Identifying gaps in your content marketing strategy can be vital to helping your content perform better so that you can reduce support calls and make more money.
However, a lot of businesses don’t know how to spot these gaps. They focus on creating awareness content without talking about what they can actually do for their target audience.
And that’s a really big mistake.
I made that mistake with my very first blog, The Writer’s Cookbook. I focused so much on giving away value, and was so uncomfortable promoting my paid offerings, that when it came time to sell things…I lost subscribers. My audience shrunk. I had emails asking me why I was selling stuff, as if I wasn’t allowed to.
All because I hadn’t made it clear to my audience that I would be selling to them, or primed them to be sold to before I started doing it.
So, how can you avoid this mistake? How can you spot gaps in your content marketing strategy that could be costing you money?
What do potential customers ask?
This should be your best source of inspiration. The more frequently a salesperson gets asked something, the more you need to answer it in your content ASAP.
Not everyone who wants to buy from you will reach out when they have a question.
In fact, most people probably won’t. They’ll just go to your competitor instead.
So it’s really important that your content does the work for you.
This also saves salespeople time – if someone emails in with questions you’ve covered in your content, they can link to the video or blog post that answers their very query.
What are your competitors talking about?
Competitors are a great source of inspiration, too, because you can see what consideration and awareness content they’re publishing, and take inspiration from it.
It’s not about stealing content here. It’s about taking inspiration from it. I can pretty much guarantee your competitors are already doing this with you anyway.
What are the trends in your industry?
Every industry has trends. The more you’re on top of yours, the more likely you are to stand out. Your audience will see you as a trusted source for the latest news, which means they’ll come to you to get their latest digest.
Think about how many of us have a favourite news outlet or two that we go to for information. You could be like that for your industry!
What do customers ask before renewing?
When someone is ready to renew their package with you, what do they ask? It may be the same as what potential customers ask, or it could be totally different. Maybe they want information on how to expand their package or get even more from working with you.
Why do customers cancel?
This is a painful one to think about, but if you can address these concerns in your content, it might help to reduce your churn rate. Obviously if they’re signing up because your product or service isn’t for them, or there’s something wrong with it, your content can’t fix that.
But if they’re cancelling because they were misinformed when they signed up, or for other reasons to do with miscommunication, content that addresses these issues should help to reduce your cancellations.
What does your data say?
What does the research you have on your customers tell you? What do they want? What do they feel they need?
It can help to do your own customer research here (that’s also a good content opportunity), but if you don’t have the time or resources to do that, take a look at industry-related research. Most industries will have somewhere that has conducted these types of research.
The more sources you have, the more you’ll be able to spot patterns and trends that you can use to inform your content marketing strategy.
You don’t want to only talk about your business, but you don’t want to fall in the opposite direction either and end up not covering what you do in enough depth.
If people don’t fully understand how you can help them, they’re less likely to convert.
It’s not about being spammy or braggy; it’s about being helpful.
Your sales page doesn’t have to be the only place you talk about the benefits of your product or service. In fact, it shouldn’t be.
Most people aren’t going to click on that sales page unless they’re really interested in what you’re selling. You need to get them interested in it first, and the right kinds of consideration and purchase content can help you to do just that.