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In our “Questions From The Client” series, we shine a light on one of the more common questions we hear from our current and future SocialToaster clients. Today’s Question: Help! I’m publishing content for my small business, but nobody’s engaging with it. What should I do? 

Ouch! This has to be one of the most common questions we hear from our SocialToaster client base and prospects. Heck, we occasionally run into this issue ourselves behind the scenes at SocialToaster. You invest time, energy, and, most importantly, money into producing content, only to see zilch for your efforts, no engagement, no customers, and no ROI. So, when this happens, what do you do? How do you pivot? 

Keep reading for our advice on what to do when no one is engaging with your content.

We’re adding to our response and dropping even more value-bombs onto this post. New updates are in bold believe.  

The Importance of Content Marketing

Before we dive into specific tactics, let’s address the elephant in the room. If your content marketing isn’t being engaged with, most likely (95% of the time), it’s because of the content. Not because “Content Marketing doesn’t work for me.” 

Regardless of what industry you’re in, content marketing is a critical component of a successful marketing strategy. According to the Content Marketing Institute:

The truth is, content marketing is working for thousands of businesses over a range of industries. If it’s not working for you, it’s time to take a look at the type of content you’re creating. 

9 Reasons Why People Aren’t Engaging With Your Content

1) It’s Not Aimed At The Right Audience

Often, one of the main reasons why no one is engaging with a piece of content is because the individual doesn’t think that it is relevant to them. If your content is regularly being ignored, it may be because you aren’t connecting to the right audience. 

To help keep your audience top-of-mind during your content creation process, we recommend writing for specific personas. Group your target audience into distinct “buckets” that all share a commonality. These are your personas and represent the specific audiences you want to engage with a specific piece of content. Every piece of content you create should have a persona in mind. 

Here’s what this looks like in action. 

Let’s say that you’re a small business with a typical audience of women, age 33 to 55, within a certain metro. While this audience description may work for some of your marketing tactics, it may be too vague to support your content marketing needs. 

Instead, you want to subdivide this broader audience into distinct personas (depending on your business). For example:

  • Young mothers who are raising their first child
  • Busy female executives
  • Sports-lovers

As you can see, these are very distinct audiences, but they all fall within the broader audience described above. 

While there is no “right” number of personas, we recommend targeting between 4 to 6 depending on budget. Don’t feel like you have to account for every type of customer you have. Instead, focus on trying to capture the personas of 80-85% of your customer base. 

2) It’s Not Providing Value

Another reason people aren’t engaging with your content: they aren’t finding any value in it. 

Value can be described in a number of different ways. However, valuable content tends to be categorized as:

  • Educational
  • Helpful 
  • Interesting
  • Aspirational
  • Entertaining

In other words, valuable content tends to be content that sparks an emotional response from your audience.

So, how can you better ensure your content is valuable? Instead of trying to write each piece of content for a generalized audience, create content with the needs of your specific personas in mind. 

For each persona you develop, be sure to also identify their pain points, needs, fears, aspirations, and inspirations. Then create content that provides insight/value into one of those specific areas. Give the personas what they want. 

3) It’s Not The Right Medium

Content marketing is not blog marketing. Not every piece of content you create should be a blog post. 

Why? 

Because not everyone likes reading blog posts. We know. We’re disappointed too. 

The truth is, different consumers are more partial to varying types of content. 

Content like: 

  • Video
  • Podcast
  • Animations
  • Checklists
  • Infographics
  • Webinars
  • Books
  • Email Series

Take a look at the content-consumption habits of your personas. How are they choosing to interact with other brands online? What content are they responding too? 

Then be sure you mix in that content media into your overarching publishing strategy. 

4) It’s Not Discoverable

One last reason why you’re content is being engaged with? Maybe your intended audience can’t find it. 

As a general rule, before someone engages with your content, they first have to be made aware of your content. If you aren’t hitting your content engagement goals, that could be a sign that you need to rework your awareness efforts. 

You have to promote your content. 

