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Practice Management > Marketing and Communications > Social Media

5 signs your content marketing strategy stinks

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So you’re jumping onto that digital marketing train and going full throttle with it. No more dipping that toe in … you’re going head first, diving right in as you throw out a few tweets and weekly blogs onto your website. You’re a force to be reckoned with; you’re a content marketing guru.

In today’s digital marketing world, everyone has the two words “content marketing” scribbled in their agendas. But what exactly is content marketing? The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as such:

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience — with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

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As the term continues to gain quick momentum, advisors’ hasty approach to content marketing often misses the mark. Believing it as a way towards gaining traffic and clients fast, advisors take for granted the crucial elements that are needed as prerequisites for a successful content marketing strategy.

So, as much as I hate bursting anyone’s bubble, sending a few tweets here and there or blogging once a week does not make you a content marketing guru. But don’t be discouraged! These five signs will help you hone in on what you’re doing wrong and help you in giving your content marketing strategy a much needed boost:

1. You’re no different than the competitors next door.

A common theme seen throughout many content marketing strategies is the need to come out with blogs and whitepapers. Although “sticking to what you believe in leads to success” is always a good rule of thumb, if producing content in the form of blogs and whitepapers isn’t really cutting it for you, don’t be afraid to ditch what everyone else is doing. 

Whitepapers and blogs are not the be-all and end-all of content marketing. Instead, they are only one component of it. Explore the many facets of content marketing such as eBooks or newsletters for instance. No matter what your tactic is, always focus on what works for your niche and what can help you carve out a path to success.

2. It’s always just text.

Here’s a question: Would you rather visit a website that is saturated in text-based content or contains a good balance of graphics and videos? If you picked the latter, your selection represents the majority.

The point is that no one likes a boring website (or boring anything). So, don’t be boring. Change things around, shake things up and diversify your content.

There are many content forms beyond the written word. For instance, consider illustrating your services and difficult concepts through graphs, infographics or videos. Not only will your website be more visually appealing; it will enable higher click-throughs and call to actions (CTAs). By doing this, your website will foster better engagement with its users and that’s always a plus.

3. You favor quantity over quality. 

This issue ties back into my point about advisors who think they have content marketing all figured out by sending out a few tweets or blogging occasionally. Of course, tweeting or blogging more often can help, but the real problem lies in the quality of content. It really isn’t enough to do content marketing: It’s about doing it right. 

If you want to have a competitive advantage over other financial advisors out there, what you have to offer must cut through the clutter and stand out. Because people are not only reading your content, but continually critiquing it, taking it apart and dissecting every single part of it with immense judgement, you really have to bring your A-game. So focus on producing high quality content, rather than merely appreciating that it exists. 

4. You create dead-ends. 

You’ve created an awesome library of content. Great! But then you have either forgotten to include — or worse, completely avoided including — calls to action.

In the wonderful world of websites, people expect a request for them to take some form of action after reading content. After all, this is the whole point of marketing: to entice people to do something with the content they just received.

Whether it includes signing up for a newsletter subscription or filling out a web form to receive a free eBook, readers should not feel they’ve reached a dead-end. Instead, your blog posts should help promote your newsletters and these newsletters should help promote your eBooks … you get my drift.

5. Can anyone find it? 

If no one finds your content, then no one can read it and, in turn, your ability to drive profitable customer action can be significantly lower. A lot of today’s marketing involves sharing content on social media because nearly everyone is on a social network.

Pushing your content out to Twitter, for instance, not only branches out your content to a wider scope of audience, but also helps you establish connections with the right people. 

You probably feel less proud about your current content marketing strategy right now and that’s OK. The point here is not to rain on your parade or crush your ego, but to address which content marketing strategies are working and those that are not.

So go ahead, throw out the bad and welcome the good because, really, who has time for content marketing strategies that stink?

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