Content marketing has become a universal term among businesses, with more industries realizing its benefits every day. By 2019, it is expected to be a $300 billion industry, and is the preferred method of learning about a company from potential customers. However, many companies might not be implementing their content marketing strategies the correct way.
While 88% of B2B companies are using content marketing in 2017, a survey from Altimeter Group found 70% of respondents admitting to not having an integrated content marketing strategy. Understanding the following mistakes will not only establish yourself as a thought leader but will also, over time, grow your bottom line.
Not Setting Clear Goals
Your content can’t achieve what you want it to when you don’t know exactly what that is. In 2017, you need to create a documented marketing strategy with more specific end goals than “create more content” or “attract new customers.” While those are perfectly acceptable things to aim for with your content, there are countless ways to achieve them, and it’s important that your content be in line with your company brand and the type of clients you’re trying to attract. At Agency Tsunami, we take the time to help you specify your content marketing goals, which may include:
- Generating new leads
- Increasing website traffic
- Generating referrals
- Bringing in new business
- Building brand awareness
Using The Wrong Content
Different types of content attract different types of people, and can address different needs. For example, if someone were looking for advice on how to fix an appliance or build something, they would likely prefer to watch a video where they can physically see all of the things they should be doing. On the other hand, if someone wants to learn more about a confusing concept, they might prefer to read a detailed article or look at visual aids (such as flowcharts or infographics) that help break down the concept.
There are many different types of content, ranging from blogs to videos, branded images, repurposed outside content, social media content, newsletters, case studies, and e-mails. Understanding which types of content appeal to different audiences is important when you create your content strategy, as this will help you attract the audience that you want for your business.
Oftentimes businesses that attempt to jump right into content marketing without a strategy in place will find that over time, they lose their motivation. For example, you may start a blog but due to other business priorities it grows stagnant, or maybe it initially doesn’t give you the traction that you want. However, this is the wrong approach.
Consistently creating content is what will help your site to improve its search engine rankings, and producing many different kinds of content will prevent you from falling into a slump. I recommend that you continue to explore different types of content with your team, and regularly review your content strategy so you can discuss what isn’t working and recalibrate if necessary.
Talking But Not Listening
The key to successful content marketing is engaging with your clients. Your blog, Facebook page, Twitter profile, and other pages should not just be one sales pitch after another. Obviously you do need to include a call-to-action to allow your readers or viewers to take the next step towards becoming customers, but the main reason why consumers like content is because it feels more personal than sales pitches, and teaches them what they actually want to learn.
Throw one CTA in your content pieces (preferably at the end, so it doesn’t impede the flow of your content), but let consumers feel connected to your material before slamming them with a sales pitch. Here are a few ways you can personally engage your followers:
- Ask questions and respond to answers
- Respond to readers’ questions and comments
- Respond to relevant content on other blogs and from connections on social networks
- Retweet interesting and relevant posts from others on Twitter
- Post more than your own content on social networks – link to others too.
It’s important to be diverse and cover a broad range of topics relevant to your brand; however it’s also extremely important to communicate a clear, cohesive message to your fans, followers, and clients, and this should be determined in your documented content strategy. We will help you nail down a clear, specific outline of your voice, tone, mission, and goals, as well as a consistent content calendar to help you stick to a routine and allow your consumers to know when to expect content from you.
About Neilson Marketing Services
Does your insurance agency have a content marketing plan in place? Neilson Marketing Services offers insurance-specific off-page and on-page content created by insurance professional writers for agencies, MGAs, wholesalers, Program Administrators, and insurers. Contact us today at (800) 736-9741 to discuss setting your business up with a customer content marketing plan.