is a bit deep or technical for your content writers, consider some Q&A sessions or interviews with your developers.

Better yet, let some of your more communicative developers produce some content for your blog and website, or perhaps a series of video tutorials. Establish your brand and teams as industry thought leaders.

3. Your papers sound like everyone else's in the class

Read your blog. Now read your top three to five competitors' blogs. Do they all start sounding the same? There's your problem! How are you going to stand out from the crowd? What distinguishes your brand and your products from the competition's?

Break out of that box and start being original. Only the original content marketers score the A.

4. Your writing ignores your audience

One of the first things content marketing students should master is the art of developing a message based on the audience who will receive it. If your content is targeted to the world's top orthopedic surgeons, does it sound like it's written more for a freshman anatomy class?

If you're going after top tier venture capitalists, does your content sound like it's written to a group of people with passbook savings accounts? Content won't ever make the grade unless it's crafted to speak to its unique intended audience.

In addition to understanding your audience's industry, you can tailor your content based on your audience's interests, personas, and a reader's stage in the buyer's process, which involves shaping pieces to cater to the needs of brand new contacts and building other content to engage loyal customers.

5. Your content has no purpose

Image of man scratching his head in confusion over poor content marketing strategies

What's your point? All content should have a well-defined objective
and should push the reader ever closer to the obvious and natural conclusion. Image of click to tweet icon

What is the point of your content? Every piece of content should be designed to move a customer from and to a particular point in your marketing funnel. It should either create awareness or help them form an opinion, earn their consideration or establish your brand as their preference.

The bottom line is, what do you want them to do at the conclusion of the content? Should they agree to pony up their email address? Sign on the dotted line? Download an e-book? Mail in their firstborn?

The entire piece of content should be developed to prepare them to take the intended action and should culminate with a call to take that action.

6. You're trying to sell instead of inform

Having said that, all content should be informative, instructional, and basically worth their while to read. Do you stop to read overt sales messages? No!

You only read content that instructs, inspires or informs you. Your readers are the same. Don't insult their intelligence with overt sales pitches -- give them something worth reading/watching/listening to, and they'll reward you with conversions galore. That's what we call "making the grade."

Are you looking for the inbound marketing firm that can help you score all A's this year? Download our FREE eGuide to learn how to identify the inbound marketing firm that can best connect you with your ideal customers.

Hiring an Inbound Marketing Agency eGuide

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Topics: Content Marketing

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