We're pleased to present this guest post by Chris Fell, managing director and owner of g2m solutions in Australia. Read on for his insights into typical content pitfalls and ways you can avoid them.
Sometimes your truly great content flops.
It's a nasty shock. After all, you have done everything right. You have carefully avoided promoting your own products and services. Your content has been written by a thought leader in your business, the smartest guy you employ from the research lab. It’s had the full graphic design treatment with call outs, great images, and a snazzy colour scheme that "pops."
"What more am I supposed to do?" cries the frustrated B2B marketer.
Unfortunately it’s not enough to simply create great content. Great content has to be marketed correctly.
Here are some top reasons great content fails – and ways you can make sure it succeeds.
It Isn't Promoted
No one can find it. Your content is doing its best impersonation of a desert island, albeit a very pretty one! Don’t assume great content will just naturally get found just because “it’s great.” In order for great content to be truly successful, it needs to be promoted.
• Pull. “Socially enable” your content. Social media has the ability to exponentially expose your content to a vastly increased pool of readers and viewers, but via a recommendation from someone in their own network. That's powerful. Make sure your content is easily shareable. If one person reads your content and finds it interesting, make it easy for them to share it with their own network via social- sharing buttons like Twitter and LinkedIn. Update your LinkedIn status, contribute to conversations on LinkedIn groups and LinkedIn answers, and link to your content.
• Push. Send an email to your existing contacts, inviting them to download your new content. Do it a number of times. Don't expect people will all be ready at exactly the same time to read your breathtaking revelations.
No "Seed" Content
Sure you got your thought leader to write the core piece of content – in this case, a white paper – but you don't have a conscious plan to repurpose that content into lots of seeds you can plant in different locations. Different people consume information in different ways. For example, present the paper as a blog series, with each blog article examining just one theme from the paper. Send out an email series to your existing contact list, again exploring one aspect of the paper in each email. Create a 2-page summary article that can be easily digested in just a few minutes but provides a link to the full paper. Extract the case study from the white paper and publish this separately (great for mid-funnel content). Develop a company position on the topic and ask your business development managers to start a discussion on their favourite LinkedIn group. Deliberately aim each piece at specific audiences.
It's Not Optimised for Search
Buyers these days are constantly grazing for information online. One of the best ways to generate organic visibility for your content is to make sure it's optimized for search. Brief your authors properly about the use of keywords in their content. Your target audience is looking for and finding content via search. If your content isn't optimized well enough to show up in their search results, it's not going to get found there. Without proper search engine optimization (SEO), your content is at great risk of failure. Remember though that "off-page SEO" (i.e., links coming to your site) is much more important than "on-page SEO" (like keywords and h1 headings). Think about building strategic relationships with partners or industry associations where you can guest blog (for example) to expose additional sets of eyeballs to your stunning content.
The Title or Headline is Not Compelling
A great piece of content hidden behind a poor title or headline is just that – hidden. The title of your content is a potential reader's first impression of that content, whether they find a link to your content in social media, search results, or via email. If your headline isn't enticing enough to get that reader to click on and view your content, your content is doomed to fail. People have so little time and such a short attention span that the art of writing a headline is absolutely critical. Experienced newshounds will tell you that you should spend more time on your headline and first paragraph than the rest of the content. These folks know a thing or two. You must catch your audience’s eye and quickly engage them in the first 5 seconds or the moment is lost.
Insufficient Attention to Detail
The topic of your content, the ideas you present, and the way in which you present them may all be groundbreaking. But if the simple details like spelling and grammar are wrong, your credibility is severely and instantly damaged. Don't underestimate the importance of paying attention to these types of details when pulling together a final draft of your content. Always have a colleague proofread and edit your work.
What would you add to this list? What secrets can you share on how you get your content viewed?
About the author: Chris Fell is the Managing Director and owner of g2m solutions. The team assists B2B firms generate the right quantity and quality of leads to meet their business goals, via the principles of inbound marketing, underpinned by a strong planning methodology, IP and technology tools. g2m's clients are often small and medium businesses spread across Australia and Asia Pacific as well.
Image by woodleywonderworks