Angelo is a bus driver for a small tour company in Ecuador. Quite often the tourists’ breakfast comes with a side of papaya. Many of the tourists don’t like papaya, so they give it to Angelo, who says “thank you” and eats it. This goes on for years. More tourists, more papaya for Angelo. One day, someone says: “Wow, Angelo, you must really like papaya!” He finally confesses that he hates papaya. He only eats it to be polite to all the tourists who give him their fruit.
Your marketing content is a little bit like papaya. Too often there’s a disconnect between what your association provides and the resources your audience members actually want. If your content marketing isn’t performing the way you’d like, you may need to fix one or more of these common problems.
1. You don’t have a strategy.
If you’re pumping out lots of content without a plan, chances are some of your efforts are going to waste. Take time to craft a strategy based on your goals, resources, and budget in addition to your audience’s needs and wants.
2. Your content isn’t relevant.
No one wants their time wasted. Make sure you’re giving your audience content they can actually put to use. Segmenting your list into two or three groups and tailoring content accordingly can help you increase relevancy and results.
3. You need to adjust your frequency.
You can’t just bombard people. Chances are your members and prospects get too many emails and too many digital ads. Look at your association’s communications calendar, and schedule your promotions when they have the least competition from other messages.
4. People don’t trust you.
You have to earn people’s attention and trust. Consider giving away content with no strings attached initially. Eventually you can ask for an email address for follow-up communications. If your ad or landing page promises a solution, your content better deliver.
5. You don’t have a cause.
People need to know why they should care about your content, your mission, your organization, and your offerings. They need a cause to rally around. Ask yourself why your organization exists. Then make sure it’s clearly communicated in your marketing messages.
6. You forgot to include emotions.
Even if your members are technical experts or high-level professionals, they still need to be emotionally compelled to take action. Ensure your content contains a balance of logic, credibility, and—above all—emotion.
7. You need to adjust your format.
Don’t forget there are dozens of potential formats for content—from podcasts to infographic, reports, quizzes, checklists, and memes. Track engagement with your campaigns to learn which formats resonate best. Experiment with long vs. short formats, visual vs. text, etc.
8. Your audience is confused.
If people are opening your emails or clicking on your ads but not converting, it could be a sign that they’re getting lost along the way. Make it easy for them to claim your content by including clear call to action buttons or using prepopulated lead gen forms on your digital ads.
9. Your voice is impersonal.
People connect with other people better than with organizations. Communicate in a human, conversational tone to get the most out of your content marketing.
The National Association of Manufacturers asked us to help promote their Manufacturers Marketplace product. The challenge was that their target audience already received too many emails each day. We created a content strategy that included videos, infographics, and e-books. To personalize the content and increase relevancy, we created personas for key audience segments. Landing pages and prepopulated lead gen forms made it easy for people to take action. Our efforts increased leads for Manufacturers Marketplace by 600% and doubled the amount of traffic to the product’s web page.
Before you feed your audience more papaya, take some time to tune up your content marketing. Fixing even one or two of these common problems can dramatically improve your results.
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