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5 Ways Your Content Doesn't Measure Up

Just because you’re publishing content doesn’t mean you have an effective marketing strategy. Here’s what you’re missing. 

If content marketing were incredibly easy, just about everybody with a half-decent product or service would be rich, regardless of commitment or diligence.
But it can be a lot easier if you learn from these five common mistakes made by content marketers and how to avoid them, according to industry experts, if you want to boost inquiries and sales.

Neglecting your calls to action

You write interesting, edifying and useful content but you are also leading the reader into a set of actions culminating, ideally, in a sale. Every piece of content should have a call to action within.
“Build pathways and connected stories that help to build momentum through the pipe,” says Ardath Albee with firm Marketing Interactions. This does not mean a button that says “Click here to speak with a sales representative.” It does mean something to click on at every juncture, taking the reader to the next step in a carefully connected and heightened string of compelling arguments, concluding with them contacting your company about a specific offer or product.

Insufficient focus on titles

You have written a prodigious amount of relevant and sharp content, yet your content is not performing as well as you’d like. The stats – and your revenue numbers – don’t lie. Most likely your content headings or titles are not strong enough.
“Once you write a catchy headline to your content, consider your job to be half done,” says Sandip Kar, a digital marketing expert with “It will help you attract readers in numbers, many of whom you can convert into your customers.”
Around eight out of 10 people read the titles of your content, while only around two out of 10 read through all the content. Your titles need to capture the gist of the issue in a compelling way, instilling in the reader a sense of curiosity. The piece is not just something to peruse, it is a “must read.”
There are some very specific tools for titles that will capture eyeballs and keep them such as numbers, highly evocative adjectives and interrogative sentences. Adjectives might be “Get Luxuriant, Head-Turning Hair,” while an interrogative might be “What’s Your SEO IQ?”.

Lack of interactivity with readers

Creating strong content is a great first step. But to draw in an audience that stays, grows and buys, you need to create interaction by commenting, responding, writing engaging questions for readers to answer- essentially giving your readers the feeling of having a conversation.
“Creating content isn’t enough,” says Heinz Marketing’s Matt Heinz. “If you’re just a one-way communication channel, even with good content, your prospects will go elsewhere for the interaction they crave.”

Not taking some experimental risks

When it comes to marketing, no one can argue with Coca-Cola’s success. It has understood how to market a carbonated soft drink by creating a deep and trusted relationship with the entire world. Coke’s marketing content formula is summed up as “70/20/10” meaning 70 percent of content being safe, proven, blue-chip; 20 percent departing just somewhat from the very safe 7 percent foundation; and 10 percent being wildly innovative and high-risk, yielding high rewards if and when it hits.
“This provides a blueprint,” says Jeff Bullas, a top social media marketing expert, “Regarding moving on from just developing white papers, to trying some content that is more visual, courageous and engaging.”

Content that sells but doesn’t enrich

The main reason that content is not read is because it lacks relevance and usability. The Economist Intelligence Unit found 75 percent of executives desire content that leads to a business idea, while only 16 percent were directly looking to make a purchase.
“With the percentage of content created that goes unused as high as 70 percent, can marketers really afford to create content that delivers absolutely no value to the company?” asked Ardath Albee.
Clearly content marketers must shift away from product-focused content to buyer-focused content. The key is doing research, including interviewing customers and even non-customers who used a competitor. Create a voice in your content that speaks your buyer’s language, and don’t just go for the hard product sell.

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