by Dipti Parmar

4 signs your content marketing strategy needs a makeover

Jan 31, 2017

Know what are the red flags to look for when your content strategy is not working.

As most marketers know, there is an unbelievable amount of potential in the realm of content marketing. It’s perhaps one of the most advantageous marketing strategies brought forth by the digital era. This is due to the fact that, if done correctly, it can work like magic to bridge the gap between brands and consumers while incorporating other marketing strategies such as conversion optimization, social media and SEO.

However, the path to a successful content marketing strategy is far from clear-cut. The journey toward seeing the results you want will most likely be filled with roadblocks that will require a good deal of trial and error to overcome.

But what are the red flags to look for when your strategy is a sinking ship? Here are a few tell-tale signs that will help you recognize when it’s time to make a change.

1. Traffic is low

You can have the best, most insightful content in the world. But if it’s not easy to find, it isn’t doing you or your audience any good. This is where SEO comes into play.

It goes beyond just blogging. Whether you’re creating anything centered on copy, from a press release to a social media update, you need to do thorough research and gain an understanding of what keywords and phrases are relevant to your industry.

Using the right niche keywords helps the search engines determine which topics your website pertains to and gives you a better ranking in search engine results pages (SERP). Think like a user. If you were in need of your product or service, what words or phrases would you type into Google? Come up with a list of keywords and phrases to rank for, and then gear your content around them. This will increase your exposure and your relevance within your industry.

If you need some automated help, use tools like Ahref’s Keyword Explorer to find the best ways to reach your potential customers:

Screenshot from Dipti Parmar

Screenshot from by the author.

2. The UX is not personalized

Personalized content is a big deal. With the average consumer being subjected to brand messaging left and right, marketers need to do everything they can to make their content strategy revolve around the user. In fact, a survey found that in-house marketers who are personalizing their web experiences are seeing a 19% uplift in sales.

There are many variables that can influence personalized content, including these:

  • Location
  • Device
  • Behavior
  • Keywords
  • Time of visit
  • Previous searches

Websites that display the same material for visitors across the board can have a lot of appeal, but do not necessarily offer excitement on an individual level.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if every person visiting your platform saw different content pertaining to just them? Automated marketing for your content could very well prove to be your best friend.

With the right resources, you can personalize the entire experience — from ads and deals, all the way to call-to-action buttons on your site.

Amazon is easily the brand that’s most famous for using big data to provide personalized experiences to customers. If you’re an online retailer, you can replicate Amazon’s strategy by using an e-commerce platform integrated with in-store POS such as Vend, which lets you deliver a personalized customer experience across multiple channels, with little tweaks like customized gift cards or special coupons.

Screenshot from Dipti Parmar

Screenshot from by the author.

Further, based on previous searches or online behavior, you can customize the home page with content specific to the visitor as well as send emails with personalized recommendations.

3. Follower and subscriber numbers are dropping

So you’ve done your research, you’re connecting with the right audience, but your email subscribers or social media followers are jumping ship. What’s the deal?

Your content isn’t driving the action you had hoped. Your messages could be unclear, or the audience is getting the wrong signals and people are turning away in droves.

Perhaps one of the most common mistakes marketers make in this situation is that they are speaking about themselves too much within their content. Content marketing is very much a two-way street. As a general rule of thumb, your material should typically be 90% educational and 10% promotional, and it should include storytelling elements that your audience can latch on to.

To keep and maintain your viewers’ attention, each piece of content you release should address:

  • What their day-to-day life is like.
  • Their greatest challenges and concerns.
  • How you can add value to their lives.
  • How they make decisions.

Gearing your content to these concerns is crucial in keeping the audience tuned in for the long haul.

4. You lack perspective on the outcome

With all the advantages that come with content marketing, it can sometimes be difficult to know exactly what defines “success.”

What are the main goals you hope to accomplish with your strategy?

  • Increase leads?
  • More followers?
  • Higher conversion rates?

If you have clear objectives but do not have good insight on the outcome, you are not properly measuring the ROI with analytics. This should be a priority for any content marketing strategy. If you do not have the insights on what works with your audience and what doesn’t, how will you be able to improve?

Data is your best friend in this situation. If you haven’t already, set yourself up with a dashboard powered by Cyfe, an app that makes multichannel performance tracking easy. With dozens of prebuilt widgets for the most commonly used platforms for content marketing, email marketing, social media analytics, A/B testing, project management and more, Cyfe allows you to keep an eye on what’s working and what isn’t without having to log in to every platform’s native analytics tool on its own.

Screenshot from Dipti Parmar

Screenshot from by the author.

Over to you

It’s very possible that you just need to make a few adjustments to create a more appealing experience, rather than starting from scratch. Remember, making tweaks to your approach is part of the game. Just be sure you’re keeping tabs and looking out for the signs that are telling you that changes are necessary.