Five Ways to Tell If Your Content Is Too ‘Immature’ to Convert

Content may be king, but more than half of business leaders today say their content marketing activities are “still immature.”

The main culprits?

A lack of alignment on messaging and goals. Market noise. An inability to tailor outreach to specific audiences and platforms.

Developing an effective content marketing program does not happen overnight. It requires a clear understanding of your business, your audience and market trends. Most importantly, it requires constant measurement, analysis and refinement.

Here are five quick adjustments to your content marketing strategy that will set you up for success.

1. Tug at your customers’ heartstrings

Many companies can communicate what their brand does. But have you communicated the ‘heart’ of your brand? Why do you do it? More importantly, why does it matter?

From millennials to baby boomers, a growing number of people today are shopping with their hearts. In fact, a recent Forrester study found that nearly 70% of millennials consider a company’s valueswhen making a purchase.

B2B and B2C customers want to make purchases that matter from brands that matter. Integrating your brand’s story (and that all-important why) into every piece of content in an original and captivating way is one of the fastest, most effective ways to build a lasting connection with your audience.

2. Zero in on specific targets

Before you start a new program, sit down and come up with a list of marketing goals. Do you want to raise brand awareness? Increase the opt-in rate of your newsletter? Introduce a new product?

Depending on the goal you set, your content marketing efforts – and the metrics you use to gauge success – will change:

  • If you want to raise awareness about your brand, place a contributed article on a site with a large following. You could also monitor current events for a chance to pitch opportunistic press.
  • If you want to increase the opt-in rate of your newsletter, develop a dedicated landing page or offer a piece of value-added content (such as an infographic or white paper) for new subscribers.
  • If you want to introduce a new product or service, invest heavily in documentation (e.g., FAQs or onboarding text), create an explainer video or do a live product stream.

Of course, specific strategy depends on the nuances of each situation.  At Karbo Com, we don’t have a cookie cutter approach to content. Each plan of attack is completely unique and varies according to business objectives, target market, competitive issues, seasonal nuances and more.

3. Say good riddance to jargon

Jargon and overly technical writing are two of the quickest ways to lose your audience.

At The Wall Street Journal, five separate editors review each article before it is published and remove any words they find confusing. The end result? Wonderfully clear, simple writing that is accessible to the widest possible audience.

Even for content geared toward technical audiences, you need to find the right balance of technical information and brand evangelism. A solutions-oriented approach will always strike the right balance between developers, business unit leaders and marketers. Leave the granular details to the spec sheets and documentation.

4. Dive into data

Every company today is collecting some form of data, but few are turning this information into actionable insights. Knowing which metrics make sense for your campaign is a key part of any successful content marketing program.

As a general rule, think beyond simple metrics like page views and follower counts. These are overly broad and don’t provide much insight into whether people are actually engaging with your content. Instead, try to identify metrics that will tell you if your audience is taking the desired action, which should be the primary goal of any content marketing program.

For example, if you want to streamline the registration process for new users, develop a new onboarding program and track the number of support tickets you receive. If the number is higher than expected, you may need to simplify your registration process or revisit your onboarding flow.

5. Audit your old content

Products, business goals and market conditions are rarely static. Your content marketing shouldn’t be, either.

Whether it’s a new product release or updated messaging that addresses an emerging pain point, the way you talk about your brand should always be fluid. Going back and auditing your old content can help you ensure that everything you say is accurate, relevant and in support of your overarching business goals. Depending on your content volume and how often you introduce new products or services, this timeline will vary.

Once you’ve audited your old content, you should have a better understanding of why some articles or posts performed and others didn’t.

From bounce rates to average time on page, there are a number of metrics that indicate whether your audience is engaging with a piece of content. Use this data to inform your upcoming content calendar and look for opportunities to repackage older content for greater impact.

Successful content marketing programs don’t happen overnight. They take time, constant tweaking, and company-wide buy-in and commitment to the same goal. At Karbo Communications, we specialize in developing and executing comprehensive content marketing programs that position you for market success, reach the right audience and, most importantly, convert.

Posted by Jeff Curtis

September 13, 2018

601 Fourth Street, Ste. 204
San Francisco, CA