SUMMARY: Today people are overwhelmed with content. The idea that they are going to read your content isn’t always true. Your content needs to be personally relevant at a time when they are looking to better understand your product and its use.
If you’re like most people you have bookmarked sites that you visit regularly. Reading content on topics like “how to prepare pasta sauce” will only appeal to you if you’re cooking pasta sauce. Yet brands are spending a fortune on content marketing.
The cost of content marketing can broadly range from $5,000-$50,000+ per month depending on your business size, goals, marketing budget, and resources. I would argue that a lot of that money is wasted on content your audience will never read.
A family-owned pasta sauce maker from Chicago fell into the trap of content marketing. On the advice of an internet marketing company based in Cambridge, they developed a robust content marketing strategy that included email, their website, and social media. After 8 months their sales showed no signs of increasing and the metrics indicated that their content wasn’t being read.
They ditched their content marketing and replaced key messages with callouts. The messages included “made by the same family since 1920” and “never any artificial ingredients”. Gradually the time on site increased with the most popular pages “where can I buy” and “why it tastes so good”.
We also shortened the content so that it could be read quickly and easily with calls to action on every page. Website metrics improved dramatically.
Is all content bad?
No, not at all. Some products warrant in-depth content, like buying a bike or product categories that are considered major purchases. But in order to really make the content effective you need to:
1ne: Talk to your audience in the first person. Just like you were having a one on one conversation.
2wo: The content needs to be at a high school reading level.
3hree: The content needs to eliminate sales talk.
4our: Finally, the content needs to make potential buyers feel good about their choice. If you use testimonials use real people not paid actors in photos.
You only have a few seconds to catch the attention of your audience. If your content isn’t relevant to their needs you’ll lose a prospect.
Don’t get drawn into content marketing without measurable objectives.