Here’s the deal. Content is hard, it takes time and a lot of effort.
You have to think twice before investing in the long road ahead. You’re wondering – is it going to pay off? Am I going to attract more traffic/sales?
These are normal hesitations any business has before they decide to invest in content.
That’s why we’re going to see here if and when content marketing actually works.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is about creating awareness around a specific business offer by means of valuable, relevant, targeted and audience-centered pieces.
These pieces can take a lot of different forms – blog posts, social media posts, ebooks, whitepapers, web copy, etc.
This marketing strategy aims to deliver the kind of content or information your ideal audience is looking for.
Why is that effective?
Very simple. If your audience sees you as the brand that speaks to their problems, pain points and issues they automatically see you as a trustworthy source. This, in turn, helps you build authority around your sales topic.
Of course, this doesn’t happen overnight, it takes a bit of time.
Does content marketing work anymore?
To put it clearly – businesses with a solid content strategy have a 30% higher growth rate than others that don’t.
So yes, it does work. And it’s still going to for a long time.
If you think about it, why wouldn’t it?
People look for information before making any kind of purchase. No one gives their credit card blindly.
With that in mind, it’s logical to think that, as a business, you want your potential customers to get all the information they can get to make sure they buy from you, right?
* Enter content marketing *
This strategy is about putting your brand out there for people to see and trust.
Here’s an example of how:
Say you’re a protein powder brand. You want customers to buy your products and not your competitors.
How do you build awareness and trust?
You talk about topics your ideal audience might be concerned about:
- How to lose weight without losing muscle mass?
- Tips to build muscle at home
- Best protein shakes [Year]
- Protein X vs Protein Y
Creating content around your audience’s topics of interest places you as the go-to option. This strategy will help them remember your brand throughout their buyer’s journey.
But here’s the thing. This strategy, as much as it’s incredibly effective, can sometimes fail to deliver real results.
Here is a list of reasons why that might be happening to you.
Why is your content marketing not working?
SEO issues that need to be fixed
First and most important of all – you want your content to be found online, right?
Make sure you’re site doesn’t have some of the most common SEO issues that keep it from being found on Google:
- Target keywords are in place. Find out what terms your audience may find you for. Next, create your content around those target terms, you want search engines to place you ahead of others in search results pages.
- No broken links. These make for a terrible user experience. Run a site SEO audit and discover if there are any and how you can either fix them or remove them from the site.
- Fast load speed. No one wants a site that takes forever to load. In fact, users won’t even wait 4 seconds. That’s how little patience they have.
- Check for correct indexation. Google doesn’t always have all pages under its radar. That’s why it’s a good thing to check if yours is and, if not, to manually index whatever page is not being indexed.
- Check mobile experience. Knowing that 60% of traffic comes from mobile devices puts this at the top of any business’ to-do list. Always make sure your site displays well on mobile.
Know who your audience is
Not knowing who your audiences is looks like being lost at a parking lot with a key in your hand not knowing which car it opens.
You might as well take the bus, right?
That’s exactly what happens when you don’t know who you’re aiming for.
Understanding who your target customer is is key to:
- Deliver the right content they look for
- Create the right offer in their buyer’s journey
- Speak to their pain points, fears, problems, etc
Deliver 100% value
Value is the name of the game here.
People choose value 100% of the time. That’s why it is so crucial that your content is aligned with that.
This can be delivered by creating in-depth, relevant and problem-targeted content.
Value is the currency of trust.
Build trust and sales will begin to happen without you even trying.
People will probably read past something that says – “Useful tips to lose weight at home“
And click and read something like – “25-minute weight loss routine you can do at home. No equipment“
You immediately see where the value lies.
You could create an amazing piece of content today, deliver incredible value and spark a lot of interest among your audience.
But here’s what happens when someone is deciding whether to buy or not – they need to take a series of steps before clicking “buy”.
That’s why consistency is key here. You need to provide valuable content in each of the steps of the buyer’s journey.
Being consistent and present is what’s going to place you in your buyer’s mind before others do.
Look at your metrics
You did all of the above and your content is published and ready to attract a lot of traffic to your site. Or is it?
There’s no way to understand what content works better if you don’t look at the data behind it.
Analyzing your metrics will give you extremely good insight. It will help you understand how and when any piece of content performs best, which doesn’t and what you need to invest more effort on.
When does content marketing work?
You know your content marketing efforts are working when:
- You experience a web traffic increase
- Conversions start to grow
- Click-through rate starts improving
- Your content is being shared, backlinked and mentioned by others
When can you see improvements?
While there’s no scientific formula behind this, one thing is true – the sooner your start, the faster you’ll see results.
Look at content as a form of investment.
The same way everyone understands that investing in the stock market takes time to deliver profit, content marketing works exactly the same. Even better, it’s more likely to produce results sooner.
Some content marketing strategies see improvements in weeks while others take a few months to have a relevant impact.
After all, there are a lot of variables at play:
- Algorithm updates
- The age of your site
- Your competitor’s actions
- Your site’s overall state
- New trends and habits
These are just a few, but there are a lot of factors that affect how your site performs.
That’s why there’s no time to waste.