Content marketing is never an easy job and requires a considerable amount of patience and persistence. If we go by the recent reports, a large number of content marketers are disappointed by the results of their content campaigns. According to CMI (Content Marketing Institute), only 30 percent of B2B marketers believe their organization is effectively doing content marketing and earning a positive ROI. The percentage is down from 38 percent last year and shows further decline. Since content receives 28% of the total marketing budget, dismal performance of the content assets/campaigns can be very discouraging.
In order to address the very challenge, I am listing down some simple suggestions that may help you re-programme your content drive and achieve your marketing goals.
1. Be More Consistent:
The foremost suggestion is not to lose hope and consistency. There is no specific time-frame for a content asset to start performing, and no one knows when your content may start to send over leads and clicks.
Remember, there is a slight difference between content marketing and advertising. Ads are supposed to deliver instant clicks and leads, while content performs in the long-run, and may not deliver overnight results. In ads, you have limited timeframe and audience has to respond in that.
Unlike that, content is a long-term process aimed at creating loyalty by educating prospects. CMI’s benchmark report suggest that it may take up one year (at least) to create a loyal audience. Therefore, if you don’t see good results in the beginning, don’t lose hope; instead, be more persistent and consistent.
2. Conduct a Performance Review:
If statistics are to be believed, the number of content marketers with documented strategy has gone down from 35% to 32 percent this year. In fact, 68% of the marketers do not bother to make an action-oriented and written content plan.
Therefore, if you are not performing well on content KPIs, there are three things to do. First, conduct a performance review and analyse your asset’s performance against benchmark KPIs. Secondly, go for a strategic content audit, redesign your content mix, and do not rely on a single type of content – blogs and articles. Tertiary, look at your team, and see if they have the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.
These three things will help you get a bigger picture, and redesign an action-oriented marketing plan.
3. Analyse Your Budget:
If you have a team of bright professionals with brilliant writing and marketing skills, your job doesn’t end here. Most of the content leads tend to believe that if we regularly publish the content, it is marketing. No, it’s not. If you have the finest writers in the market who can write the most dazzling piece of content; it doesn’t guarantee success.
The reason is simple; content production is just one part of the marketing; the next and an equally important part is content promotion.
The CMI suggests that companies with the most effective content marketing allocate 39% of their marketing budget to content whereas least effective marketers allocate only 16%. The higher content promotion budget, the higher the probability of leads and traffic.
You need to extend your content’s outreach by promoting it. Use emails, social media ads, targeting & retargeting, blogs, and directories to enhance its reach. It attracts leads only if it has good visibility.
4. Audit Your SEO Strategy:
SEO and content go side by side as both are very much integrated into each other. Make sure that your SEO strategist has an umbrella program outlining specific content as well a tactical SEO plan for your different campaigns.
If you find that your SEO lacks update as per the changing trends, and search queries, you can simply revisit the entire strategy.
If the strategy audit shows SEO is questionable, don’t wait and hire some digital marketing agency or resource with SEO expertise. The content has to be written and promoted according to your SEO plan and changing search patterns in your niche.
5. Set the Right Expectations:
This is probably the most important of the entire suggestions, and deals with fundamental flaws with most of the strategies. We tend to set quite unreasonable expectations, and that too for a short span of time.
The word of advice is to set expectations after looking at your resources, time in the industry, your niche, level of competition and available budget. Set realistic goals and allocate the best of the resources available in the pool.
I hope the listed suggestions will help you improve your content ROI and optimize campaigns. In case you need any refuter help or have any questions, please feel free to contact me.