Today, it’s getting tougher and more competitive to buy attention. 

Many businesses send out email newsletters and post on Facebook pages. Others post press releases disguised as blogs. But none of them are generating the traffic and leads. It’s time to face it: There’s a problem with your content.

Content marketing can disappoint those not entirely familiar with it. Several believe content marketing should be easier than it is from scrolling through Facebook to seeing beautiful pictures with catchy captions on Instagram. Some believe the products and services should sell by themselves. Somewhere in Google results, there must be a blog post or article about the ultimate secret to content marketing. How hard could content marketing really be?

Content marketing is not meant to deliver quick results. If done well, content marketing can help businesses gain audiences’ trust and build true relationships with them. But businesses need to build this trust over time with consistency. It is not for business leaders who do not have the time and energy to put together a well-thought content marketing strategy or produce interesting content. 

If you are ready to change the way you market your content, here are some ugly truths to content marketing to understand first before taking the first steps.

SEO Is Not the Only Thing That Matters Anymore

Search engine algorithms now look at relevant search results and the user’s purpose for the search more than articles stuffed with SEO keywords. They can also look at the scope of the search.  For example, you can type into Google “acai bowls near me”. Depending on your location, you’ll see different search results, which makes it difficult to test success based on keyword rankings alone.

The goal of Google is not to drive traffic to your website. Google tries to find relevant content that responds to questions from the user.  Instead of simple words, our questions have become much more conversational. It is much more common for people to answer complex questions using full sentences.

Keep this in mind as you write articles. An article with repetitive keywords throughout the text is not suitable for the audience. Keywords should be used when necessary. Otherwise, it just looks like you only care for the views on your website, trying to sell without establishing a connection with the audience. Ironically, this way you will hardly sell anything.

Too Much Focus on Metrics and Social Shares

Businesses focused on getting “views,” traffic, and social shares are making empty promises. Somehow, owners (and marketers) became obsessed with the tools and less concerned about the text.  If you’re sending a newsletter that no one is opening, you’re hurting the distribution of your content. If you’re writing a blog that nobody reads, you’re killing the ROI of your content marketing.

Content overload is real. Reading through endless, low-quality content is like Netflix with countless movies and shows. You mindlessly scroll past one after another looking for something to pique your interest. Don’t be part of the crowd by distributing content for metrics’ sake.

At the end of the day, content marketing is not just about content creation. It’s about creating the minimum number of content with the maximum impact to change the audiences’ behaviors. Content has to be valuable and compelling. Find out more about your audience’s needs. Use different platforms to make your content stand out, and position your company as a brand authority in your industry.

Unnecessary Words and Inflated Headlines

The needless use of “empty” words to make exaggerated or overblown claims are littering web copy and articles. Bloated titles and headlines are now for getting noticed, not for quality content. Sometimes, these headlines make you go onto listicles and slideshows generated for measuring metrics. Don’t mislead your audience, as this will make them leave and trigger a high bounce rate.

Go for readability when you write your text. Make your text fun and enjoyable. You need not add more fluff to your text with empty or needless words. Your text does not need a formal and professional tone (unless your industry demands it). It’s not about which business is the most intelligent and innovative. It’s about giving your audience what they need in a way that’s appealing and relatable so they want to come back to read more content. Delivering great content experience is much more important. Content Marketing Institute has a list of 25 words and phrases to avoid when writing your text.

Content Creation Isn’t Easy and Free

You’ve got three choices for content creation. You can write great content, have a team member create content, or hire a great content writer.

If you’re lucky to have the time and writing talent, then you can plan and write your content. If you consider writing yourself, because you are the only person who understands your business best, remember this: you must seriously commit to writing great content.

You may have the experience and business know-how, but your writing skills may not be up to par, and you may not have the time to dedicate to writing. If you are still determined to write yourself though, practice writing every day.

No matter which direction you go, keep in mind that content marketing needs organization and experience. If you do not want to invest in the right people, you will not have much success with content marketing. Content marketing is rewarding ultimately, and it takes time and effort for it to be successful. You must be ready to invest in creating your content to ensure that the copy you have is perfectly written and helps your company grow while building brand awareness.

The Final Verdict

In the era of excessive information, you must create valuable, engaging content consistently to connect with your audience. Ensure that you spend time and resources on content marketing. For any company getting into content marketing, it is important to try various things and figure out how it works. Then, share your winning content on the best platforms for your audience.

Above all, be credible if you want a person to read your content. Earn your audience’s trust. Provide the most influential information your customers might ever ask for today, tomorrow or five years from now. The fight for consumer loyalty goes beyond mediocre content and platitudes. Tell something educational, fun, and/or interesting about your business if you want your content to be shared among others. Content marketing may be ugly but there is a beauty to the madness when done right.

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