When Plans Don’t Percolate: Bringing Content Marketing to Boil When Things Go Wrong
As an expert content marketer, you have a plan and you know how to carry it out. Mastery of content tools such as editorial calendars, publishing apps, and analytics lets you push new information to your networks, engage your audience, and measure your performance. You’ve tweaked your preferences with a content writer service, and your writing team is prepared to deliver posts and articles that consistently meet your needs.
But what happens when things go wrong with your plan? Even experts make marketing errors, and so much of your success depends on the audience. Let’s call a spade a spade: the online audience, even in a professional niche, is fickle. Long-term success at content marketing means being able to make both proactive and reactive changes to your content plan when things go wrong.
When Content Doesn’t Resonate as Expected
Sometimes, content simply doesn’t perform as expected. You’ve done your homework, researched the audience, and brainstormed the best ideas—and still, your post or article flutters on the virtual page with barely a like or a link back. When this happens on a blog or social post, don’t delete or constantly edit the content. You might be early to market with something that hasn’t caught on; give your post time to get some traction. Keep the post in your pocket and, if interest does suddenly explode, you can reuse the content by discussing it in a new light on another post and linking to the original content.
Exceptions to the wait and see rule come when the content on your landing pages, product descriptions, or other static pages isn’t performing. Measure performance on those pages and edit content appropriately from time to time to drive more traffic.
When You Make a Content Faux Pas
Some of the biggest companies in the world have committed enormous content faux pas. DiGiorno raised hackles by using a hashtag inappropriately, and Twitter’s own CFO Tweeted sensitive information publicly instead of sending a direct message. From Twitter posts that read as sexist or racist to blog posts and articles that cover sensitive topics in ways that rub the audience wrong, these types of errors are bad for your brand. The Internet can pick up what began as an innocent comment or post and run with it. Before you know it, your profile—which previously averaged a few hundred views a day—is drawing millions a week. On the web, there is such a thing as bad exposure.
Strive to avoid such bad exposure by vetting all content before you publish. Get a second pair of eyes on the post or, if that isn’t possible, wait a few minutes or hours before you publish something. Upon second read, you might realize how something can be taken the wrong way.
If you do publish something that presses buttons for the collective online audience, use the moment to show that you are human and that you react to pressure with grace. Apologize publicly for the misunderstanding or comment, avoid engaging your audience in arguments about why the comment was right or okay, and move forward with publishing better content.
When Trends Take a Sudden Turn
A trending topic seems like a great idea for a series of blog posts or social media statuses. As a content marketer, you must ride every wave you can for the sake of exposure and competitiveness. But you also need a backup plan when trends subside suddenly.
Keep up with metrics on a regular basis so you can identify when trend-related posts are no longer performing. That lets you make proactive changes to your editorial calendar, replacing planned post topics with fresher ideas that are more likely to perform.
Sarah S creates content from a crooked mountain. She loves working remotely but knows the Internet is fickle; she strives to provide long-lasting content so her clients can withstand the constant shift in trends online.