What Happens When Your Content Does Not Perform Well?
At one point or the other, every content marketer and professional SEO experts have grown worried that their content is not performing as well as they had expected. Content marketing might now be mainstream, but many marketers haven’t attained the amount of success that they hope to achieve. So what happens then?
Over the years, content marketing, as well as SEO in general, has spread far and wide. That has made it more competitive. In the past, all you needed to rank on the first page is post some nice, helpful content, then sit back and watch the traffic pour in. That’s not so anymore; you have to check many more boxes to get the slightest chance.
When your content does not perform well, what do you do?
The strategies outlined in this article suggest reasons for a piece of content not attracting enough traffic and engagement. And included here too are useful remedies for getting back on track. Content may be king, but how do you get it on the throne?
Promote Your Content
Content marketing does not end with putting up a nice blog post and hoping that it picks up traffic. After creating content, don’t just sit back and hope for the best; get the word out. According to Neil Patel, “creating content is only part of content marketing. The other half is promoting it.”
Promote your content through multiple channels such as social media, paid ads, influencer marketing, email newsletters, online forums, etc. If your content has not been performing well lately, consider boosting your promotion strategy to reach a wider base.
Vary Your Content Format
Sometimes, your content may not perform well because you are using the wrong format. ‘Content’ does not just mean text, and ‘content marketing’ does not just mean publishing blog posts. To boost your content strategy, you need to vary your content types, incorporating visual graphics, videos, podcasts, ebooks, and so on.
Visual elements (such as infographics) help people to retain information faster and better than text. You may not be gaining as much traffic as you should because you are using a one-size-fits-all approach. Experiment with different content types in order to achieve the best results.
Many small businesses get discouraged when their content marketing is not yielding desired results. The SEO industry is a ruthless space and overtaking big competitors as a small website is a daunting task. In that case, your best bet is, first, to build a loyal following and then slowly expand your influence.
But you won’t achieve this if, for instance, you update your blog regularly for a month and then go silent for two weeks. Consistency is important because much of SEO is building on regular, slight efforts to achieve steady progress. There is nothing like overnight success in SEO.
Overhaul Your Content Strategy
Perhaps you have a poor strategy overall that limits your traffic gain potential. A 2019 survey of B2C marketers revealed that only 33% had a documented content marketing strategy while 41% had an undocumented content marketing strategy. That leaves 26% without a content strategy at all.
If you have no strategy, then it is time to create one ASAP. If you have a strategy that isn’t documented, it is probably as good as not having a strategy. A documented strategy is a useful reference against which you would analyze your efforts, measure performance, and determine direction. To overhaul your content strategy, you would find the following tips useful:
- Begin by assessing your current state. Identify gaps and opportunities.
- Define your purpose and goals. Different companies use content marketing for various purposes. What are you looking to achieve?
- Research your audience and niche. What kinds of people are you trying to reach? What are the peculiarities of your business niche that you should note?
- Establish KPIs. What performance metrics are important to you? How would you know if you are doing well?
- Determine your content workflow. What content types would suit your brand and goals? What would the content production process look like?
Focus on Your Audience
Many content marketers go wrong when they are so obsessed with ranking on Google they forget that the most important goal is to create valuable, engaging content. This leads to unethical practices such as keyword stuffing.
You can use every SEO tip and trick that you know, but if the real people who are reading don’t find your content useful, such post would struggle to perform well. Therefore, invest in creating content that is:
- Engaging and suits the needs of your audience.
- Visually appealing and appropriate to the message of the post.
- Well-written by a professional.
Before you do anything drastic though, you need to have done in-depth analysis and be sure that something is wrong with your content or strategy. Low performance is not always synonymous with poor efforts.
Sometimes, we are not patient enough to see our work through. And that’s a real challenge considering that SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Hence, the long-term always does it. Other times, it may be that we have set too high expectations that we perceive very good results as failures. With SEO, you have to be realistic in your planning, lest you inadvertently undo your previous good works.