When I speak to a prospective new customer, one of the questions I’m often asked is:
“What are we doing wrong?”
There are a bunch of answers to this question, of course. Some turn up regularly. Others are unique to a specific business. But there’s one mistake that practically every company makes… and it represents a HUGE wasted opportunity.
What’s the mistake? Relegating older content assets to the ‘Resources’ page, never to be seen again.
In most cases, these assets are never promoted again, are rarely (if ever) referenced.
The resources page is a graveyard for white papers, case studies, and other content pieces that have committed the cardinal sin of no longer being ‘new’. Put another way, it’s where content goes to die. Once a piece of content passes about the 4th or 5th position on the resources page (let alone when it gets pushed off the first page) it’s pretty much dead. And its lead gen potential dies along with it.
This cycle happens at nearly every company that invests in content marketing. And all the while, they continue to publish blog articles, social media posts, and email campaigns on the SAME SUBJECTS… and don’t include CTAs to download, watch, or listen to those older content assets.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I’m concerned, ungated content has three purposes:
- Spread “awareness” and goodwill. (This is woolly at best, and totally unmeasurable)
- Bring people to your website from search, social, email, and so on.
- Most importantly, to convince people to sign up for gated content.
The trouble is, if #3 doesn’t happen, #1 and #2 are close to pointless. What is the point of attracting somebody to your website if they leave and never come back?
This is why I firmly believe that EVERY blog post should end with a natural CTA that signposts readers to the next logical step on their journey. It could be a white paper, a case study, a free demo, a sales conversation, or even another blog post. But it has to be SOMETHING.
Under no circumstances should somebody be allowed to visit your website and read something WITHOUT being told (nicely and helpfully) where to go next.
All copywriters are, at some stage in their career, given the following advice (the wording here is mine, but the concept is as old as the hills):
“Take your reader by the hand, and guide them through their journey. Never make them guess what to do next. Never leave them out in the cold. And NEVER assume the next step is ‘obvious’.”
This is EXACTLY how content marketing should work. Free content leads to gated content, which in turn leads to targeted (and helpful) sales messaging. This process can be super simple, but it has to exist. If it doesn’t, you could be losing thousands of leads each year and not even knowing it.
And now, of course, I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t finish this post with some sort of relevant CTA. So here it is:
One of the services I’ve started offering in the last year or so is a full content audit. Simply, I review your entire content catalog (web page content, white papers, case studies, blog articles, etc.) and provide detailed feedback and recommendations. If you’ve ever wondered:
“Is our messaging clearly articulated?”
“Are we doing a good job on our CTAs?”
“Could our squeeze/landing pages be more effective?”
“Are we promoting our content effectively?”
“Are we missing any opportunities?”
“Are there are topics we could be writing about that we aren’t currently?”
…I can help you answer those questions. All you have to do is get in touch today.