Most brands promote their content through a variety of efforts, including: 

  • Organic Search (SEO): Making sure their content is optimized for search engines
  • Paid Social Media: Sponsored posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • 3rd Party Paid Media: Sponsoring your content through a paid third party service 
  • Email: Sharing your content to your email list
  • Advocacy Marketing: Leveraging the social sharing power of your top fans to share your content onto their personal social media profiles

Quick Note: If you’re curious about that last point, advocacy marketing, check out this page right here. 

5) It’s Obviously Not “You”

Authenticity is one of the fastest ways to produce authentic content. 86% of consumers say that authenticity is important to them when deciding which brands to support. If your content is skewing too young, too old, too quirky, or too anything but “you,” then it’s not going to land in the way that you need it to land. So, how can you get content that is authentically you? Be yourself! Here are some of our favorite Authentic Content Creation tips:

  • Be You: whether that’s quirky, educational, or silly. Whatever it is, just make sure that it’s true to your brand’s identity. There’s a reason why brands like Wendy’s, Burger King, and Popeye’s do so well on Twitter. They keep their voice authentically themselves. 
  • Ask for help: seek out help from influencers and content creators. Ideally, these would be individuals who are already advocating online for your brand and may even have already created content for your brand that they shared on their own accord. 
  • Share real stories: From your staff, your advocates, and your top shoppers. Sharing real stories doesn’t get more authentic than that. Real -life stories help new customers get direct insight into your brand, products, and services. 

6) You Have No Strategy 

Sure the silly tweets from Wendy’s, Burger King, and Popeyes may seem like off-the-cuff, hilarious anecdotes and thoughts, but the reality is that it’s deeper than that. Only 37% of B2B marketers have a concrete, documented content marketing strategy. 

A content strategy can help your brand achieve your larger marketinggoals because it forces you to put intention and thought behind your content. A content strategy doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, it can be something as simple as noting dates/times when your content is going out, which personas you’re trying to reach, and what you’re planning to offer them. You can use a tool as simple as Google Sheets or Excel or utilize a more collaborative tool like Trello, Mural, or Sprout. 

7) You’re Posting Frequency Doesn’t Align with Your Audience 

You’re either posting too much or not posting enough, whichever your issue, your posting cadence doesn’t align with your audience or your intended audience. Consistency is one of the best ways to build credibility and trust with your audience. Additionally, consistency improves your relationship with the search engines. 

8) You’re Making Everything About Money and Sales 

Content marketing is a great way to casually or directly slide in the fact that you’re trying to sell something, but guess what? No one likes feeling like they’re constantly being sold too. How do you feel when you walk into a store, and the staff member won’t stop bugging you about sales and discounts? You probably get annoyed pretty quickly. You’re an adult and capable of making decisions on your own regardless of sales and marketing tactics. Well, so are your consumers. Respect their autonomy by not making every piece of content about pitching a sale. 

Content marketing is meant to be fun, engaging, entertaining, and educational and that doesn’t always mean $$$.

9) You’re Ignoring Your Audience’s Values

Today’s customer is well informed, educated, and highly opinionated. They hold their values and ideas close to their heart and seek out brands that match their belief systems and lifestyle. While we aren’t suggesting you go against your brand’s personal beliefs or become something you aren’t, we do ask that you consider exploring how your content aligns with your audience’s values and lifestyle. If for some reason it is misaligned you can either pivot (if it makes sense and is aligned with your brand and its values) or you can simply explore new audiences.

Strong Engagement Starts With Strong Content

If you see lackluster content engagement rates, it’s time to pivot. Don’t target your entire audience base with every piece of content. Going too broad with your intended audience will leave your content feeling irrelevant and water-downed. Strong engagement starts with strong content. Strong content is built to meet the specific needs, wants, and preferences of a specific persona. 

Curious about how advocacy marketing can help amplify your content? Our team of content amplifying experts can work with you to create and launch an advocacy marketing program specific to your organization. Schedule a demo today to get started or give us a call at 855.62.TOAST.