If you're like most businesses, you've implemented a content marketing program to generate leads, grow your audience, and grow your customer base.
But what do you do when your content marketing program isn't working as well as it should?
Here are three troubleshooting steps to help get your program back on track:
The first step is to review the content you published for the entire last quarter.
Few single pieces of content are going to hit a home run, and by looking back over a long enough horizon, you will start to understand the averages of your content. Some pieces will perform better than others, and some pieces won't work at all. You just need enough to understand the trends.
Now you will ask the key question about your content, "What was the main goal of what we published?" If you are like most companies, lead generation is the primary goal, with audience building and branding as secondary goals.
The goal matters. If the goal was leads, you could start by examining how your lead magnets performed. If the lead magnets were converting, maybe they just needed more traffic.
Or maybe your goal was to grow the number of social media followers. The content you produce for growing a social media following is different from lead generation. In some cases, a piece can do both, but not always.
The next question to ask is, "Was the content we published emotionally driven and story-based?
Most brands publish information and fail to hit emotional triggers or primal urges their audience cares about. For content to connect with an audience, it needs to connect on an emotional level. It has to go beyond information and speak to the internal belief systems of the audience. What emotions do you want your audience to experience?
Finally, map the content and offers you made to the stages of your sales funnel. Where are the gaps?
Was most of your content for your Tribe members who are just getting to know you, or was it published with the assumption that they already know who you are and what you do?
It is fine to publish with the idea that your audience knows something about you and about what you are writing about, but it can be a mistake to do it too much.
New audience members will be lost, and it will be more difficult for them to make the connection. Everyone wants to jump to the middle and bottom of the funnel, just make sure your audience is there.
Matching content to your funnel also requires looking deeply at your distribution strategy.
How are you getting your content in front of people?
Are you using social media? Email marketing? Advertising? Partnerships?
There are many different ways to distribute content, and the nature of the content and the stories you tell will strongly affect the performance.
The answer to fixing a program that is not working is often to get more traffic, but if the traffic is not matched to the buyer's journey and Tribe, it may still not perform well.
If you do not see the results you want from your content marketing program, don't despair. These three troubleshooting steps will help you get your program back on track and generate the leads you need.