In the online marketing world, you’ll quickly find that everyone’s got an opinion about content strategy. Batch your content. Post on social media every day. Make sure you hit a certain word count or include a very specific number of keywords.
But what do you do when you realize that you’re not getting engagement or connecting with your audience? What if the leads aren’t rolling in, despite your best efforts and all those “tried-and-true” content strategies? The dreaded question finally pops into your head:
“Is my content strategy not working?”
It might not feel like it, but you’re lucky. You know something isn’t working, and you’ve already taken the first step toward finding the right content strategy for your brand! The truth is, that content strategies aren’t one size fits all. And when it feels like something isn’t working — even when you’re doing everything right — it’s because that strategy isn’t for you! So cross it off your list.
If you found yourself asking, “Is my content marketing not working?” it’s time to reevaluate. Get clarity on the content strategy you need and the best way to apply it to your brand. And good news: You’re in the best place to do that!
Creating content is time-consuming. Sometimes it feels like you’re just spinning your wheels and not getting anything out of your effort. But if you want to grow, nurture, and maintain a business, a solid content strategy is non-negotiable. It’s not just a way to connect with your audience – it’s your ticket to running a successful business without a big ad budget.
A thorough and well-executed strategy tells your brand’s story and mission. Even when you’re not in the room (or on the platform!) it creates consistency within your social media marketing, in your tone of voice, and what your audience can expect from your content.
And all that? It establishes the like, know, and trust component that every customer or client needs to experience before they feel confident investing in your service or product.
Without a content strategy, your business’s success is limited. But find the right strategy that works for you, and you can accomplish your goals and dream bigger. Think affiliate marketing, podcast interviews, and media coverage — the sky’s the limit on opportunities for growth when stand-out content makes you in demand.
Okay, so you’re sold on the importance of a consistent strategy and you’re drooling over the possibilities of what it could do for your business. You’re probably thinking, “Alright then, full steam ahead!” Except…that might be exactly what got you here in the first place. I get it: So many entrepreneurs get frustrated because they don’t see an ROI on their strategy as quickly as they’d like.
Guess what? You have to be patient.
Content marketing is a marathon – not a sprint. On average, it takes a minimum of three-to-nine months for your audience to start engaging with and regularly responding to your content. That’s because your audience needs to see a message multiple times before it really sticks.
And that’s why you need to stick to your plan for the first few months before you can lament: “Why is content marketing not working for me?!” Make sure your audience has had a chance to get comfortable with you and your message before pivoting, especially if you’re a new company or service provider or if you introduced a new product or service.
But if you’ve been consistent for a while and you’re still not seeing the results you want, then it’s time to take action.
If it’s been a few months and your content marketing strategy isn’t working, your next step is to reevaluate. Taking a look at what’s happening and what’s not working can give you some clarity and help you decide on a plan of action.
The good news is, there are typically only three reasons your content marketing strategy isn’t working.
If your content is weak or poorly informed, no amount of marketing will convince people to engage with your brand. If by some random chance they do visit your website, they’ll probably never return. So as tempting as it may be to throw up just any content or post in the heat of the moment, pause. Make sure your content has information your audience is looking for and inspiring energy.
What makes content weak? Three things come to mind:
1. Your Content Is Vague.
Remember, your audience wants to see that you care about them. Your content isn’t the place to be vague. Instead, serve your audience by sharing your knowledge so you can build your authority as the go-to expert in your industry.
This is especially true for educational content. Actionable tips lend credibility by allowing readers to see that you’re the guide to help them.
2. You don’t know what your audience likes.
Target audience research is the throughline here. When you KNOW your audience, your content will rarely miss the mark because you know what they want, like, and need to hear. So make sure you spend some time getting to know your audience!
3. Your copywriting is dull.
I’ve seen it so many times! An entrepreneur has a treasure trove of expertise but doesn’t know how to capture their audience’s attention. Here’s how: Use content prompts to tap into your unique perspective. Use it to tell stories, create captivating hooks, and inspire new ideas. Don’t be afraid to be a little controversial and speak up about your values. That’s what makes your content shine.
The reason your content strategy might not work is that you haven’t nailed down a great publishing schedule. Maybe you show up consistently every day for two weeks and then disappear for a month.
These chaotic comings and goings create a gap in your audience’s ability to connect with you, your brand, your mission, and your message. So instead of it taking six months for your audience to start converting, suddenly you’ve delayed the timeline to twelve months or more.
If you’re struggling with consistency, your posting schedule is stressful, or you just aren’t sure how to make your content successful on your chosen platform, here are some things to consider:
Finding a publishing schedule that works for you and builds consistency with your audience will create a clear path to connection. And remember that it’s okay to switch if you feel like an old publishing plan isn’t working anymore!
The final reason you may find your content marketing not working is simply that your messaging is a little messy.
Messy messaging can mean a couple of things. For you, it feels like you’re throwing spaghetti at the wall, just trying to see what topics stick. Your audience might feel like they don’t understand exactly what you’re trying to convey, which can slow down your ability to connect with them.
It’s frustrating for everyone! And it can ultimately prevent your audience from understanding WHY they need your services, which could lead to a decline in engagement, followers, and income.
If you’re not entirely sure messy messaging is the reason content marketing isn’t working for you, here are some signs to look for.
1. You’re running out of content ideas regularly.
Thinking about posting is overwhelming because you never know what to say. Or you might find yourself looking back at your old content or even googling things to discuss.
2. You have a hard time setting and sticking to your content marketing goals.
When you don’t know what to say or what your brand messaging stands for in the larger market, you’re much more likely to get distracted by others’ messages or the way they speak to their audience. And this can throw off your messaging and pull you away from your unique take.
3. You’re attracting the wrong people or NO people.
If you’ve ever spoken to potential clients and thought, “This is NOT my ideal client,” that’s a dead giveaway that your message is messy. Something about what you’re saying is pulling this person in, and it’s your job to tweak your messaging so they disqualify themselves.
4. You’re not building a personal connection.
If you don’t feel like you genuinely know your audience, they probably feel the same! If your message is messy, they don’t have a way to connect with you. And if they aren’t connecting, they can’t give you their trust (or money).
Once you’ve pinpointed why your content marketing isn’t working, it’s time to take action! If you strengthen your content, create a consistent publishing schedule, and clarify your message, you’ll start seeing results.
Remember, seeing results from your content strategy can take time, so make sure the strategy you build out (or tweak) is clear and intentional. Take time to get to know your audience, provide value, show your personality, stay consistent, and finally stop googling “content marketing not working!”
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