Tag: common missteps

When Bad Things Happen to Good Content

When Bad Things Happen to Good Content

And what you can do about it right now.

You know what they say about the best-laid plans… Well, that goes for content, too. Your best efforts to create content that audiences—not to mention hungry search engines—gobble up with a spoon can go awry for any number of reasons.

Here, members of the IMPRINT team identify five common missteps and remedies to get content back on the right track.

KNOW AND FOCUS ON YOUR AUDIENCE

Andy Seibert, Managing Partner

I’ve seen marketers get really excited about a topic or a format because they personally relate to it. That’s good.

While marketers or content makers may love the content they’ve created, they’re not exactly the target audience for the content. So it’s not likely to help advance business goals. That’s bad.

The remedy: Know your audience and always put them first. Map their day, their buying journey—whatever has you empathizing and walking in their shoes. Only then will you truly understand—from their perspective on a granular level—what they need to know, when they need to know it and in what format.

CONTENT FIRST, FORMAT FOLLOWS

Julissa Ortiz, Director

You’ve got excellent content that you decide to deliver to your audience in an interesting way—in this case, one that’s not text-driven. That’s good.

You choose video because it’s so popular and impactful. But because your content is very data-heavy, video might not be the most effective way to tell this story. That’s bad.

The remedy: Let content drive format, and not vice versa. Early in the process you need to consider not just what you’ve got to offer, but also the best way to disseminate that information. Instead of video, in this instance, an infographic could be a better choice. It’s a great way to show stats and data in a way that’s easy to digest for readers. There’s never a one-format-fits-all solution.

DEFINE ‘WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?’

Michele Radcliffe, Senior Director

You’ve created a content campaign to introduce a new financial product that will save readers money by reducing fees. That’s good.

The response starts strong but falls off. Your audience perked up at the idea of lower fees, but they weren’t amply educated to adopt the new product. They didn’t take action. The bottom line—how this makes their lives better—wasn’t clear. That’s bad.

The remedy: Readers need to quickly recognize relevance, value and, most importantly, what’s in it for them. Educate them through content. Show how lower fees in an investor’s portfolio translate to more money to grow and how, over time, that growth can add up to the difference between affording a seven-day cruise vs. a five-day cruise. Expand your storytelling to overtly connect these dots.

PROMOTION IS TOP PRIORITY

Kimberly Papa Amadeo, Editorial Director

Your content checks all the right boxes: it’s on strategy, the key messages are clear and compelling, the “what’s in it for me” takeaway is sharp and relevant, and it’s all delivered in the optimal format. That’s good.

But you don’t have a plan to share it and amplify it. So after it’s published on the brand’s site the results are … crickets. Your carefully crafted content is like the proverbial falling tree in the forest, landing without a sound. That’s bad.

The remedy: Promotion should be part of your overall strategy and editorial development from the start. Early on, determine how you’re going to get that great content in front of your target audience—whether it’s through social media, email, online ads, your sales force, other custom-tailored means or all of these. If you’ve got it, you need to flaunt it.

PREPARATION PAYS BACK

Colter Hettich, Managing Editor

To add variety to your content and to boost traffic, you decide to launch a YouTube channel because it’s such a popular platform and is where the eyeballs are. That’s good.

You had a brilliant (obviously) idea, but the post-launch results are disappointing. The graphics didn’t turn out as clean as you wanted, you had to scrap three videos because a guest bailed last minute, and you’re not ranking nearly as high in search as you expected. That’s bad.

The remedy: Preparation for every step is part of the process—from who’s writing the script and who’s booking the guests to who’s charging the batteries and who’s responsible for SEO. It sounds obvious, but it’s often the least sexy process that can cause the most issues and ultimately result in work that falls short of your vision. Anyone who’s properly painted a room knows that before you touch a brush you have to move the furniture, tape off trim and lay down drop cloths. You’re painting a room, not a Pollock. It takes time, but after thorough prep the painting becomes exponentially easier. The same holds for creating and deploying your content.

 

Don’t go awry, email imprintcontent@gmail.com to discuss your program.

 

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