Sales & marketing

Avoid the one button bye-bye – five reasons why your content succeeds or fails

Do you occasionally clean up your inbox or social media? Most of us do. You know how it is, you get five minutes between meetings or while having a coffee, and you idly flick through your inbox and social media and unsubscribe or stop following. One click of a button and the marketing that someone spent so much time over is gone forever. The reason you are hitting unsubscribe of course, is that the content you received was of no value to you. It didn’t engage or interest you.

When you are running a small business, all your marketing counts. There is a cost to the time and effort that you are spending, and for SMEs, that is a valuable commodity. So, whether you are focused on your email and blogs, working on your social content or even less common areas like SMS messages or WhatsApp, you want to be sure your content is right for your target customer. If your content is off the mark or not going to the right people, at best, it’s a waste of time for everyone and, at worst, you likely to be thought of as a spammer. So, when you check the metrics, and you see a post or email that has either not generated any results or is getting high unsubscribes, chances are that the content was the issue.

Five reasons your content could succeed or fail

There are multiple reasons why your content could be badly received or do the opposite and sing like a canary. The truth is that there is no 100% guaranteed answer to getting it right because we human beings are strange and complex things. That said, there are some regular superstars and terrible offenders when it comes to content. Here are five things to think about that could affect the success of your marketing.

  1. Did you define and target your ideal market?

We all like to think we know who our customers are, but how often do you actually compare that to the content you are sending? In the rush to get new leads and opportunities, it’s easy to forget to target effectively. Untargeted marketing really doesn’t work, and if it does, it’s usually a fluke. It’s a bit like picking up a handful of gravel, throwing it into a crowd in the hope that you will hit someone you want to talk to, and then also hoping that they won’t be annoyed about getting a face full of stones. A good example of this is when you accept a connection request on LinkedIn, and whoosh, back comes the standard ‘Hi, buy my stuff message’ that has no relevance to you. Even in a relatively close-knit network group, you will find a range of ages, business types, locations, interests, and every other kind of demographic. Blanket broadcasting is not a good idea. One of the processes we always work through with a new client is to define their own ideal client. I suggest you do the same and then only send content that targets their interests and needs.

  1. Do you know where your audience hangs out?

Your content is not about you… even when it is. What I mean here is that the content is for your customers. You are talking to them, so look for where they are likely to be so they can hear you. You may love TikTok, but if your target customer is 55+, then there is not much point in spending time on it. If you are a local business that sells to a small geographical area, then LinkedIn may not be a good idea, but Facebook almost certainly is. Your own personal feelings about Facebook don’t really enter the equation. Similarly, just because you are all in the same network group doesn’t mean everyone will be interested in what you sell. When in doubt, why not ask? Find out more about your existing customers, run a poll on LinkedIn, and check out the published demographics on social platforms. Even casual conversations will give you clues as to where and when to reach out.

  1. Is it the right content for your audience?

Once you know who you are talking to and where to talk to them, it’s all about giving them what they want.

  • E-books and white papers are great for audiences that like detail or are in specialist areas.
  • Podcasts and audio versions of your blogs are good for commuters and busy businesspeople who often listen in the background.
  • Images are always the right thing. From something just put there to attract the eye through to infographics that get important facts across
  • Further to the last point…so is video.
  • Do you have a reason to live stream? Episodic content is really good for some of the algorithms on social media, and Facebook loves returning followers.
  • Re-purpose any PDFs you can from presentations and training. If they were relevant the first time you used them, they would also make good downloads and content.
  1. But where do the ideas come from?

This is a regular problem. Some quick hacks are:

  • Type a general area subject into Amazon and see what books come up. The chapters and contents can be a good prompt for ideas for content.
  • Look at Quora. It’s a rabbit hole, so beware of how much time you spend on there, but because it’s a Q & A-based site, you will find a lot about your area.
  • Good old Google is a gold mine. What news is trending around your particular businesses?
  1. Remember to optimise!

Blogs, videos, social content, in fact, all marketing, will work better if it is optimised. It’s worth taking some time to familiarise yourself with what that means for each kind of content. Blog copy should contain H2 titles, a call to action and be written in a way that appeals to the reader. YouTube content is all about having the right description and other information. Every social media platform has its own preferences. If you take the time to study what optimisations work, it will pay you back in engagement. I appreciate this is a time issue for some people, though. If it is, you may want to consider outsourcing some of your content.

When it comes right down to it, the formula for successful content seems fairly simple on the surface. Put the right content where the right people can see. In practice, that means really knowing who your customers are, where they hang out and what they want to see, read, and hear. Optimised, well-constructed content that is useful will always work well.

Originally posted 2022-08-16 13:45:09.

Christina Robinson
The Business Bulletin

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Christina Robinson

Christina works with business owners and marketing directors to educate them on how best to maximise their online marketing activities to enhance their business, increase brand awareness and ultimately increase sales. She provides social media and online marketing management services, so you can outsource your activities. Alternatively, if you have the resource in-house, Christina can offer online coaching, 121 or group coaching to help you as a business owner or B2B professional discover how to generate more business using our tried and tested strategies.

Avoid the one button bye-bye – five reasons why your content succeeds or fails

by Christina Robinson Time to read: 3 min