In today’s increasingly competitive digital marketing landscape, online businesses invest millions of dollars in creating sophisticated content marketing strategies and producing enough quality content.
The reason for this is simple: content marketing is a proven strategy that can deliver resounding success and help a business get ahead of the competition. Google contributes to that, too: the search giant’s content quality recommendations clearly suggest that only well-written content that is relevant to online audiences can rank high.
Being one of the most effective approaches to developing the online presence for brands, building and nurturing target audience engagement, and increasing sales, content marketing has become a must for online businesses.
However, with increasing demands and requirements, producing engaging and relevant content has become a real challenge. In 2016, for example, 56 percent of digital marketers said that producing engaging content was the top challenge for them, according to Content Marketing Institute.
More recent surveys showed that the problem still remains. For example, this 2017 research of 1,000 digital marketers found that themes related to the production of content and making it credible was a leading area of concern.
One of the reasons why content production and maintaining its quality was the top challenge for content producers is the complexity of the process. There are a lot of mistakes to be made, and many businesses fail to establish themselves as credible sources of information and achieve other marketing goals because of mediocre content.
To help you avoid these mistakes, let’s see how you can determine and fill holes in your content and make it amazing.
1. Lack of Research
Online audiences – including your customers – are experienced content consumers, so they will identify poorly researched content very quickly. Such content typically lacks any proof and support, therefore, the quality of tips and recommendations given there also suffers.
The reasons for this mistake are numerous. For instance, content producers often create content they think would be cool, so they don’t bother with supporting their claims and statements with evidence or research.
Doing so is a huge mistake because people rely on content. For example, 49 percent of B2B consumers reported that they rely on content to research and make better purchase decisions, according to 2018 Content Preferences Survey Report.
So, it’s safe to claim that poorly researched content won’t succeed in persuading online readers to return to your website or blog no matter how many pieces you create.
Moreover, it has some pretty serious long-term implications; people who had an unpleasant reading experience with your content will remember your business and associate it with under-researched content that has little credibility.
To avoid this mistake, you should study Google’s content quality guidelines and make sure that your claims and recommendations are supported by facts and evidence.
Make sure the data you include is backed up by facts and statistics. Pay attention to using credible sources of information such as scholarly articles, academic papers, study cases, or credible magazines.
2. A Lack of Value
One of the main purposes of content creation is to deliver true value to readers. That’s what they want, that’s what Google wants, so it’s a big no-no for your online business to not respect this important requirement.
In this regard, providing value means giving readers unique and helpful information that can help them meet a certain need or resolve an issue. As it was mentioned above, almost half of B2B consumers – and a large part of B2C consumers as well – rely on online content to research products and services and make smart purchase decisions.
No wonder that the same Content Preferences Survey found that 88 percent of B2B content consumers said that content producers needed to “to focus less on product specifics and more on the value that can be brought to their business.”
“To avoid wasting your time and creating content that has little or no value to your readers, you should try to give your content unique qualities.” – Roxie Daniel, Head of Marketing for Top Writers Review. “It means that even if you’re writing content on a topic that many other people write about, try to view it from a different angle.”
If you’re writing about content marketing, provide value to readers by focusing on its application within a certain industry or niche. This way, you’ll decrease competition and be able to focus on giving truly useful tips and takeaways for specific businesses.
3. Your Content Isn’t Interactive
Content marketing is constantly changing, and interactive content is one of the latest trends that you need to follow to stand out from the pack and outperform your competition. This is a type of content that requires some input from the user.
It’s been rapidly gaining popularity in 2018, and chances are high that more and more content producers and marketers will begin creating it in 2019. Here are some stats from the recent State of Interactive Report to demonstrate how important it can be to improve the quality as well as the performance of your content:
- 93 percent of digital marketers say that interactive content is effective in educating their consumers (only 70 percent of static content marketers report the same)
- 88 percent of marketers reported that interactive content is effective in differentiating their business from the competition
- 81 percent of marketers agree that interactive content performs better at attracting the attention of online audiences.
Failing to produce interactive content such as quizzes, calculators, tools, videos, timelines, and interactive infographics can significantly reduce the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy.
A great example of interactive content that delivers value to people is Hello Fresh Blog’s Flavor Generator. This tool requires the user to enter their preferences in food (Indian food, Mexican food, Italian food, Middle Eastern food, and British food) and flavor (herby, spicy, sweet, etc.) and generates the flavor profile as well as some easy recipes for a great dinner.
Improve your content game by developing interactive content that your target audience will find interesting and useful. For instance, it could be a fascinating quiz or a video. By doing so, you’ll drive more engagement and differentiate your typical content posting process.
4. Lack of Visuals
We live in the era of social media, where our typical consumer enjoys scrolling down their news feed repeatedly during the day. This means that they’re used to being exposed to visually appealing content.
Therefore, it’s obvious that you need to step up and raise the bar when it comes to the visual aspect of your content.
Take a minute to think about the quality of the visual presentation of your content. Are you happy about it? Or does it need improvement?
The most popular forms of visually appealing content include:
The three types of visual content are all you need to get more people to engage with your content and come back for more.
The benefits you’ll experience if you improve your poorly performed visual presentation are immense:
- new followers and customers
- customer retention
- customer loyalty
- increased engagement
Find a way to employ visuals as much as possible, and use them to present your content in a different manner. People are going to notice you more and you’ll be able to reach out to them in a more efficient manner.
5. Lack of Data Analysis
Learning from your previous actions or even your mistakes is one of the key elements of a successful content marketing strategy. In order for you to do better, improve, grow, and expand your influence, you need to ensure you understand where you currently stand.
Therefore, it’s not enough to just create and publish content and hope for the best.
You need to gather, analyze, and follow different metrics to understand what your audience likes and responds best to.
Make sure you follow and analyze:
- comments and likes
- organic traffic
- SEO results
Once you have a clear picture of your current state of affairs, you’ll be able to improve it or change it according to your needs.
You can use a tool such as Google Analytics to ensure you always know what’s happening around your content.
Track, learn and don’t let any content gaps slip your hands.
Putting it all Together
So, here are the five holes in your content that you should check and fill immediately:
- Lack of research
- Lack of value
- Lack of interactive content
- Lack of visuals
- Lack of Data Analysis
By eliminating these issues, you ensure that your content is well-researched, can help with better decision-making, brings value to the readers, and invites them to interact with it and have fun. This is a good recipe for a high conversion rate and content marketing success for your business. Hope you master it!