If you have a mother who spent a lot of time as a varsity member on your own personal cheerleading squad, you may have bad copy and not know it. But for the rest of us, it’s often pretty obvious. Yet, we hide behind ideas that audiences take time to build, and good content isn’t always noticed right away.
While those things are true, recognizing that your content isn’t getting the job done is essential to you getting better at it. There are several indications that your content sucks and here’s what your mom or bestie just aren’t telling you:
Understand What Sucks Really Means in Content Marketing
Before we talk about how to know your copy sucks, it’s important to understand that this does not indicate your writing ability, podcasting voice, or eye for video. You can create amazing works of art and post them to your website but if that content isn’t converting, well…it sucks.
Sucks is a figure of speech, in this example, to indicate your content isn’t helping you meet your marketing goals like getting more customers or breaking up log jams in your sales funnel. If your content isn’t working hard, it sucks.
Simple. As. That.
How to Know if Your Content Marketing Sucks
It speaks to everyone.
You need a target market and an ideal customer. From there you need to create marketing personas. You must personalize your message to the audience member who is most likely to buy from you and be happy about it. Everyone else is unimportant to you from a business perspective.
It’s not personalized.
With data and marketing automation, there is no reason to still be sending out blanket, one-size-fits-all marketing messages, emails, and copy.
You don’t know what you want it to do.
Your content should be tied to your marketing goals. You should also know exactly how you’ll measure its effectiveness and how much time you’ll give it to succeed. Without these basic things, your content marketing is no different than throwing darts in the dark hoping to hit something inanimate.
You have no analysis set up.
You cannot assess your content’s effectiveness in reaching your business goals if you’re not measuring it.
You post when you feel like it.
While this alone won’t make your content suck, it will make it suck to your audience who wants a consistent resource. They may love your content but why keep coming back or subscribe to something that is spotty at best? Instead, try a marketing calendar to get organized.
You write it just to post.
Some people are so obsessed with the consistent posting idea that they post every Tuesday just to say they did. If you can’t create content that informs, inspires, or educates with every post, stop trying to do content marketing.
You’re trying too hard to go viral.
Remember the ice bucket challenge or Chewbacca mask mom? Creating content that will go viral is not a content marketing strategy any more than buying a lottery ticket every week is a retirement plan. Produce content that speaks to your ideal customer. You don’t need it to go viral, you just need it to appeal to your target market. The rest of the world can throw ice water on its head.
You have an audience but you’re not telling them to do anything.
From a literature perspective, this wouldn’t necessarily equal awful content. But from a business perspective, if you have people enjoying your content and you’re not asking them to read a similar post or comment about their experience, you’re missing an opportunity to take them from a passive activity of reading to an active activity of doing something for or with you. It’s a lost engagement opportunity.
All your good stuff goes into your paid product such as your online course, ticketed event, and others.
Who wants to spend hours researching and writing content only to give it away for free? People who understand the value of building a relationship, that’s who. You want people to know, like, and trust you so that they are more apt to buy from you. Sometimes that means saving the good stuff for them as a freebie.
You’ve misunderstood the content creation suggestion of “it’s okay to write like you speak.”
While this can promote your personality and help people get to know you and like you, if you have a filthy mouth or can’t match a noun or a verb to save your life, you may want to consider writing like others speak instead. This uber-casual way we all talk and write is not an excuse to skip the proofing step and fill your content full of typos.
In order for your content to rock your marketing, you need to make sure you have a good grasp of what your audience needs and wants. Without that, you’re spending a lot of time creating content only your mom will see. Hopefully, she has a lot of connections.