Guest Column | May 26, 2022

Are You Throwing Darts In The Dark With Your Content?

By Wendy Jacobson, Owner of Incredible Content


When you create content for your business, do you stop to think what the goal is?

Many people think they need to create content for their business, yet they don’t know why. They are busy drafting a blog post or thoughts for social media, but they lack a plan. Or, if they have a plan, they don’t have a clear objective around what they want their content to accomplish. Instead, it’s like they are throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks.

And then it happens. They realize their audience isn’t engaging, and it isn’t growing, either. They think they aren’t seeing any results from their efforts, so they throw in the towel. But how do they know? How can they expect results if they don’t really know what they are looking for? It’s difficult to track and measure success if you don’t know what success is.

Do you know the goal of your content?

According to HubSpot, 60% of marketers measure the success of their content marketing efforts through sales alone, which is important yet is not the only purpose for your content. It also exists to educate, inform and hopefully engage your audience. Each piece you put out helps your audience get one step closer to either realizing they have a challenge, understanding they need help or, if nothing else, arming them with knowledge about a topic that’s important to them.

Your content plays a role in each of these important steps in the buyer’s journey, yet it’s difficult to quantify. So, how do you know your content is doing what it should? By establishing additional tangible goals that enables you to evaluate your efforts, see what kind of return you receiving and adjust accordingly.

Here are a few examples:

Increase social media –

Whether it’s LinkedIn, Twitter, Tik Tok, Facebook or somewhere else, social media platforms enable you speak directly to your target audience. But it’s critical to be strategic with what you share so that you can increase your fans and followers and thus, your reach. Otherwise, you may be posting into the ether and will get no traction.

You may want to be everywhere all the time, but the reality is, it’s better to be selfish with your time and have a presence only on those channels that make sense, not the ones that are the most popular. Include a mix of types of content, posting a couple of times per week and often (but not necessarily always) with a call-to-action, whether it’s to click to a blog post, subscribe to your email, schedule a call or something else. And please be sure to reply to every comment someone leaves. This is your opportunity to have a conversation with a prospect or customer.

Potential Goal: Increase social media following by 25 fans per month.

Grow your email list –

Your email list, along with your website, is the most valuable digital asset your business has, because it gives you direct access to your audience whenever you want to reach them. Providing your contacts with valuable content not only helps your audience with insights and information, but it also helps you grow your list, which should always be an objective.

In fact, you should encourage people to join your email list every chance you can via calls-to-action wherever you publish content (yes, including in your email signature block!). But you can also create a certain type of content known as a lead magnet to do much of the heavy lifting for you.

A lead magnet can take the form of several things, such as:

  • Guides
  • eBooks
  • Webinars
  • Quizzes
  • Checklists

The idea here is simple. Create something of value, something that is worth something in exchange for something else. In this case, you create information that your audience wants in exchange for their email address.   

Regardless of how you do it, keep your email list top of mind as you create content and use your content to help it grow.

Potential Content Goal: Grow email list by 50 subscribers a month

Share customer stories –

There may be nothing quite as potent as sharing your customers’ success stories, otherwise known as case studies.  

Case studies tell your audience a story about the challenge your customer was having, why they chose you to help resolve it and the results they are now enjoying. They include plenty of input and quotes from your customer they are presented more as their story than yours.

Because of this, your case study becomes much more objective and relatable; your audience will want to see themselves in your happy customer’s shoes. What’s more, customers love to consume case studies and research has shown that they play a role in the customer’s buying journey.

If you have happy customers that will offer you a testimonial, ask instead if you can feature them in a case study.

Potential Content Goal: Create one case study per quarter

Search engine optimization –

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) allows your audience to find you in the search engines by searching certain search terms. It is a long game but one worth playing if you have the time and the resources to create high value content. Long-form blog posts chock-full of quality content and information will help your business slowly rise through the search results if you publish often enough. And if you do, Google will reward you for your efforts and you will start to reap the rewards. 

Wondering what write about? If you have a different spin on a typical challenge in your industry, write about it. Have a list of some of the most frequent questions your customers have and how do you address them in a way that is different from your competition? Blog about it. Anticipating new trends in your industry? Write about those before your competitor.

You know your business better than anyone, and any deep-dive long-form posts you can create will help with your SEO rankings. 

Potential Content Goal: Write one long-form blog post a month to help with our search rankings

Your content provides you with so many opportunities to reach, inform and engage your target audience, but if you don’t apply real, concrete goals with your efforts, you may be spinning your wheels. Instead, think about what you want your content to help you achieve and apply tangible goals around that. By knowing your content goals, you ‘ll know your results and know what’s working and what’s not.

About the Author

Wendy Jacobson is a content writer and strategist with more than 25 years’ experience in the business world. For the past 13 years, she has worked as an independent contractor, helping businesses plan, craft and distribute their content.

Her company name, Incredible Content speaks specifically to how she views content: as a vehicle for businesses to build and maintain their credibility. Over the years, Wendy has helped businesses in the healthcare, wellness, food and technology industries foster their credibility via content such as articles, emails, web content and case studies.

Wendy has always loved to write and has a BA in History and English from The George Washington University. She lives in Minneapolis and when not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, two teenage kids and dog. She also likes to jump rope, bike, hike or do just about anything outside.

Connect with Wendy on LinkedIn, visit her website, and subscribe to her newsletter that shares 3 quick and easy tips to level-up your content each Tuesday.