One of the most effective ways to grow your business is to engage consumers — not with a sales pitch, but with content that provides the information they want. This strategy, known as “inbound marketing,” is designed to establish your brand’s credibility before the sale is made. A well-planned, precisely executed strategy will do that. The challenge is knowing what that kind of strategy actually looks like.
Many businesses put inbound marketing plans in place, but they don’t get the results they want. Here are some of the most common reasons a content plan falls short, along with things you can do to make sure your business doesn’t make the same mistakes.
Not Knowing Your Audience
Medical professionals use particular terminology and have a specific set of concerns. Sports fans have another set of concerns and use a different language. If you’re trying to speak to one audience, you’ll lose them by catering to the interests, or speaking the language, of another. Still, many people make this mistake when developing content.
Develop content with your target audience in mind. Use language they understand or use regularly. Find out what types of content they like and which devices they use to access it. Don’t just identify the topics that interest them — find out whether they prefer blogs, videos or infographics, and then produce content in those formats. The most effective content marketing strategies accurately reflect the audiences they’re trying to attract.
Publishing Low-Quality Content
People don’t share blogs, infographics or videos just to share them. They share them because it’s entertaining or informative, and gets the organization’s message across in a powerful way. Make sure your content meets this standard before publishing it to your website.
Look at each piece of content as if you were reading it for the first time. Does the title or description grab your attention? Did you learn something? Do you think your friends and colleagues would like it? Keep working on the content until it does. If possible, run it by someone who would be interested in the content and ask for feedback.
While you’re at it, check the content for spelling and grammatical errors. It might not always seem like it, but people still notice when a web page is full of misspelled words or other mistakes. They not only look unprofessional, but also hurt the effectiveness of the content and may even hurt your site’s credibility.
Not Promoting Content
Ideally, people will share your content and comment on it. However, they probably won’t if you’re not doing it first. People won’t come to your site unless you give them a reason to do so. That’s why you need to actively promote your content on social media, email and other channels.
You don’t need to use every channel for every piece of content — only the ones that make the most sense. The blog about cutting operational expenses is well suited to LinkedIn, while the infographic about consumer trends will do well on Instagram. Add buttons to each piece that allow viewers to like and share it, and always invite people to comment on it to increase engagement.
When looking for places to promote content, consider creating content for other sites. Some publishers invite guest bloggers to contribute to their sites, and it’s a great opportunity for you to reach audiences that may not otherwise consider visiting your site. Don’t forget to write for the audience and ensure they’re getting high-quality content.
Good marketing doesn’t involve pushing your message out — it involves pulling people in with content that matches their interests. Don’t let your inbound marketing strategy fall short! Avoid the most common pitfalls of inbound marketing and turn your content into a powerful sales tool.