I’ve spoken to a few business owners and traditional marketers who’ve told me: “We tried content marketing and it didn’t work for us.”
They said it only attracted lower-level prospects who just read their blog posts and downloaded their eBooks, but never bought anything.
They say their prospects, high-level executives such as CIOs or VPs of IT, don’t subscribe to newsletters, read their blog posts, or download infographics.
If that’s been your experience – or if that’s what your boss says, then this blog post is for you.
Why Your Content Marketing Didn’t Attract High-Level Buyers
If your company tried content marketing but it didn’t attract the kind of high-level decision-makers that buy your services, here’s what may have happened and what you can do to fix it:
1. You Didn’t Create Epic Content
Was your content good enough or did you just dial it in? If your weren’t able to attract the sophisticated, busy and demanding customers who buy from you, it may have been because your content wasn’t that good.
In his best-selling book “Epic Content Marketing,” Joe Pulizzi said that in North America, nine in ten businesses use content marketing. Content marketing isn’t new, but it’s getting cluttered.
“We need to be epic with our content marketing. We need to do it better. We need to focus more on our customers and less on our prospects,” said Pulizzi.
And if you or your staff aren’t writers, consider hiring somebody who can craft concise, clear copy that’s also entertaining.
2. Your Content Wasn’t Relevant
Your content may not have been relevant to your ideal buyer – and C-Level executives don’t have the time to waste reading content that doesn’t help them with their ambitious goals of running a business.
To create content that is relevant to the high-level decision-makers that buy from you, you need to actually understand who you’re targeting. You need to have a well-documented set of “target personas.”
When I mentioned the word “personas” just now, I’m sure your eyes started to glaze over. It’s a term that makes content marketing bloggers sound like they know what they’re talking about, but what does it have to do with me you may ask?
I would contend that having a well-documented set of target personas is the holy grail of content marketing.
Your personas answer the questions: What do your potential buyers care about? What keeps them up at night? What do they read when they first wake up in the morning and grab their phone from their night stand?
Once you understand who your target personas are, then create content specifically for them. It does require some effort, but it will result in attracting the right prospects instead of a bunch of tire kickers.
3. You Weren’t Measuring and Tweaking Your Content
Another reason your previous efforts failed to performed may have been because you weren’t tracking and measuring your content in order to tweak your strategy and incrementally improve its effectiveness.
In today’s “everything is measurable” world that’s just silly.
Probably the biggest gift to marketers with the invention of the web is the ability it gives them to measure everything. You can see how each blog post and landing page is performing. You can measure which piece of content drives more conversions. You can measure how your content is performing vis-à-vis your target personas, and if its is helping you close your ideal customers.
You can now make decisions to improve your content based on the data you collect instead of doing the same thing over again while expecting different results (which everyone agrees is the definition of insanity).
4. You Weren’t Consistent
This is a big one. If you weren’t consistently creating content based on an editorial calendar you probably didn’t generate the momentum you needed to make any progress (and your high-end buyers probably stopped taking you seriously).
Media companies understand this concept very well. When have you ever seen a newspaper publish on random days of the week, then decide not to publish for a couple of weeks? Never – or at least not the ones who wanted to stay in business.
Consistency doesn’t mean frequency. If you’re short-handed or you’re too busy, maybe consistency means publishing a blog post every week and holding a webinar every month. Don’t say “I’m going to blog everyday” if this is impossible for you. You’re just setting yourself up for failure.
5. You Didn’t Have Enough Calls to Action or Landing Pages
Finally, if content didn’t work for you, it may be because you didn’t do any marketing with your content marketing.
As my friend John Rugh like to say, “…it’s called content marketing.”
The mechanisms to actually add marketing to your content are the workhouses of online marketing: the call-to-action and the landing page.
HubSpot, a content-marketing machine, does this beautifully – and they regularly attract C-Level executives into their marketing system.
At the end of each blog post (this one for example), they have a call-to-action for a premium content offer such as an eBook or guide. When you click on one of their offers, it leads you to a separate landing page that “sells” the free eBook.
And if you look at the right sidebar you’ll find additional calls-to-action: subscribe to the blog, download a free trial, sign up for the Inbound Conference. Each call-to-action takes you to an individual landing page.
And the more landing pages you have, the more conversion opportunities.
How to Make Your Content Marketing Work Next Time
If your content marketing didn’t work before, you may have reached the conclusion that your super-sophisticated buyers are too high-end to read your posts, subscribe to your newsletter, download your eBooks and attend your webinars.
But the statistics show otherwise. HubSpot reported that over 60 percent of senior executives read blogs, watch online video, view webcasts, and use professional services sites like LinkedIn.
To attract these folks, your content has got to be good enough, and it’s got to be relevant. You also need to track and measure your content so you can improve its performance. You need to be consistent, and you need to actually do some marketing using calls-to-action that lead to well-crafted landing pages designed to get your prospects closer to a buying decision.
Don’t let your previous lack of success lead you to the wrong conclusion that content marketing doesn’t attract high-end clients. Start again, this time on the right foot.