Is your business doing content marketing right? Use this checklist to find out
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Many solopreneurs are frustrated, because they’re putting a lot of time and effort into their blogging and social media activities, and don’t seem to have anything to show for it.
If that sounds like you, take a look at Taylor Moore’s content marketing checklist. What steps have you been missing?
Practically every business does some sort of content marketing these days. Still, many will say they’re not seeing any significant results from it. But how is it possible that they’re doing everything right and not getting any results? The truth is – there might be a (big) difference between what a business perceives as “right” and what really works in content marketing.
1. Have you defined your content strategy?
Like any other kind of marketing, content marketing will not work if it’s not properly planned. It simply isn’t enough to decide to create a blog or post something on social media from time to time. Without a clear and documented content strategy, your content marketing efforts could end up doing your business more harm than good.Even a bad content marketing strategy is better than no strategy at all.Click To Tweet
Even if your strategy is bad, that’s still better than having no strategy at all. Why am I saying this? Because having a bad strategy at least allows you to gradually figure out what is wrong and to try to find a better solution. However, if you have no strategy, you’ll just keep on doing the wrong thing – most likely unaware of the fact that it’s wrong.
2. Is your content outstanding and are you writing for your audience?
Everybody knows that good content forms the cornerstone of content marketing. The question is: is “good” good enough today? With so many businesses out there doing content marketing, even with good content it has become increasingly difficult to grab prospects’ attention and make them notice your brand. The only way to do that is by creating outstanding content.The only way to make prospects notice your brand is by creating outstanding content.Click To Tweet
Some of the characteristics of outstanding content are: it is in-depth, factually correct, engaging, focused, unique and truly valuable. Most importantly, your content should always focus on the topics that are of interest to your audience, even if they’re not strictly related to your core business. Remember: if readers can’t relate with it, they probably won’t even care to read it.
3. Are your headlines compelling?You only have a few seconds at the most to attract the attention of your Internet audience.Click To Tweet
Even if you’ve created and posted a superb piece of content, you only have a brief moment, a few seconds at the most, to attract the attention of Internet audience. So, in order for your content to make the first impression, your headlines need to be compelling.
Don’t use catchy slogans in your headlines if they have nothing to do with your content. This is done way too often, but it doesn’t really achieve anything. Audience quickly figures out that the title doesn’t match the content and simply moves on. Your headlines need to clearly and honestly communicate what your content is about and how readers can benefit from it.
Examples of the most successful headline formats include the so called “number headlines” such as 10 Ways to Write Content Your Audience Will Love and “how-to’s” (e.g. How to Connect With Your Customers).
4. Are you promoting your content?
The “if you build it, they will come” attitude is one of the most frequent reasons why content marketing campaigns fail. After you’ve created content, you’ve actually done only half the job. Don’t assume that, just because your content is exceptional, Internet audience will find it and engage with it. It’s quite the opposite:Your content will only go as far as your efforts to promote it.Click To Tweet
To create an effective content promotion strategy, find out where your audience spends their time online and how they like to consume content. This will help you decide which promotion channels to focus on (e.g. social media and newsletter). You can also consider pitching your content to bloggers or influencers in your niche and ask them to share it with their audience.
5. Are you tracking the success of your campaigns?
Content marketing is a long-term marketing tactic and it naturally needs to change and adapt over time. But how can you be sure the changes you make will improve your content marketing campaigns, not set them back? That’s possible only if your decisions are informed and based on data. In the words of an old saying: “What gets measured, gets managed”.Track your results so you'll know what changes you should make.Click To Tweet
Unfortunately, there is no single metric that can give you a complete picture about the performance of your content. Instead, you will need to identify a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) you will systematically track. They can include views, shares, click through rates (CTRs), conversions and more.
If you’ve been experiencing problems with your content marketing, but haven’t been able to figure out why, we hope you find this checklist useful. It can help you identify potential issues that could be obstructing your content marketing success and give you a good idea about how to solve them. Remember: when done right, content marketing can be a very powerful tool.
Image courtesy of DigitalRalph on Flickr, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
Taylor Moore is a freelance copywriter with a passion for small business and retail marketing. For more talk on content marketing, conversion optimization, branding and customer service, follow her @taylormtweets.