May 7, 2019
Content marketing is only getting harder and harder as more and more businesses sink their teeth into it.
The landscape is more competitive than ever.
There are now millions of people blogging and developing content for the most (and even least) popular search terms.
Standing out and driving relevant traffic isn’t easy anymore.
And if you are still pumping out sub-par content, I’ve got news for you:
It won’t work.
Here are three ways to boost your underperforming content marketing.
1. Your Content Is Just Written Words
Long-form content wins the day. We all know that. But long-form content is also incredibly time-consuming to read.
And for mobile users, it’s a living nightmare. Scrolling on a tiny screen and reading 10,000 words is far from ideal.
Mobile readers are often on the move. They aren’t sitting at their desk ready to digest a long-form post.
To combat this change in user behavior, you can’t keep delivering the same content in the same format anymore.
Yes, written words will never go out of style. And they are critical for search engines and boosting ranking potential.
But that doesn’t mean you can ignore other forms of content delivery.
And I’m not talking about adding images to your post. Instead, I’m talking about turning your written content into other formats, like video, podcasts, and easier to digest formats for people on the go.
It’s far easier to listen to an audio transcription or quick 10-minute podcast describing the takeaways than it is to read 10,000 words.
SpyFu is a master at this, turning their normal blog posts into quick, actionable video segments too. Here is an example from their latest SEO audit guide:
While you don’t have to do this for every post (but you should), it’s a fantastic technique to improve on-site engagement and improve your brand in the eyes of readers.
If your content is just like any other post, people aren’t going to remember your brand and actively come back for more.
Make an impact by improving usability through multiple content formats.
2. Your Tone and Style are Underdeveloped
Boring content is everywhere. Most posts you read make 2,000 words feel like 10,000.
The tone and style are underdeveloped. They are mismatched to the audience and don’t drive engagement or tap into the right pain points.
How can you tell if this is happening to you?
Fire up your Google Analytics and look at the time on site metrics. How long are people staying on your given blog post?
What’s the bounce rate? Exit rate?
If the time on site is low and bounce rates are high, your tone, style, and intent need some work.
A great place to start testing the waters of tone and style is Grammarly. In this tool (that has a free plan), you can set specific goals based on intent, audience, style, emotion, and even the domain you are writing in:
Want to focus on storytelling? Select “Tell A Story” as your intent.
If you are writing for more formal business audiences, dial back the emotion and try establishing your audience as experts.
Tweaking these different tones and styles will help you refine a consistent brand voice that your audience trusts, respects, and enjoys reading.
3. You Aren’t Providing Enough Value To Keep Users Coming Back
People read new posts every single day. That means they interact with potentially dozens of brands on a daily basis.
This can seem like great news, as it opens the door for your brand to get traffic. But, it’s also a potential negative: they probably won’t frequent your site if you aren’t adding more value than the other pages they visit.
So if you are pumping out generic posts on your blog, you’re probably wasting both time and money.
Instead, start increasing the value that your content delivers. This means including free content upgrades, lead magnets, or additional tools that readers can leverage.
For example, check out this post from Freshdesk on how to create a customer service resume. In it, they provide a free content upgrade in the form of a resume template that users can edit.
Now that’s value. That’s a reason for people to keep frequenting their blog over other competing sites.
It provides takeaway value beyond reading the content. Something actionable that they can utilize going forward.
Want people to read your content and crave more? Give them a reason to. Content alone isn’t enough, you have to provide superior value to your competitors.
Try including free content upgrades, lead magnets, and more.
With content marketing being more saturated by the minute, you need to focus on developing better content.
Start by expanding into more than just writing. Include video tutorials, video explanations, or turn that written content into a podcast that mobile and on-the-go users can consume with ease.
Develop your tone and style and be consistent with it. People have short attention spans, so boring content isn’t going to keep them around.
Lastly, provide more value. Lead magnets, content upgrades, anything you can to keep people coming back for more.
If you aren’t doing these things, your content is likely underperforming. Thankfully, it’s never too late to implement them.
Alex Sloane, Freelance Marketer.