Does this sound familiar? You’ve read the books, blogs like this one and attended the webinars/conferences. You get it. Online content is important. You understand we are entering a huge shift in marketing and promotion going from product pushers to trusted resources and that drive, creativity and passion count more than a big budget, especially with all the amazing tools available online.
Trusted resources like you create valuable, interesting, educational and/or entertaining content.
This might be in the form of a blog, web show, online magazine, webinar series, ebook and the list goes on.
So, you decide to hop on the content train for your business either by creating or curating the best content in your niche.
But it isn’t spreading. Nobody is commenting. Nothing is really happening. You start to get nervous. “Is this worth it?” you begin to ask yourself.
Why isn’t it spreading? Sort of like looking in the mirror and saying, “Is it me or is it you?”
Normally there isn’t just one answer and it isn’t black and white. Some things directly matter and others go a little bit deeper with more abstract, yet equally important ideas like trust and authority. But, everything adds up.
Here are a few reasons why your content is lonely and how to get back on the right track with a few hundred or thousand friends:
1. Bad Web DesignIf you website looks stuck in 1997 with a construction guy digging and music playing or like a run of the mill template, there is a lack of credibility and trust. Do you share content from sites that you don’t trust?
I wish it wasn’t true, but looks matter. Think about first impressions. It is worth investing in a site that is functional and reflects your personality and brand.
2. Lacking Ease Of SharingThe best content is like peanut butter, easily spreadable. Easily spreadable doesn’t mean that it takes a scholar to find how to share easily via social networks, email, etc.
Enabling your community, no matter how big or small to share with ease can make a huge difference.
Do you have one click sharing?
3. Product Focused ContentThe best content isn’t about your product. The harsh reality is nobody cares about any of our products. People do care about interests, passions, hobbies, solving their problems, getting answer to key questions, learning etc.
For example, let’s pretend you sell dog food. A mistake is to make the content about the food. Meaning features and benefits.
The fix here is to focus on an interest or passion. People aren’t passionate about dog food. Instead, I bet there are plenty of people passionate about dogs. Training dogs, dog health, etc. A better play is for the content to focus on the bigger picture and not just the product.
4. Not-You Focused ContentInjecting personality, passion and quirks into your content? Always a good thing. Making it about you and how amazing you are. Yikes.
Make it about them, not you. It will do better. Trust me.
5. Lack Of PassionIf you aren’t passionate about your content, it will show and will hinder progress. Nobody spreads half-baked material. If you can’t get excited and pumped up about your content, how can you expect anyone else to be?
6. Unclear, Boring Or Ridiculously Long Titles
I get it. Don’t judge a book by its cover or a piece of content by its title. Fair enough. However, the reality of the matter is titles matter, a lot. They matter for search engines and humans. When you have 50 titles in front of you, which ones jump out? Why?
Spending time on titles is worth the time.
7. Oops, I Forgot My MarketingWe have all fell into this trap. You spend all the time creating the content and posting it and then no time is left topromote it. You can have the greatest content in the world, but if you don’t spend time marketing and promoting it, then it will be the loneliest, saddest, greatest most useful content in the world.
My recommendation, especially when getting rolling is to spend 80% of total “content time” marketing and promoting.
This means creating one-on-one connections on social media sites, expanding your network, digital schmoozing, perhaps hosting an event or meet up. Often the best online marketing happens offline. Content plus connections equals success. You have to give to get.
One bonus fun fact: Time. Trust, influence, authority and community isn’t built with just one post or overnight. It takes blood, sweat and tears. While the opportunity to create has been democratized, that means you have to work hard to stick out. Keep at it, experiment, refine brick by brick, click by click, over time you might be the ruler of the next content empire.
What has been your experience? What would you add to the list?
This was a guest post by David Siteman Garland. Garland is the Founder of The Rise To The Top, The #1 Non-Boring Resource For Building Your Business Smarter, Faster, Cheaper . He hosts RISE, a web show for entrepreneurs and marketers featuring unique interviews and advice, and The Rise To The Top TV show on ABC. He is the upcoming author of Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-boring, Fluff-free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business (Wiley 2010) now available for pre-order .
Photo Credit: ginnerobot
HubSpot has compiled over 50 original marketing charts and graphs on topics including Lead Generation, Blogging and Social Media, Marketing Budgets, Twitter and Facebook
Download the ebook now! to have access to these charts for use in your own presentations