Unless you’ve been living at some kind of gadget-free retreat, meditating beside the glassy pool, far from the reaches of the internet (hmm, does that sound good right now?!), you’re probably well-aware that good content marketing is a key to driving more traffic to your website. Even large, well-established brands are getting in on this, with Coca-Cola announcing that ‘the corporate website is dead’ and recently launching their newly re-imagined site (check it out – with ‘listicles’ galore it reads more like a news site than what we’ve been used to from large corporates).
With every man (and his dog’s) website getting in on the content marketing act, there is a lot of noise out there for your average, connected person. When you think about it, how many of your emails go unread? How many stories pile up unseen on your RSS feeds? Social media anyone? How much of that do you actually read? The challenge is in being able to rise above the chatter and get your content noticed, so does yours suck? Here are a few reasons why it might…
1) Your headlines are boring
We’ve said it before, but the fact remains that if you want to grab attention over the next website your headlines need to draw interest. Some of the best headlines tend to play off human emotions, such as fear, the need to belong, a desire to make things easier or the pursuit of happiness. Take a look at the headlines of the articles you do click on; what was it that drove you to read further?
One of the reasons ‘listicles’ are so popular is that they play on our need to know, belong or have the latest thing (5 reasons I need X?! Well I don’t want to miss out!), and they neatly compartmentalize information in a way that is appealing to us – humans love lists! There are a lot of these type of headlines around at the moment, check them out and see which ones are the most popular.
2) Your written content sucks
Ok, so who out there has been enticed by a juicy headline to click on an article, started to read it then clicked away, disappointed at the content? We will often be put off when either the content doesn’t live up to the headline, it has clearly been ripped off from somewhere else or it contains spelling and/or grammar errors that would give your English teacher an eye twitch.
Perhaps you’re not the best person to be writing your content – not everyone can write and not everyone actually likes to write. That’s ok, we’re all about being able to put your business on autopilot; find a good writer who will do the job entirely for you if you’re not sure what to do, or give your notes to them and have articles written on your chosen topics.
Of course, the style of the writing may also be a problem. With all of the information being thrust in our faces these days, we tend to have a very short attention span for anything that is too dry. Content written in an engaging style is more likely to entice further reading, so tell stories (not boring ones!) and develop a conversational ‘voice’ with your target readership.
3) You don’t actually ‘market’ your content
It’s called ‘content marketing’ for a reason; you do actually have to promote it! Unless you’ve already got a firmly established audience who are hanging off your every word and actively looking for your next post (and trust us, even those guys market their sites), you need to be doing something to put your work out there. You can have the best content with the most engaging headlines in the world, but people will not automatically just turn up to digest it. At the very least, use social media channels to let people know when there is a new post. Try Facebook advertising as one of the most inexpensive ways to advertise to a segmented audience. You should also have a ‘subscribe’ option if you have a blog so that people who opt-in will be notified of new pieces.
4) You are inconsistent
Consistency of both quality and the frequency of new blog posts are key to engaging a regular audience. Here are some facts for you (hat-tip to Hubspot for the study);
- Companies that blog 15 or more times per month get 5X more traffic than companies that don’t blog at all.
- Companies that increase blogging from 3-5X/month to 6-8X/month almost double their leads.
If you struggle to come up with regular content, check out these ideas to banish writer’s block. Having a content calendar pre-prepared and sticking to it is a great way to ensure that you stay on track with your content marketing.