You might be writing your heart out right now. Or you’ve already created six visuals today and it’s only 10:30 in the morning. Stop. Take a break. Before you spend one more minute churning out the work we lump together under the term “content,” consider whether it’s doing you any good. Does your content campaign stink? Here are five signs that could be cause for concern.
Your grandma can’t understand any of it. Regardless of how complicated or technical your business, there should be something in your overall content campaign that would make sense to your grandmother (or some other person without deep expertise in your industry). If it’s all product specifications and alphabet-soup abbreviations, retrain yourself to write clearly.
It is all text, all the time. The wordsmiths among you might not want to hear this, but we need to appeal to visual and auditory senses, too. Visuals are powerful on social media and the Web. Visitors spend more time with content that has some graphical element, and they’re more likely to share it or engage with it.
Its intended audience is everyone, everywhere. If you’re aiming to reach everyone, you’re probably reaching no one. Identify your key buyer personas and brainstorm themes that will appeal to them. Your content should be serving your audience, but if you don’t know who should be among that audience, you’ve failed before you’ve even begun.
You’ve created a bunch of dead-ends for visitors. Once you have a deep library of content and a clear idea of the themes you want to pursue, it’s time to start thinking about how to move targets from one piece to another all along your sales funnel. Use your blogs to promote your e-newsletters to promote your SlideShares to promote your ebooks to promote your webinars – you get the idea.
No one finds it. No one reads it. No one engages with it. If you want the executive summary on the success or failure of your content campaign, go to the numbers. Your website analytics should tell you what content is attracting traffic. Heat maps can show you which pieces are retaining visitors’ attention. Your social media reports will illustrate which themes are getting shared and commented on. Spend some time each month looking over the numbers and using that information to influence your future plans.