Sometimes truly great content flops.
It's a nasty reality check and often one that you just don't see coming. You know it's good, so why isn’t it being visited and downloaded?
In our experience there's usually a pretty good explanation for why that particular piece of content failed to ignite. Understanding some of the top reasons why great content fails can save you a lot of heartache and wasted effort.
The key point is that it’s not enough to simply create great content. Content marketing is the key; it must be marketed and promoted correctly.
The Topic Isn't Targeted
When it comes to successful content, the topic/idea is everything. One of the core reasons great content fails is because the topic does not resonate with the readers, viewers or listeners. What is “right” and “wrong” is dependent and variable. There is no “one size fits all.”
- Is the topic really targeted towards a specific audience? In the B2B environment, purchasing is a complex process with multiple stakeholders. Is this content targeted at a specific job role?
- Is the topic relevant to the right stage of the buyer’s journey a concept g2m solutions' partner Mathmarketing use to explain that what is interesting and compelling at the early stages of a buying journey and the end of a buying journey will clearly differ.
- Is the topic really focused on the world of the buyer? Have you genuinely tried to improve your prospect's understanding of the problem they face? It isn’t simply a thinly veiled sales pitch. Buyers are far from stupid and will quickly discount self serving, overtly promotional content.
The Title or Headline is Not CompellingA 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, it's 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 article put together. These folk know a thing or two. You must catch your audience’s eye and quickly engage them in the first 10 seconds or the moment is lost.
There Is Insufficient Attention to Detail
The topic of your content, the ideas you present, and the way in which you present them may all be ground breaking thought leadership, 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.
It Isn't PromotedWithout any promotion, your breathtaking content is marooned on 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.
- Push. Use your existing contacts and send them an email, invite 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.
- Pull. “Socially enable” your content. 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
It's not optimised for search
One of the best ways to generate organic visibility for your content is to make sure it's optimized for search. Your prospects are 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 SEO (search engine optimization), 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.
What would you add to this list? What secrets are you prepared to share on how you get your content viewed?