There was a time when businesses viewed content marketing as an afterthought, but not anymore. As a matter of fact, interest for content marketing seems to be at an all-time high and you won’t find a major brand without a solid content marketing team pumping out content 24/7.
However, the truth is that a lot of these efforts are lost, and there is such a thing as content overkill. Not only that, but many end up using content haphazardly, and lose respect for it thinking that quantity is better than quality. But there are ways that companies can optimize their content marketing strategy and do more with less. Let’s take a look at a few examples of how you may be wasting money on content marketing.
You Don’t Have a Central Repository for Content
Content abundance can sometimes be an issue, especially for marketing teams in large firms. The complexities of dealing with large amounts of content become exacerbated when it’s spread across a variety of separate repositories.
As a result, marketers often end up creating replicated content, content that is outdated or creating off-brand content with conflicting voices. Organizing and centralizing content allows them to manage it better and focus on strategically disseminating new pieces. They also have the chance to update current content instead.
Your Content is too Brand Centered
Too many companies end up creating content that is centered solely on subjects that are important to the brand, and that directly supports their products and services. They often neglect keyword and topic research in the process.
The result is sterile and very “safe” content that doesn’t stick with their audience. And that’s mainly because the audience wasn’t considered at all when creating said content when they should be the first priority.
While your content should have specific goals, whether it’s building brand awareness, engagement, or getting leads, it should never be purely self-serving. One of the best ways to know which type of content your audience wants is to have control over your current content and be able to gauge its performance. You can then monitor what type of content is performing the best and if you can spot a recurring theme.
Monitoring content can be done by using a CRM system. Tools like HubSpot, for instance, allow you to quickly manage content and see how well it performs across platforms. You can also use your social media insights to see the levels of engagement on your posts, check the top-performing ones, and put a new spin on them.
Speaking of social media, you should also use it to either directly ask your audience what type of content they would like to hear about. You could also look at the questions they’re asking. Your FAQs can be a great source of inspiration for content, and they tend to evolve with time. These could indicate recent challenges, trends, and topics that you could potentially address.
You Still Believe in Keyword Sorcery
An SEO company comes to you with a series of “hot keywords” that you should use at certain intervals following some mysterious keyword density formula. You go and try to create as much content focused on these keywords as possible and are still wondering why most of your content is not getting any traction.
That’s because you still believe in the antiquated notion that you can trick search engines by adding specific keywords and keywords phrases without context as long as you use some magical ratio. But search engines have greatly evolved to identify keyword manipulation techniques and penalize those who use them.
Instead of painstakingly trying to use keywords at the perfect frequency and injecting it into your markup, you should use your keywords to set the general tone for a piece of content. You should let the keywords flow organically into the context. Not only that, but on-page SEO is just one small part of the ranking process. Engagement is a much more important metric, and it will ultimately suffer if you create content for machines over humans.
Not only that, but you shouldn’t pick keywords simply because they’re popular. In many cases, popular keywords mean that ranking will be much more difficult. Some keywords might also be popular because they’re vague. What you want to focus on are keywords that signify strong buyer intent. If any company comes to you with a list of keywords with nothing but search volumes and mentions keyword density even once, then you should gently send them back to the early 2010s.
You’re Not Going in Depth Enough
There is a small gap between getting occasional and predictable results with content marketing. Some companies almost have it right. Their strategists know which keywords to target, and the possibility of ranking for them. They know that every piece of content they create should be able to stand on its own and rank for said keywords organically. Their team creates a list of highly targeted blog posts supported by metrics and a detailed calendar, which should produce results.
While you might probably get some results if you’re consistent and committed to your strategy, results will still be sporadic, and that is because you’re missing one crucial element: depth.
The next step after topic and keyword research should be to see what your top-ranking competitors are doing and how they decided to approach the subject. The quality of content may certainly be subjective, but the way it will be ranked isn’t. Google ultimately rewards people who can create the most comprehensive piece of content as possible. Depth plus breadth equals quality to Google, and simply adding this crucial step will allow you to consistently create highly comprehensive content that will resonate with your audience while ticking all the right boxes with search engines.
Content marketing needs to be a consistent effort, but one that is targeted as well. If you’re noticing falling engagement with your content, or aren’t getting the traction you were looking for, you should definitely check if you’re committing any of these errors and make the adjustments necessary.