Content marketing is a powerful and widely adopted strategy that can have countless positive effects on small businesses. It can help your business grow its website traffic from local SEO rankings; increase the amounts of leads and sales, and of course it also helps to build good quality back links to your website, vital to climb to the first page of search engines.
I see many businesses attempt at content marketing and fail miserably. Wether it’s the lack of resources, the lack of a proper strategy or simply bad content, we can all learn a thing or two on how to properly create a plan to tackle content marketing for small businesses.
These are the top 9 reasons why small businesses fail at content marketing.
Don’t know your audience
I have worked with many small and large businesses in the past 10 years to know that as obvious as it may seem MANY businesses have no idea who their target audience is. I have heard things like “everyone who’s interested” or “the more people the better”.
Instead of trying to shout and get everyone’s attention, create exact personas that might be interested in your products and services and from there work your way into creating content that speaks directly to them. Whispering is better than shouting. Always. (learn more about Buyer Personas on Hubspot)
The strategy is the cornerstone of the campaign and is driven by the insights gained from understanding who your customers are, and what they want or will find valuable from you or your business.
Are you creating content with purpose? What is the end goal? What do you expect your customers/users to do? Is your content encouraging that? These are all questions you must answer before writing any sort of piece for marketing. If your goal is to generate more visits to your store or practice then make sure your content does exactly that, give them reasons to visit your location.
No ideas or… bad ideas
This can sometimes be a difficult aspect of content creation for small businesses. There are many tools that you can use to help generate ideas – as well as just running some basic analysis on your competition to find out what’s performing well for them. Remember, it’s not about writing what you think matters, but to write what matters to your audience. How does your audience relate to your product?
This is probably one of the biggest reasons your content marketing program is tanking. Many small businesses (and large businesses as well) think that pumping out random 500 words posts will be enough for visitors to find them authoritative in their respective industry. That is simply not true.
Think about investing some money into a skilled writer who is specialized in your niche. Better to push out little but great content than lots of content that is crap.
Completely forgetting about SEO
If you plan on driving traffic from the search engines, you’ll need to at least have the basics of SEO built into every piece of content you create. If you don’t know how to do it, hire an SEO expert to review the structure of your pages and get coached on the best practices to follow.
Glengarry Glen Ross Syndrome
You are always selling. There is nothing more annoying than reading post after post and always being cornered to buy something. Make your content more about the information and less about the selling.
Your page design works against you
I wrote an article about how some badly designed websites make it impossible for users to find information and consume information a few days ago. Sadly, it’s a problem I notice constantly; the content is great but the page is just a disaster to look at or is not conducive to me stopping and reading.
Keep your users in mind. Are they going to enjoy reading your content without being annoyed by popups, newsletter signups forms, Facebook like me sliders etc.?
After it’s published
Lack of promotion strategy
You have a great piece of content published. Now what? The quality of the content and the page it’s published is important just as much as your promotion strategy. The whole point of this is so that people find it and eventually come to your for business. Right?
Every minute there are 211,000,000 pieces of content created, and you think that your piece will be so amazing that it will stand out among that many other pieces of content and magically go viral. You’re going to need to market it through social media outreach, basic PR, and sometimes even through paid channels.
The greater the value of your content the less promotion will be needed for it