Content Marketing: Why Most Business Blogs Suck
If your website is the central part of your business, you can’t afford to overlook the state of your business blog.
A well-managed blog with quality content can do wonders on many different fronts. It’s a potent weapon that could generate new leads, provide value to the existing customers, and boost your SEO. But looking back at my experience working with hundreds of clients, I’ve come to realize that most of the business blogs suck, they really do. But the bright side here is that the companies are well aware of the potential of their blogs, they know how much of an impact they *could* get through that blog. But for one reason or another, it’s just not happening.
So, what’s letting them down? Why isn’t your blog the lean-mean Content Marketing machine that you wish it to be? Let’s find out.
1. 90% of Your Efforts Go in Vain
Okay, that’s a bummer.
As you’re running a company blog, you would’ve realized that only a fraction of your content pieces dominates the blog traffic and consumer engagement. A study by Beckon suggests that 19 out of 20 content pieces get little to no engagement. In other words, around 95% of your efforts go in vain.
So, it would’ve made almost no difference had you not written those 19 pieces! Think of all the time you could have gotten.
Obviously, I'm not telling you to write just one of those 20 posts and binge-watch TV shows in the meantime. What I want to ask is why those 19 pieces didn't work? Why do only some of your blog posts yield result? Did you pick the wrong topics? Is the audience not ready for your content? Did you promote the content enough? Are you failing to provide some value through your blog?
It’s time for your team to sit in a room and brainstorm.
2.You’re Not Consistent
The lack of consistency in posting is one of my most common observations of my career in digital marketing. Most of the businesses are too lacklustre when it comes to their posting schedules, and many of them don’t even have one.
This is where making a content calendar comes in.
Depending upon how many posts you want to and need to publish, you must come up with a weekly or monthly schedule. I'm not telling you to download a free template from the internet and following it religiously. Your schedule has to be tailor-made for the needs of your business and the customers. You must try publishing posts of various kinds for different buyer personas. For that, you'd need to identify different buyer personas using the entire sales funnel.
3.You’re Misinterpreting Content Marketing
Your blog isn't the medium of telling the world about the products and services you offer or post about the latest happenings in your organization. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't publish such articles. Of course, you should. But that shouldn't be the focus; such posts shouldn't dominate your blog. Instead, providing value to your customers as well as to the non-customers should be the beating heart of your content marketing efforts.
In a nutshell, Content Marketing is about creation, publication, and distribution of content that is useful to your customers and potential customers so that you can acquire and retain them. By providing value, you create a long-term relationship with the customers so that when the time comes for them to make a purchase, they will prefer you over others. In other words, Content Marketing is the art and science of “selling without selling.”
Are you selling or are you selling?
4.Your Content is Boring
Charles Bukowski, one of my favourite writers, used to say, “When you write, your words must go like this: bim bim bim, bim bim bim; each line must be full of a delicious little juice, flavour – they must be full of power. They must make you want to turn a page – bim bim bim, bim bim bim.”
So, ask yourself an honest question, “Would you like to read your own stuff if you were a consumer?” I know the answer to this question isn’t easy as it sounds but you need to have a good, hard, honest look at your content.
Is your content engaging? Does it make your consumers think or smile? Is it dull with lack of emotion and enthusiasm? Are you using those same old cliché headlines? Is it for human or robots?
When you write a lot of stuff, we understand that it gets a bit repetitious. I’ve been there, you’ve been there, and almost everyone’s been there. The trick is to get out of this loop. I have a trick that could be useful to you. When I write, I imagine thousands of people sitting in front of me, waiting for me to speak. If I talk the same old things, in a lifeless manner, no one is going to stay there. I know I wouldn’t.
Always remember, how you write is more important than what you write.
5.You Don’t Practice Patience
Of course, you want your blog to generate thousands of leads, convert them into customers and escalate your revenues. But content marketing is a game that rewards the patient players. It takes time for content marketing to show its magic but when it shows, it's better than any other type of marketing, for sure. That's because content marketing is building a relationship with consumers and winning their loyalty through it. And as you know, it takes time to win someone’s loyalty.
It’s not that you don’t have patience, it’s just that you don’t practice it.