“Help, that blog post or social campaign isn’t working! What did we do wrong?”
The chances are, nothing at all.
The truth is, it takes many times of repeating, testing and re-targeting content from a variety of channels before your target audience will take an action showing an interest. Content marketing is not the magic, cheap or quick solution for your sales targets, but with the right commitment in both time and budget, results will be achieved. It’s worth sticking with it for the long-haul to see your investments payoff.
In the below episode of Whiteboard Friday, Moz guru Rand Fishkin outlines what he calls the largest misconception in content marketing. It’s true, anyone who convinces themselves that one piece of content alone will result in conversions will be bitterly disappointed. In fact, he quotes 7.5 positive content engagements on average before someone commits to a free trial. Note that a free trial is showing an interest, but the person still hasn’t yet reached your final goal of desired action, either!
Rand equates each content touchpoint with your potential customers as adding a batch of currency into a ‘bank account’ you hold with that person. Every time someone sees your blog post, shares your article on LinkedIn, reads your email, RTs a tweet, you are effectively adding to your ‘bank account’ of desire from that person. Eventually they reach the point that they are engaged enough with your content that it resonates with them and they to want to take the next step. Then and only then will they convert.
Only focusing on the end-point at the point of conversion is missing out on all the contact points throughout the process. Content marketing to me is a critical part of your conversion funnel, and you need to consider reasons why people might not convert to the next stage of the AIDA model to end up taking that action and where people may decide to drop out too.
Take a look at Rand’s Whiteboard Friday talk ‘Greatest Misconception in Content Marketing’ below;
Working in digital marketing I’ve become more aware of my own personal conversion process. What is appropriate for each industry will be different of course, but as an example;
I recently needed to purchase a new washing machine. I was at the point of need (as eventually I no longer had one that worked). Following a visit to two stores and price comparisons on various websites I was able to narrow down to the manufacturer I wanted and a couple of models I was most interested in. I then focused on reading reviews of the models across various sites and found a site that had my preferred model at the best price and availability, taking into account delivery and connection costs, I browsed further and purchased from a site with the best deal available. Their website was much easier to use than others I tried and service and value were excellent, so if they were to ask me for a review or anyone were to ask for a recommendation I would rate them highly. The whole process took between two and three months to purchase.
The above example is from a real point of need, so you can imagine how much longer and how many more steps are involved for a less ‘essential’ purchase. I can think of at least ten business tools I’m part-way along the conversion funnel to purchase right now.
Your new customers are hungry but distracted. They need many layers of relevant content marketing and other tasty goodness before they eventually reach the cherry on top of the cake.
How many times do you think it takes your customers to convert?