“Marketers are getting better at distributing content, but are not getting better at creating content worth distributing.” – TrackMaven
In a recent report from analytics software provider TrackMaven, it was revealed that while the volume of content per brand increased by 78 percent during 2013-14, that content resulted in a 60 percent decrease in engagement.
What is happening here?
Businesses started listening to the “content is king” megaphone, and it has become a fixture in their content marketing. So much so, that the focus has shifted away from the quality content their readers want and into a sort of content mill that delivers more words than wisdom.
The bottom line is, it’s not working.
Google had the foresight to see where all of this was going a few years ago, and updated its algorithms to show only high quality content in its search results. Facebook, too, saw the high distribution of poor content bleeding into its newsfeed and modified algorithms to help users get only the best content.
So what can businesses and marketers do to improve content marketing for the sake of their online reputation?
4 Tips to Stepping Up Your Online Content
Look at what is working. You probably share your blog content on your social media channels (if you don’t, here is your queue), and you can get some insight on reader reactions by monitoring which posts receive the most engagement in the form of likes, retweets, shares and comments. Another useful tool: analytics. Check your reports to see how traffic compares between various pieces of content, and don’t forget to measure bounce rates, too.
Be timely. There is definitely a time and place for your evergreen content – pieces that are timeless and apply at any point during the year. But with that, you should also be creating blog posts that address a current event or changes in your industry, so you can remain relevant and offer up information when your readers are looking for it the most.
Think like your readers. When you’re the one in charge of content marketing, it’s easy to slip into the role of online marketer. The problem with this is, you’re focusing more on marketing goals like keywords, word count, anchor text…you get where we’re going here. When you think like your readers instead, you create content that is more approachable and makes that important connection. This change in perception can generate more engagement than any amount of slick backlinking.
Control your frequency. If you’re like the data above and you need to improve engagement with your content marketing, then perhaps you need to focus less on how many pieces of content you can churn out. Maybe in order to control the quality of the blogs you’re pushing online, you need to reduce the amount of content. A good rule of thumb for content development is two blogs per month, but you can scale that up if the quality can be maintained.
The landscape of online marketing is not what it used to be; competition for readers’ attention is at an all-time high. At the same time, the amount of available online content has never been more prolific. Businesses that once thrived on the “content is king” platform now need to focus on being the king of quality in order to regain a profitable online marketing machine.