I know it’s a hard question to ask yourself.
Because what if your content does suck?
That is hard to admit, especially if you are usually a successful, smart, overachiever. But without admitting that you need to improve, you can’t make a content marketing strategy to get better.
And you can’t implement that improvement plan unless you know where the problem is.
Most articles talk about analytics such as social shares, traffic, click-through rate, comments, backlinks, etc., to audit the performance of your content marketing.
Here’s the interesting part…
Posting more frequently, posting across all platforms, or posting at all the “right” times of the day won’t move the needle on those analytics if your content sucks.
But what if you could pinpoint where your content needed help and fix those areas? Imagine what will change with your analytics.
You’re just 4 checkboxes away from better content marketing, which means better lead generation and conversion.
But this isn’t a checklist of the obvious things like SEO, consistent branding, and color palettes. This is a checklist of the deep reasons—the stuff that matters even before the obvious things and what you can’t fool yourself about.
The only catch is that you have to use it.
It’s overwhelming to think about all of the pieces of content you’re “supposed” to have:
…not even to mention the technology and resources involved in all of it can seem more daunting than a trek up Mount Everest!
You’ve seen the flashy websites out there with every social media platform listed, podcasts and animations, pop-ups vying for your eyeballs and clicks, and you think, “I want that! That’s what I need!”.
That’s like buying a super expensive tent to conquer the peak without doing any climbing first. Bad move.
All those flashing things are fun and cool to have. But if you don’t have a website that clearly frames out what customer problem you are solving, why the customer should buy it, and what they lose out on if they don’t, a glitzy podcast isn’t going to save your butt.
Let me ask you a simple question—
Do you have these basic content marketing pieces?
Because these WILL save your butt along with generating those analytics and revenue you want.
Each piece will help you scale the mountain in manageable stages and won’t leave you gasping for breath.
This is your business. This is your website. This is your content.
But, it’s not about you.
It’s about your customer.
I get that you want the credit for the hard work you put in to build your business–it’s not easy! But you have to put your customer-goggles on to look at it all through their eyes.
Do you remember the magic decoder lenses that came in cereal boxes when you were a kid? A piece of red film allowed you to view secret messages on the box, but it looked like a bunch of nonsense without the lens. Your content will look like a bunch of nonsense to your readers (and potential customers) if you don’t use the right lens.
Get out your magic decoder lens and review your content thinking about the following:
We love the StoryBrand method for crafting content that makes your customer the hero and ensures you are off-center stage as the guide.
Are we having fun yet? No? Maybe content marketing isn’t your strength, and it feels like a slog and a half. Each sentence or graphic is painful, and you’re grumpy and frustrated.
If you are a one-person show, it’s not easy to love all the tasks you must do on your own. But unfortunately, if you don’t like an aspect of your business, such as content creation, it’s going to show. And the content is going to suck.
These are just a few things that make your content suck because it’s not your thing. Do any of these sound like things you do?
Ok, you’ve put the work into your content. The website is up and running, the links work, your email address isn’t spamming anyone, but the phone calls and emails aren’t coming in as you hoped. Did you ask your customers to contact you? Do they know how to take the next step with you? Or did you only post a pretty picture and hope for the best?
It’s easy to get caught up in the technical stuff that you forget about a small but essential detail—the call to action (CTA).
A call to action is what converts the casual reader into a lead and then a customer.
According to Copyblogger, “Every time a reader leaves your site without subscribing, you’ve lost a sales lead.”
Here’s the bottom line…
If the reader doesn’t click on the button, download your freebie, or sign up for your webinar, they won’t return. You won’t be top of mind because you are not even on their mind, and you won’t be able to offer your solution to their problem.
Without a call to action, you confuse people.
Imagine getting a catalog every week of beautiful clothing and accessories, but there was no website address, email, or phone number to use to order any of these desirable things. At first, you enjoy looking at the fantastic items. But after a while, it gets old because there’s no way to buy them or even request additional information. They soon pile up in your recycling bin, and you forget about them.
People want something to happen. They’re expecting it if they gave up their email. If you don’t tell them what the next step is, e.g., how they can work with you, learn more, they won’t do it.
But there’s a catch…
Not all CTAs should be focused on sales. If you are always asking for money, your customer will be irritated. Here are 50 CTAs that are not just about asking for the sale. Also, there is an ongoing debate about whether to include a CTA in every piece of content. You must figure out what you feel comfortable with and what works with your audience. However, if you put CTAs in less than 50% of your content, you want to ask yourself why.
What should you do if you checked any of these off? First, give yourself a high-five for taking the time to evaluate your content marketing honestly. Second, pick one of these options for saving your content.
It’s easy to fall into a routine of poor content marketing and simply push to crank out more content more often. And then you are left wondering why you have dismal analytics and lead generation.
Here’s the awesome thing…
You’ve already taken the first step in honestly evaluating your content marketing against these four reasons. Changing any of these will move the needle forward on your content marketing, and your content will suck less.
Keep chipping away at getting better, and holler at us for a free consultation if you need any help.
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