We’ve all heard digital marketing agencies and employees talk about content marketing like it’s the next big thing – but we don’t really see it!
We don’t see the magic they claim it’s going to create or the massive influx of visitors that your website is supposed to receive.
What you do see is a whole bunch of time being spent on creating content and very little coming in return.
In fact, only 30% of companies polled were said to be satisfied with the performance of their content marketing programs. (source: Altimeter)
That’s not good – it’s down from 38% in 2015! (source: Content Marketing Institute)
Fact is, only about 44% of all organizations really understand how to measure the success or failure of their marketing campaigns. (source: Marketing Profs)
Out of the ones that do understand it, only about 32% care enough to document their efforts and outcomes, but there is a bigger problem. (source: Marketing Profs)
So, Content Marketing doesn’t really work!
Or are we Setting Off on the Wrong Foot
Content Marketing isn’t broken or useless – it is just ineffective!
Here’s something that you will often hear in digital or content marketing meetings – we aren’t getting enough traffic on our website.
Is that your objective with content marketing – traffic?
Do you want 300-people coming to your website every minute, reading/watching what you have shared, and leaving?
Or do you want them to buy from you or create a relationship where ‘buying’ becomes the next point of escalation – in others words, you want them to become ‘Leads’!
However, despite 88% of organizations using content marketing in one form or another, for six-years in a row, marketers have stated ‘Website Traffic’ to be their most often used metric for judging success. (source: Content Marketing Institute)
The first part of any marketing action is setting objectives.
If you start with the wrong objectives, you will get the wrong outcomes.
For example: if your objective is to sell soap, you don’t want people to come to your store just to hear you talk about why soap is important, and then walk to your competitor and buy soap!
Setting the Record Straight
One of the biggest problems in the content marketing industry is lack of documentation.
- The strategy is discussed, never documented.
- Actions are executed, never documented.
- Analysis is carried out, never documented.
Only 32% of all marketers actually document every single detail of their content marketing campaigns – from objective to strategy to execution details and the results. (Source: Content Marketing Institute)
Over 72% either don’t have an overall content editorial guideline or don’t know whether they have one. (source: LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
Over 76% more content will be created in the B2B marketing scenario but with these problems persisting, there’s little hope for rapid change. (source: DemandGen)
Question is: How can Things Improve?
Every business owner wants their fortunes to change – some want it to change overnight – but there’s one thing most of them fail to do: Testing!
One of our favouritest (sic) things here at Bluekrill is Multivariate Testing.
It might seem like a mathematical or statistical thing but can be applied to content marketing just the same.
The basic concept is that you have multiple variables on the basis of which you test the outcome of a particular action or process.
Now, what are the variables in content marketing?
The answer: whatever you want them to be!
Say you’re marketing an article – the heading, words, phrases, sentence length, number of paragraphs – anything could be a variable.
Similarly, if you are marketing a video – the video title, music, colours, actors, voice-over, length – all could be variables.
The idea is to play around with what you are doing and try out different permutations and combinations.
The Next Question: When do you Stop Testing?
There’s only one answer to that – once you hit your goals!
You stop testing only when you feel that you now know everything you ventured to find out, or that don’t need to improve further!
You can identify trends and make inferences, but the idea is to keep testing your inferences and keep improving upon them.
Is it fun?
Not always – sometimes you have to look away from the exciting graphics & headlines and think about lesser elements like positioning of the footer menu or the font-size on the terms & condition page.
Testing is the only way to make sure you are making the right decisions, or at least on the right path towards making those right decisions.
It’s not always the quickest process but where you start from does make a difference.
So set the right objectives and track what you are doing – and you will find that it becomes much easier to find success in content marketing than you ever imagined.