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Content Marketing not working? Eh, don’t worry about it!

content marketingDo these sound familiar?

  • “Only about 40% of the people who registered for our webinar actually showed up.” or
  • “I’ve talked to a number of those who downloaded our latest eBook and less than half have even read it.”

Here’s my advice… don’t be too upset about it. It’s not that big a deal!

The reality is… much of what you do from a content marketing perspective will fall on deaf ears – or more appropriately – might never make it to the ears they were intended for. Don’t sweat it…

First of all… sh** happens! Webinar registrants, for example – who generally register for the session days or weeks in advance – get called into a last-minute meeting and simply can’t make it. Or people who want to read your eBook just get busy and forget about it… or maybe they save them up because they’re hoping to read through them while they’re on vacation. There’s not much you can do about circumstances like that.

So, is all that effort that you put into developing your content – and a lot goes into big items like eBooks and webinars – wasted effort? Maybe… but not really.

You might think the effort was wasted because…

  • … you did put a lot of effort, time and money into these things and you want some kind of pay-off – at least to have the eBooks read and people attend your presentations. You’re delivering good, useful information and you want others to benefit from it.
  • … good content reinforces your expertise and position as a thought leader and if it wasn’t seen or read, that opportunity was lost.
  • … the more of your content a sales prospect absorbs, the more you move them through the Buying Funnel™, and if they’re not reading it – they’re not moving.

All true… sort of. On the other hand…

  • Just knowing that you are a publisher of good content (especially if you do it consistently) will help to influence the perception of your firm in the marketplace… and your position as a thought-leader.
  • Your efforts at promoting the content (to drive registrations or downloads) build awareness in the markets you serve and keep your name top-of-mind with existing clients and prospects.
  • And maybe most importantly – as part of the process – you capture the prospects’ contact information (through the registration or download form). With this data in hand, you still have the opportunity to follow-up with them (e.g. “We’re sorry you couldn’t join us at yesterday’s webinar…”). In addition, you can now engage with them through drip marketing for a long time to come.

Content marketing is considered by many (including me) to be the #1 way for professional B2B firms to build awareness in the markets they serve, generate (and nurture) sales leads and establish a position for their firm in the minds of their clients & prospects… but it’s certainly not perfect. What marketing initiative is?

But don’t let that keep you from embracing Content Marketing. And do pay attention to a few key lessons that it teaches:

  1. Continue to create and distribute great content… many (if not most) of your clients and prospects WILL read it (or attend it) and in doing so, develop and reinforce the perception of your firm that you want them to have.
  2. Once the content is created, promote it like crazy. It takes a lot of ‘touches’ for a sales prospect to make a buying decision… and content promotion is part of that.
  3. Make sure that at least some of your content is ‘gated’ – that it requires the sales prospect to give up a little of his/her contact information in return for accessing it. It’s a proven way to generate qualified sales leads.

Yes, when you discover that registrants are not showing up to your webinars or that downloaders are not reading your eBooks, it’s frustrating. So, by all means, do some research to understand ‘why’… and do some testing to try to improve your “show rates” or “read rates.” But know this… that even with those kinds of issues, a well thought-out, well-planned and well-executed content marketing program still works and should still be at the core of your marketing efforts!

For more information on Content Marketing, download A Content Marketing Guidebook here: http://bit.ly/1RR9BWL. HARPETHLOGO_VERT_Tag - for web use

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