There are some major challenges that stand between your marketing content and real marketing ROI. Here are three of the biggest ones and how to overcome them.
Not setting the right goals
Setting goals and understanding why you want to use content marketing to grow your business is crucial to your success. Without a ‘why,’ your content marketing strategy is doomed to fail before it even gets off the ground.
Just like you created a business plan and a mission statement when you started your business, you should do the same for your marketing. Write a brief statement that focusing on what’s most important to your business – and what’s not.
This statement will not only come in handy when you start creating content, but it will also be a game-changer when it comes to building an audience. Your content marketing mission statement should include:
- A description of your target audience
- What content you will use to reach them
- The benefit they will receive
A model mission statement would go something like this: We help [target audience] with [business or personal goals] by providing [content type].
Now that you understand the importance of a content marketing mission statement and how to create one, it’s time to focus on goals. Typical goals include:
- Boosting website traffic and growing your brand
- Increasing sales by driving more leads via content
- Influencing potential customers with thought leadership
- Growing social media engagement with effective content
- Streamlining marketing efforts to become more effective
- Building an audience
While content marketing strategies can include more than one goal, it might be worthwhile to develop separate strategies depending on how unconnected the goals are. For example, one of our clients has a content marketing strategy for sending new leads to its sales team and an entirely different content marketing strategy designed specifically for recruiting and retaining employees.
Not selecting the right KPIs
Most of us know if we want to achieve our goals, we have to understand exactly what success looks like, and that means those goals need to be specific and measurable. That’s where key performance indicators (KPIs) come in. The right KPIs will help you understand if your content marketing plan is on track and help you identify what’s working and what is not. For example, if your goal is to increase leads, by how many and in what time frame.
If you want to generate 10 qualified leads per month for your sales team with a 50 percent conversion rate, it’s important to set the proper milestones (i.e., 100 raw leads per month). Your KPIs should include revenue and traffic targets as well since not all leads are created equal. You will also want to attach specific numbers to these KPIs. Here are a few KPI examples:
- Monthly, quarterly or yearly revenue target
- Number of qualified leads
- Number of email signups for nurture campaigns
- Measurable increase in site traffic (unique visitors, return visitors, etc.)
- Move to Page 1 of Google
- Receive a certain number of social media mentions or shares
The money you spend on creating and promoting content should also be included in your KPIs, broken down by campaign or asset, in order to keep tabs on your customer acquisition costs.
Not understanding your audience
With the fear of sounding like a broken record here, we need to stress the importance of audience building. Investing in building the right audience in integral to weeding out unqualified buyers and increasing conversion rates. Knowing your audience will also help you decide on the right content types.
For example, if your target audience spends a lot of time commuting in a car or on public transportation, a podcast may be far more effective at reaching them than an ebook or whitepaper. Building an audience requires three simple steps:
- Assembling demographic information
- Compiling customer feedback
- Developing buyer personas
Collecting demographic information is the first step to building a high-converting audience. You’ll want to gather as much information as possible on your customers, email subscribers, and social media fans. If your business is conducted primarily online, tools, such as Google Analytics and Facebook Insights, can help with this tremendously. You can easily see your customer’s breakdown by age, gender, education and even income. Google Analytics will even provide insights into interest and search activity, to help you better segment your audience into categories (information seeker, just browsing, ready to buy, etc).