How to stop wasting money on content marketing

How’s your content marketing going? It’s rubbish when you feel like you’re wasting money on content marketing, isn’t it? So many people out there waste so much time and money on content marketing and there’s only one thing in the world that’s going to help you out: strategy.

This was highlighted the other day in a strategy session when a colleague shared their thoughts on a content marketing campaign and it brought it back to me, even in a content marketing agency, how important it is to have a razor-sharp focus on making marketing work.

Businesses have been doing content marketing since the beginning of time and definitely since the begining of the internet. However, in 2013 content marketing really started to take off and this was largely in part of the decline of SEO following the impacts of updates such as Panda and Penguin, which had decimated the rankings of a lot of websites and from which many SEO consultants had very little answer.

And this interest in content marketing hasn’t slowed down. If you’ve ever worked in a marketing team you’ll know a lot of what that marketing team is the content is can get out there and how it might resonate with their audience.

In fact, in most marketing teams there are specific roles dedicated to content marketing activities but everyone in the team will have to have some impact on the content marketing output.

As a content marketing agency, GrowTraffic works with a range of businesses, either those who don’t have their own content marketing resource or perhaps those that do but who have struggled to make it work.

There is a massive problem when it comes to content marketing though and it’s something many businesses and marketing professionals have long since had to come to terms with, it’s so much harder to get content marketing to work.

I remember in 2008 you could put out a blog post and you could create a piece of content about something that had never been covered before. This was fantastic and it got results. Now, every man and his dog is out there creating and publishing content. You need to create a lot of content to get the kind of momentum required to get traction. Trust me it’s a headache.

If you ask any marketer out there they’ll probably tell you that the biggest problem they’ve got is trying to create content that actually leads to some kind of conversion action.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s going to be easy either. Every business knows they should be on social and every business knows they need to be doing something to inform and educate their target market. And that’s where the problem lies. Everyone is doing it.

And you can’t get away from the fact that every business out there has to be creating some kind of content. But as we rapidly approach the content crunch (where content is ineffective as a marketing tool) we’ve got to wonder how we can stop wasting marketing budget on pointless content marketing.

It is the role of the management team in a business to ensure what they’re doing is actually effective. Based on the fact that something like two-thirds of marketers don’t think content marketing works or at least they don’t know how to make it work, it’s clear most businesses have to be wasting their marketing budget.

But what does that mean for the other third of marketers? These are the content marketing heroes who are able to create and distribute content and actually make some money off the back of it.

Creating The Right Kind Of Content

So the first thing to say is content can broadly be split into two camps. You’ve got the kind of content you’re going to use on social media and emails, and you’ve also got the kind of content you’re going to use in Google. It’s important to think about content in this way because you’ve got to attract the attention of people when they are on social media or reading an out-of-the-blue email but organic traffic represents visitors from people who are actively searching out your content – they tend to be looking for information.

If you’ve got a sizable social media audience that’s totally on target, you’re going to want to concentrate on creating the kind of interesting content that draws them in. This will be content that informs and entertains, it’s probably going to include everything from webinars to whitepapers, blogs to biogs.

If you don’t have a big engaged audience on social media and don’t have tens of thousands of people in your marketing database, you’re probably going to want to focus your efforts on creating content that can be found in Google.

Understand How You’ll Distribute Your Content

The key thing here is understanding how you will distribute your content and if you can distribute your content. There is no benefit whatsoever in creating loads and loads of fun pieces of content if no one will ever read them.

The next thing to say is to always understand the objectives of why you’re creating content. Content does have an SEO benefit but if you want to convert customers you’re going to need to be super-focused on the type of content you need to produce.

It’s always easy to create lots and lots of awareness content, but guess what? Most of that content will never convert. More than that remember those men and their dogs who are creating loads of content? Most of those guys are creating awareness phase content. Your job is to create content in the consideration phase. That is targeting a potential customer who understands they have a problem, have an idea about what the solutions are, but haven’t made their mind up about which solution they will go with.

Consideration phase content is loads more difficult to create than awareness content and it works best for those businesses who don’t have a great audience base on social media or huge marketing databases to rely on.

The main thing is you’re going to have to get sales at some point from the content you’re putting out there. If you’re talking about creating a piece of content that has no chance of helping you sell something, why on earth are you creating it? Always remember that content marketing is a marketing strategy and tactic.

It might be direct sales or it might be indirect sales but it’s got to be sales based and it’s got to be measurable.

For example, this content is here to help you try to stop wasting money in content marketing but ultimately we want you to be confident that we understand about content marketing and could be the content marketing agency for you, should you require help making this work. If you do need some help with your content marketing please get in touch.

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