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5 signs your content marketing strategy is on life support

content-marketing-strategy-basicsContent marketing is a fast rising buzzword within the marketing industry. It’s a marketing tactic used to create conversations around content instead of aggressively pushing someone down a sales conversion funnel.

As you can see in the Google Trends chart below, at the time of me writing this post, the popularity of the term content marketing is currently exploding and is just a tad off its all time high:

content-marketing-is-trending-up

Even with content marketing’s new found fame, marketing veterans say it’s just a fancy term for what marketing professionals have been doing for years.  Based on what I see, they’re right.

That’s the problem.

From my personal observations, I notice many content marketers using the same old techniques from 2005 in their content marketing campaigns.  It’s such a shame that so many marketers have not realized that the world has moved forward 20 years over the last 8 years.

This may be the #1 reason the economy had such a tough time recovering from the worldwide recession.

Ok. That may be far too hyperbolic. Maybe its reason #1,000.

Nevertheless,  I think it’s having an impact since so many businesses are losing massive amounts of revenue on content that will never convert.

If I can save just one business today or even just one job, I will have done my part.

So without further ado, here are the 5 signs that you’re tanking the economy with your content marketing strategy…

1. All of your content is about you

I personally see this every single day on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.

Me, me, me, me, and so more me.

I love me some me.

–Terrell Owens

If you don’t read another word of this article, please just read this.  Marketing is always about your audience and never about you (click to tweet this).

If you are doing any of these things then please, please just stop it.

a) More than 1/5 of your blog posts are about your products, services, and company

b) All of your most valuable content is paid content.

c) All of your most valuable content requires visitors to give up an email address to get access to it

d) You explicitly request strangers to retweet, share or like your status updates

e) You go on twitter and explicitly request a stranger to like your Facebook page

f) You introduce yourself to people on social sites with a link to sign-up for your product or service.  This one gets a “F” literally.

2. Your content is too academic

Many B2B marketers have caught a terrible disease that spreads by eyesight.  That’s right, B2B marketers catch this disease just by reading something.  The horror…

This disease just might be at the point of pandemic proportions.

I call it: White-paper paralysis.

White-papers are far too overdone.  Especially when the authors don’t have a PhD or any type of graduate degree for that matter.

If you are not a professor, then stay away from white papers.   Just call it a ebook for goodness sake.

To take it a step further, make it an ebook that has nice graphics and pretty pictures.  Tell a story or two.

Lighten up.

I understand you may be marketing your white-paper to the government or some big science and technology firm. Even still, these are people too.

Do you know how many white-papers executive decision makers get sent everyday?  Most of these folks have publically available email addresses.

I can guarantee they get white paper spam all day, everyday.

Think different.  Give the white paper madness a rest.

3. You don’t use your real name as the author of your content

This is one of those stingy holdovers from 2005 for sure.  I am absolutely sure you have seen this within the last 24 hours.

You know that pesky white paper I was just talking about.  It was written by Acme, Inc. not a real person.

Or that blog post on that startup’s page you were just checking out.  It was written by Admin or the App of the Day Team.

In 2005 everyone was scared to let other people know that there was a real person on the other side of the computer screen.  Do you remember that $100 billion dollar Facebook IPO that happened last year?

The days of being anonymous on the Internet are gone. It’s actually even creepy.

Personally, if I can’t find out who created a piece of content, I don’t trust it.  There are far too many people out here offering advice on every topic under the sun.

In this day and age, people want to verify that you are a real person with a few years of noteworthy experience and not some college freshman getting paid (if they’re lucky) to pump out zombie content.

4. You spend more time creating content than you do marketing it

This one is tough.  Many of the best content marketers fall into this trap.  I fall into this trap.

For me, creating content is so much fun.  Marketing it, not so much.

(some people have the reverse problem, not sure which one is worse)

However, what’s the point of creating content if no one consumes it?

The whole idea of content marketing is to convert your audience into customers.  It’s a simple equation

Content + Marketing = Conversion

If you spend all your time pumping out content, hoping that your SEO tactics will drive all the traffic you need then you are missing the point.

Content marketing is about going out into the world and engaging an audience with your content. Creating conversations around your content. Creating conversations around other people’s content as well.

You can’t just do this on your website either.  You must go out into the interwebs and get to know your audience by their first name.  This is how you market content. Dare I say it…this is the Zen of Content Marketing.

5. You don’t respond to comments

There is just no excuse for this.

I’ve been on some of the most popular blogs in the world and have seen the author respond to 50 or 100 different comments on one post. Epic right.

Then I go on a ghost town blog and the author never responds to the one or two comments he or she gets per year.

Go figure.

Maybe that’s the reason the comments section is a ghost town hu?

I try to respond to every thoughtful comment.  I even try to respond to every Facebook comment, Linkedin Comment, and Twitter mention.  Especially if it’s a well thought out comment not originating from a link troll.

I suggest you do the same.  Your brand depends on it.

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