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The Number 1 Reason Why Your Content Marketing is Not Working

What to do when your content is driving visitors, but these leads are not converting

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BY Daniel Wallock - 21 Nov 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

You’ve created content that your audience loves. The content is getting shares, likes, and visitors are converting to leads, but something is wrong.

You notice prospects sometimes aren’t responding to your emails. The conversion rate of people who get on the phone to the people who buy is extremely low. Your content is driving visitors and leads, but the leads are not converting.

The number 1 problem content marketers make is not with content creation; it’s with content strategy.

The problem is that most of us are impatient for results. We want immediate conversions. You might have a great case study and you might have a compelling offer on your landing page, but you might be missing the third critical element: trust.

A marketing funnel works in three phases: awareness, engagement, and conversion. Great marketers create stories that sequence visitors through content in each of these three phases. Great marketers focus on scripting all of the touchpoints a prospect will go through before becoming a lead. They intentionally script exactly what content the prospect will see and in what order.

Sequencing content is comparable to building relationships.

With dating, you don’t immediately ask the person to get married on the first date. Typically, before building a relationship with anyone, you might see them around, you might smile at them, and then gradually over time you get to know them and develop a relationship.

Content marketing done right is incredibly similar to how we build relationships. There are tens, if not hundreds, of touchpoints over time before we invest too much in a relationship.

Marketers should focus on creating content for each phase of their marketing funnel.

Open up a spreadsheet and build a “content library.” In a content library, you want to track all of the pieces of content you’ve created with links, dates published, and then categorize the content according to what it is about and what part of the funnel it should be shown in.

The three main phases of the marketing funnel are Awareness, Engagement, and Conversion. These phases can be translated into: Why, How, and What.

Why content” – “Why content” consists of simply telling a story about why you started your business or why you do what you do. The goal of “why content” is simply building awareness by telling a story that helps develop a connection with the customer. People want to do business with people and places that have authority and history, and sharing stories help develop both.

“How content” – The purpose of “how content” is to drive engagement and help businesses be seen as avenues that add value to their industry. For example, “how content” might be sharing videos on how to do different technical tasks. If you are a designer, you might create and share a series of videos on how to create your own fonts. “How content” provides practical lessons and shows that the business is a legitimate and trustworthy place to get information.

What content” – “What content” is arguably the easiest content to make. “What content” shares exactly what your business does, who it serves, and what specific packages or services you sell. This is the part of the funnel that people seem to focus on the most, but without awareness and engagement, without connection, people are much less likely to convert.

The problem is that people only focus on “what content.” If you are ever struggling with your content marketing, ask yourself: “Have I built a sufficient relationship with my potential customer?”

Have you sequenced your visitors through the three stages of the funnel before sharing what you offer or asking for a sale? If the answer is “no,” then revisit your content library and change up how you are sequencing content to your target audience.