I don’t know about you, but regularly I have a bit of a cleanse and go through my email inbox to “unsubscribe” from some of the content I have been receiving. In doing this, it often becomes clear who is getting it right when it comes to email marketing, and who isn’t! Some people do not have much of a clue when it comes to targetting their content marketing to the right people. It’s is not just blogs and sales emails though, it’s also DM’s on LinkedIn, Facebook Messenger, Instagram messages and DM’s on Twitter… I’ve even had them on WhatsApp and text! How can people get it so wrong?
I am not saying that we’re perfect here at Green Umbrella, but we do try to market our content to the right people, and if someone unsubscribes that’s fine, the last thing I want is to be seen as a company that spams people. In fact, I monitor the unsubscribes and if we get more than usual on a particular email we’ve sent I’m immediately looking at the content and subject line to work out what not to repeat in the future!
There are a few reasons why someone’s content might not be suitable for an audience and having just spent a little time cleaning up my inbox, I thought it worth giving you all a few pointers.
Five reasons why your content succeeds or fails
Reason #1 — Have you defined your ideal target market?
How many times have you had a sales message on LinkedIn from someone who has not taken the time to look at your profile? (You wouldn’t believe how many messages social media marketers get messages selling them social media services!) How many times have you met someone at a networking group who has then added you to their mailing list and suddenly you start receiving their sales messages? (Even though what they’re selling is completely irrelevant to you!) I have even been added to mailing lists of my competitors! (Tip: Always check spreadsheets from your competitors before uploading them to your email marketing software.)
One of the processes that we work through with clients is “define your ideal client”. If you have not gone through this as an exercise, how do you know if you are producing the right content or not? Just to express how important this is; we even produced a guide on how to do Define your ideal client!
Reason #2 — Where is your audience hanging out?
Once you have decided who your ideal client is, then you need to do a little bit of digging and find out where they are most active online. You would not believe how many times I have seen a local business hanging out on LinkedIn and spending loads of time on this platform when their perfect business client is very active on Facebook. Remember, social networking is not about the platforms that YOU enjoy being on, it’s about your customer. You need to speak their language, on the platforms they’re using their voices.
If you are not sure where to spend your time, then just ask one of the GUHQ team via the live chat. We have been doing this since 2010 so if you give us a few details, we should be able to tell you instantly. Alternatively, ask your audience! Just send an email campaign with a short survey monkey attached, or add a Poll on LinkedIn perhaps. When you run quick tick box surveys, you’re almost guaranteed you will get your answers quite quickly.
Reason #3 — Are you creating the right “type” of content?
We all absorb information in different ways. Knowing how your audience likes to receive information is crucial to the success of your content. I would always recommend creating a mix of content, however, knowing what works best certainly keeps you ahead of the game.
Here are some ideas for you:-
- If your audience likes to read, then consider writing whitepapers or eBooks
- The busy executive may prefer to consume content in audio/podcast format — so consider adding an audio version of your blog.
- Images are necessary for every platform — this must always be part of your marketing strategy.
- Video — the use of video is a great way to share content.
- Facts and numbers? If your audience likes detail, then producing facts and figures in a visual format may be worth consideration. There are some great tools for producing branded infographics, such as PikToChart. (Or you could drop Mark a line via Live Chat and we can help you with a design!)
- Live Streaming — your audience may be the type of people who like to have their say, and live streaming is one of the best ways to get the conversation going. (TIP: Facebook loves to see followers returning to your content, so think about episodic content i.e. regular Live streams like the GU Live Lunch.
- Presentations and PDFs — if you have presented a slide deck to a group of people, then I strongly urge you to use this content on LinkedIn either as a post or as part of the featured section on your LinkedIn profile. The same goes for any PDFs you might have had created. This way you are making things east to share with your target audience.
Reason #4 — I know “How”, but where do I get ideas of what to post?
I use a bunch of different sources to get ideas of things to talk about online and get inspiration from. When I’m working with our social media coaching clients there are a few places I’m regularly directing people to for ideas:-
- Amazon — just search for your keyword in books! Results that appear at the top of the search list are usually popular. Click through and look at the table of contents for the book — this should give you some great ideas and inspiration!
- Buzzsumo — I love this software. Type in your keyword and see what articles are trending online in relation to your search. Again, you’ll have a list of inspiring titles in front of you!
- Quora.com. — Quora is a question and answer site where members type in their questions on a chosen topic and get crowd-sourced answers. Have a search through the questions that have been asked that fit the sector you serve. Is there something you can develop into a content piece be able to provide an answer?
- Google News — An obvious one, but an area that people tend to overlook! Go to Google, type your chosen topic, click the news tab, then click “tools” — you can then filter your results to the last week, or the last 24 hours to get the most up to date results.
- 75 Ideas Of Things To Post On Social Media Download it, Print it off, and work through it with a highlighter picking out all the ideas that will work for you. Then keep it to hand as a prompt to get you started on those days where your creative juices are refusing to flow!
Reason #5 — Design and optimise your content
I know this may sound a bit crazy, but it is important to design and optimise your blog article. Writing a fantastic article isn’t enough, it won’t get read if it isn’t inviting at first glance! Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Does your content flow well or do you have extremely long paragraphs?
- Do you include bullet points and checklists?
- Are you adding a call to action within your blog?
- Are you encouraging your audience to explore your site with “related articles” at the bottom of the page?
- Have you added an image? or Images?
- Have you used H2 tags throughout the content? (A H2 is essentially a subheading)
- Have you optimised your content for SEO? We use Yoast WordPress plugin to achieve the best results for Google search.
- Have you activated social sharing tools, or perhaps included a scatter of “click to tweet” buttons in the content?
When it comes down to it, the bottom line is that you always need to have your ideal client in mind whenever you are producing any type of content. Whether it is a video, a blog or a webinar, a social post, or a podcast episode, always use jargon-free language and make sure that you are sending relevant content to the right people where they are most likely to consume it.