What do you do when your marketing content sucks? Learn six steps to ensure your blogs, videos & podcasts effectively support your marketing & sales efforts.

Episode 0356

What to Do When Your Marketing Content Sucks


Sandro Welcome back to Liz and Sandro’s Marketing Podcast. We are the podcast that helps companies and marketing departments control their business, their brand and get the word out. Today Liz is going to talk about what to do when your content sucks.

Liz That’s right. And I’m going to start this off by saying, hey let’s make some assumptions here with this episode. We’re going to assume that you are a service-based business that needs to educate your buyers and move them through the sales funnel, the buyer’s journey. I do think that some of this could apply to an e-commerce site. But let’s, again, let’s keep the focus on service-based businesses.

Sandro This isn’t, like a Mexican restaurant then, looking for tacos because…

Liz Correct. So…

Sandro Social media posts for tacos, things like that.


Focusing On Videos, Podcasts & Blogs for Service-Based Businesses 


Liz Yes. The content that I’m going to refer to, I’m going to keep it pretty broad, actually. So it could be social media content but I’m also thinking videos, podcasts, blogs, you know the…

Sandro White papers.

Liz Yes. Types of content that you’re putting a lot of effort into, but again, they’re not performing the way you’d hoped. So, and that’s kind of where I’m going to also jump in and say, hey, like here are some quick signs that your content may not be performing. If you have low conversion rates, which we could do a whole separate episode on conversion rates. But if you’re just not converting, if you’re seeing a high bounce rate or if you just have that gut feeling that you’re putting out the same mediocre content as everybody else, then yeah, your content might suck. And let’s dive in and see how we can fix that.

Sandro So an example of this might be if I want your email address and I, you give me your email address I will send you my free PDF on “Three ways to…”.

Liz Generate more leads or something.

Sandro Generate more leads or to lose weight. Three ways to lose weight, whatever. And nobody is signing up for that then maybe your content sucks. OK.


Step One: Talk to Your Best Clients & Learn Their Pain Points


Liz Yes. Exactly. Exactly. So I’ve got, let’s see, about six steps that I’ll take everybody through. So step one. You need to pick up the phone and initiate some very focused conversations with your best customers or clients. Ask them what they’re struggling with. What areas of their life or their business are causing them pain. Maybe what’s keeping them up at night. Once you really understand what their pain points are, then I think you can actually start to address some of that in your content.

Liz Which is again, that’s really what content and what marketing is all about is identifying that pain and touching on it, agitating it and demonstrating that you are the ideal person to solve that pain. So that’s step one. It’s not easy. It’s going to take some time. But I really think if you want to produce some great content, you’re going to need to have conversations with your best clients and customers and really understand the challenges they are facing.


Step Two: Make Sure You’re Able to Address Those Pain Points


Liz Step two, we’re going to go back to Business 101. Once you have some idea of the challenges your customers are facing, make sure your product or service actually addresses those pain points. Because if it doesn’t then we’re just wasting everybody’s time. And you are throwing up content that is just dismal, no one wants that. So yes, make sure that your product or service really does address their challenges.


Step Three: Be Clear About Your Brand & How You Want to Communicate


Liz Step three. Another Business 101 is to make sure that you are very clear about your brand and what you stand for and how you want to communicate. Because if you are a company that’s producing some technical white papers, that’s a different tone. And a different approach than let’s say a marketing agency that can maybe have a little bit more fun with their content, with their videos. I think you need to be very clear about again, who you are as a brand and the voice and the tone that you want to be communicating in.

Liz Because I do think that piece right there goes a long way toward content that’s interesting and engaging to people. I also think consistency is key. If you have several people writing articles for you or videos. If you as the business owner or maybe someone in your marketing department, maybe an outsourced individual is writing content for you or creating social media content for you. Again, being very clear about the tone in the voice and bringing some consistency to that. Because readers, listeners, they’re going to come to expect that.


Step Four: Brainstorm


Liz Step four is where we finally sit down and actually brainstorm some content around those initial conversations that you had with your clients and customers. Because this is a brainstorming session I would put all types of ideas on the table. Maybe even taking a step back and considering, hey should we be, should we be blogging, should we be doing a podcast, should we put effort into our YouTube channel? I would just put a bunch of ideas on the table and brainstorm many different potential topics or titles.

