Are You Holding Your Content Marketing Captive?
While most marketers want to build an audience for their content marketing, without realizing it, they often hinder its ability to reach more people. (Note: This comes before getting your content discovered and distributing your content marketing.)
Does this sound familiar? If so, you may be holding your content marketing captive.
Here are five ways content marketing is kept captive and actionable marketing recommendations to set it free.
- Lacks a call-to-action. Brand marketers often fail to include a call-to-action because they don’t always think in terms of getting prospects to act. Since only a small proportion of your readers will act, it’s critical to remind and guide visitors to take that next step, whether it’s social sharing, commenting, or purchasing. Actionable Marketing Tip: Always include a contextually relevant call-to-action. The action you want your reader to take depends on where they are in the purchase process when they consume your content: it may be sharing content with their social graph, registering for an emailing or purchasing.
- Is hidden deep within your website, blog or other platform. This can occur when content creation and marketing are separate processes. As a result, appropriate content isn’t associated with products and other marketing communications. Additionally, employees are often familiar with their websites, blogs and other content platforms and don’t realize that their content is obfuscated from public view. Remember, visitors aren’t going to do the around the back handshake while standing on one foot. Actionable Marketing Tip: To help prospective readers or viewers find your content, make it easy-to-find on your site through a variety of methods. Include a button or link to your content marketing from your home page or integrate it into your navigation. Further, link to your content from each of product page where the information is pertinent.
- Has no social sharing to remind visitors to take action, either on your website, advertising and/or other communication. This often happens in organizations that aren’t active on social media. Since they’re not participating on social media, they neglect to enable others to share their content. While consumers spend at least one out of every five online minutes on a social media site, don’t assume they’ll share your content if there aren’t any buttons to remind them. Actionable Marketing Tip: At a minimum, place social sharing icons at the top and bottom of articles to jog readers’ memory to take action. Go one step further and add an appropriate call-to-action to get them to share your content.
- Remains locked up behind a long form. Often marketers looking to build their database and/or email list use this approach. They go overboard asking for every bit of information they could potentially need at some point since more information increases their ability to target prospects and support advertising. They overlook the fact that each piece of information on their form reduces the number of people who complete it. A client’s registrations for a daily emailings grew at a rapid pace until the sales department required another sixteen pieces of information. This is one case where less truly is more. Actionable Marketing Tip: Where possible, minimize the amount of information requested and make sure the respondent can understand why you want the information and that it helps your sales process. With each request consider whether you’re able to collect this information later in the process since more people in at the top of the funnel should translate to more customers (assuming the same conversion rate.) Also, ensure you’ve got a way to collect this data, add it into your systems and translate it into actionable information.
- Requires payment or other exchange. Media and content companies tend to expect payments for their premium content. (Additionally, this exchange may be a password for customers or employees.) To attract prospects and customers, offer other content for free. This is sometimes referred to as bait. It can be different information or it can be a trial membership. Actionable Marketing Tip: To build your base without lowering the value of your paid content, offer other information for free. Also, create copy selling the content that pulls readers in so they want to read more of your work.
The more open and available your content marketing is to prospects, customers and the public, the greater chance it has of spreading more broadly. If prospects can’t get access to any of your valuable content, they’re liable to abandon your site. At a minimum, offer a content sample to give readers a taste.
Are there any other ways you see content marketers as keeping their content captive?
Here are some related articles you may find of interest.
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- Are you maximizing your content marketing reach?
- Must have content marketing checklist
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