When Is It Time to Shift Your Content Strategy?

When Is It Time to Shift Your Content Strategy?

Text: Blogs, articles, and white papers Video: Vlogs, tutorials, or interviews Audio: Podcasts and chat recordings Visual: Infographics and photographs No matter the form or media, creating content is all about people who consume that content. Sign 2: Your traffic isn’t coming from Search. Over time, if you’re producing content that has value, people will come back directly to see what you’ve created recently. You could be creating the best content in the world, but if you don’t have other people helping you and linking to your content, it’s going to be very hard to get people to see what you’re creating. Technical issues and not following best practices can hold back even the best content strategy. Content that works is content that has value. The answer to that question is actually easy: A great article that delivers lots of value wont’ get read unless people click and read. And I recommend reading this great article about headline writing from The New York Times to give you some tips from the professionals. Find that content by going back in time. If the signs are telling you that your content strategy isn’t working, and you can check off all of the technical aspects, it’s time to make a shift.

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You’ve heard it everywhere, and especially here: Content is the cornerstone of marketing.

You can’t just make a flashy advertisement and buy media.

You can’t rest on the quality of your product alone.

You have to develop a relationship with your customers. And relationships are based on exchange: Give and take.

Attract your customer with something that they want, and they will come to you when it comes time to open their wallet.

Content can take many forms.

  • Text: Blogs, articles, and white papers
  • Video: Vlogs, tutorials, or interviews
  • Audio: Podcasts and chat recordings
  • Visual: Infographics and photographs

No matter the form or media, creating content is all about people who consume that content.

It’s about generating traffic, turning that traffic into leads, and converting those leads into customers.

But it’s not automatic. And it’s not easy. Almost everyone is creating content these days. Just look at what happens during one second on the internet:

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With so much competition, few people or businesses get their content strategy right on the first try.

And that’s normal.

On the Internet, we try and test and fail and start over. It’s the natural cycle.

To adhere to the test-and-learn philosophy, it’s crucial to understand when the signs are telling you that it’s time to shift your content strategy.

When it’s time to try something different.

Even though you can never be sure that a shift will work out better, you can be sure of the moment when everything is telling you that your content plan is not working.

The signs will tell you if you’re missing the mark.

Recognizing the signs that your content strategy isn’t working

Sign 1: Your traffic isn’t growing.

One of the realities of building a qualified audience is volume. You need to reach enough people so that you start to achieve your business goals.

Not every one of your unique visitors will become a future customer.

The truth is that very few of them will become customers, so to become successful, content needs to attract a substantial number of people.

Google algorithms and SEO help people find content that provides actual value. If you want people to find and consume your content, you must deliver that value.

If your traffic isn’t growing, it could mean two different things:

  1. Your content isn’t reaching new people.
  2. People who have read your content aren’t coming back for more.

It’s probably a combination of the two.

Growth should look like this:

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Look at your own stats. Have they stayed flat no matter how much new content you publish?

Growth might be gradual or exponential. If it’s not growing, or growing too little, that’s the first sign that your content strategy isn’t working.

Sign 2: Your traffic isn’t coming from Search.

There’s a reason why Google is called a search engine. It’s the motor that keeps the traffic of the web going.

As you build out your content plan, Google will start paying attention to you.

I’ll touch on a few SEO tactics later in this post, and you can always check out my step-by-step SEO guide, but the important thing is to see where your traffic is coming from.

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While we’re on the subject, direct traffic is also a great marker of a content plan. Direct traffic comes from people who type your URL to come directly to your site.

Over time, if you’re producing content that has value, people will come back directly to see what you’ve created recently.

It takes time to develop direct traffic.

Once you start to see it, it should take up a bigger and bigger portion of your traffic. If not, that means people aren’t coming back.

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One more word about sources of traffic: If you have no referring traffic, you’re not properly executing a content plan.

You could be creating the best content in the world, but if you don’t have other people helping you and linking to your content, it’s going to be very hard to get people to see what you’re creating.

Sign 3: Your content isn’t getting shared.

Think about when you find a great article. The first impulse is to share it, whether by messaging your friend the link on WhatsApp or blasting it out to your network on Facebook.

People should have the same reaction when they see your content. If they do, they will share.

If your share counters at the top and bottom of your posts are still holding in the single digits, that’s a strong signal that it might be time to rethink what you’re creating.

But once you start seeing share numbers like below, you’ll know that you’re on the right track.

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Sign 4: You’re not getting contacted.

Good content starts conversations.

Maybe it’s a simple thank you. Sometimes, content inspires comments, questions, or arguments.

Sometimes content can convert all by itself, but often content is the hook to start conversations.

The trick to making content work is to turn these conversations into conversions.

If your content isn’t sparking conversations, readers might not see value in what you create.

Good content will engage even a very small audience.

And even with a small audience, you should still get comments. If you do, that’s a good sign your content is working. Here are a couple of examples from my recent posts:

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If no one is saying anything, it’s time to worry!

Check out my recent video about how to get more comments on your blog:

Sign 5: Your content isn’t converting.

Trust me, I love writing. I have penned (digitally, of course) thousands of articles.

But writing for the sake of writing is not a content marketing strategy.

Content needs to be developed and planned in such a way that each piece builds upon the other content you’ve created.

It has to attract people, start conversations, and develop relationships.

Then you convert these relationships into business.

Particularly in the B2B space, content marketing is rapidly becoming the fundamental way of generating new leads. Just look at this stat:

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If your content isn’t converting into business, it’s failing in its most fundamental objective.

If you have some of these problems, it might be time to reevaluate your content strategy. But don’t go throwing it all out of the window just yet!

  • There might be technical and operational issues that are holding you back.
  • They might be things that you didn’t know about.
  • They might be things you knew about but haven’t gotten around to doing yet.

The point is to use the following checklist of the basics before you shift your content strategy to make sure that your problems are truly coming from your content and not from a different issue.

Technical issues and not following best practices can hold back even the best content strategy.

Content marketing checklist

Have you found a balance between length and frequency?

It’s tempting to favor a more frequent posting strategy.

You should resist that temptation.

Content that works is content that has value.

It’s very difficult to give anything of value in 300 words. Celebrity gossip, yes. Truly valuable, actionable content that will help someone? Not so much.

The optimal length of content is actually around 2,500 words according to Snap Agency.

Just take a look at the average length of content showing up in the top 10 of Google search results.

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If writing more in-depth pieces means posting less frequently, don’t despair. It will depend on the amount of time you can invest in your content creation.

There is only so much time in the day.

Plus, not all businesses function the same way.

Look how evenly distributed these posting frequencies are among businesses:

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The important thing is to test…

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