Liz So maybe it’s ‘how-to’ content. Maybe it’s listicles like, ‘Five ways to improve your whatever.’ I would use this brainstorming time to again, really put any and all ideas on the table. Don’t even think about budget or resources, the resources that are necessary to get this going because you don’t want to limit yourself. Yes. As you progress & you start to work through your strategy & action plans, you may find that: Hey, with the resources we have right now, let’s stick to blogging. Because we can’t afford to do video the way we want to do it right now. And that’s OK. But again, put everything on the table. Don’t limit yourself and just see what comes from a really good brainstorming session.


Step Five: Keyword Research


Liz Step 5 would be to do some keyword research. If you are going all out on an SEO strategy this would be the time to then conduct some keyword research and start to understand what phrases can generate more traffic for you. Now, we have done separate episodes on how to do keyword research so we’ll link those in the episode in the show notes for you. But again, this would be a good time to do some keyword research. And also bear in mind that I don’t necessarily think you have to.

Liz If you’re a business that’s working an existing subscriber list or generating a lead list of local companies. And let’s say you want to reach out directly to the CFO or the internal marketing department of a company & you don’t feel like keywords or Google rank matters, you may want to skip this step. Although truthfully it never hurts to do a little bit of keyword research. So that’s why I did include it as step five here.


Step Six: Create the Content


Liz Step 6 would be once you have all of these plans and strategies in place to actually write, record, film, publish and share all of your great content and start to see how it performs. I don’t have a crystal ball, so, and I tell clients this: I truly have no idea if this content is going to resonate. We’ve taken these steps, we’ve really thought through who we’re trying to reach and what their challenges are.

Liz So we’ve got a, we’ve got a good shot at this really performing well. But truthfully the only way to know for sure is to start getting it out there. And hopefully, you do start to see an increase in your conversion rates and maybe your bounce rates go down. I mean, set up some metrics for all of this and start to collect the data and see what pieces of content are performing well.

Liz A couple of episodes ago Sandro & I did an episode on evergreen content. And we shared in that episode we were surprised for our podcast to go back and look and understand which pieces of content ultimately have turned into evergreen content for us. We didn’t intend for them to be.

Sandro Yeah. The episode I’ve done the most research on, I’m not going to name it but holy cow, it took me forever to write this & create it & I’m disappointed it’s not one of our best downloaded or most viewed episodes. But then the ones we throw out…

Liz But our Ripl vs Quik episode is still our biggest.

Sandro Our number one most viewed page. Which we just thought of that morning I believe. It didn’t take like a week like my episode.

Liz Right.


Sometimes the Content That Resonates Will Surprise You


Sandro So you never know what’s gonna hit, you’re right.

Liz Yeah. So yes, start putting out really good content, see what performs and go from there. I would also recommend that you create different types of content for the different stages of the sales funnel. So you might have some very high-level intro content, you might have some content around, hey, here’s how to hire a marketing agency or hire a bookkeeper or a plumber. You know, whatever it is. Having different pieces of content as people are making buying decisions I think is really helpful.


Analyzing Content Performance Is Time Well Spent


Liz Obviously everything that I’ve just outlined is not going to happen overnight. I might even say this is a solid 6 months worth of work. Because you actually have to think about identifying your best customers, contacting them, taking good notes, distilling that information and then brainstorming and producing new content. And seeing how it performs. That could be a good couple of months before you have some good data to work with.

Liz But I do think it’s time well spent. I think we are living in a world where content still matters. I mean I hate that phrase ‘content is king.’ It’s so overused. But we still live in a world where we’ve got social media, we’ve got YouTube, we’ve got Web sites and blog content that can drive email content. So I do think that content matters and I think good educational, helpful content can, it can separate your brand from a competitor if you do it right.

Sandro Absolutely Liz. Especially if you’re using this content to answer your client’s questions they’re gonna think of you as an expert and come to you more often. And Google will give you some authority there too over time.

Liz Even if you don’t go all-in on keywords and SEO I think ultimately you will reap some of the benefits of producing good blog content.

Sandro Correct. Thanks so much Liz. Thanks again and thank you for listening. If you have any questions we’d love to hear them. Shoot us an email via our email address or you can reach us on social media. And you will find us whenever you find your favorite podcasts. If you like what you hear, we’d love a review. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next time.