There are few things that get people more excited than bacon. If you don't believe me, just check the #bacon hashtag on Twitter. For those of us who do partake in the cured pork delicacy, you've probably had the experience of ordering up a plate only to have a cold, greasy and floppy strip of hog arrive at the table. Online content can create just as much anticipation and resulting disappointment.
A content marketer's worst nightmare is to invest a significant amount of time in creating a piece of advanced content - like an infographic, video or eBook - and generate a ton of buzz, only to watch it fail to meet expectations upon release. Online consumers want their content to be crispy, tasty and satisfying. There are three common reasons why content marketing campaigns fall flat, and an anecdote for each.
1. Your Content Doesn't Get Found
It's not enough to simply publish a new white paper or infographic on your website. Getting it found takes a concerted promotional effort. Earned media is a great way to kickstart a content marketing campaign. By getting your content featured on a leading industry media outlet or blog, you can drive a large amount of traffic from a trusted source, resulting in views and downloads.
2. Your Content Doesn't Get Shared
A lack of social shares may be an indicator of low-quality content. This can be extremely problematic, as referral traffic from social networks should be one of your biggest sources of downloads. Strive to create the most relevant, high-quality content possible through thorough research and careful production. Remember: the best content solves real problems. If your content does not solve a problem that someone in your community or sales pipeline wants answers, do not make that content. There are many tools for identifying the pain-points Internet users are experiencing. Use this understanding to better your own content.
3. Your Content Doesn't Stay Relevant
The goal of every content marketing campaign should be to create what's known as evergreen content. Evergreen content is content that stays relevant for years - not because it's broad or not at all in-depth, but because it's research and data-driven. For example, a "guide to effective video storytelling" will have a longer shelf life than a "guide to the new YouTube Channel layout" since YouTube routinely changes their layout. Non-evergreen content is disposable and is difficult to repurpose once its content becomes irrelevant, but can be appropriate in some cases (such as commenting on breaking news or educating on a new product feature). Finding a balance between content that will stick and content that doesn't have to is the key to success.
No one wants to have to pick a flaccid piece bacon off a club sandwich and toss it in the waste bin, just like no one wants to go through the trouble of downloading a piece of content only to have it be a huge let down. So endeavor to make your content as high-quality and evergreen as possible. Who knows? Maybe it will draw the attention of a respected blogger or journalist resulting in a feature on one of the most popular websites in the world!