Developing a content marketing strategy is too often seen purely as a numbers game.
Put out a lot of content. Get as many eyes as possible on that content.
The theme always seems to be more. More content. More eyeballs. More leads.
Social media is one of the most popular channels for content marketing. Whether using paid ads or organic reach to drive traffic to their site and offers, many creators dream of the day they have a post go viral.
Why a “Go Viral or Go Home” Strategy Isn’t Right For Small-Medium Businesses
When successful businesses are ready to grow, a common assumption is that increasing the number of leads is the key to that growth.
Often these businesses assume a viral post is the key to increasing the volume of new leads, and thereby, accelerating the growth they’ve been looking for.
Except when posting for our businesses, viral is not always better – especially for small and medium sized businesses.
I was working on copy for a friend recently who was talking about how she gets 1000 leads a month from her Facebook group.
Which is absolutely freaking fantastic. But most people I know don’t want 1,000 leads a month!
Heck, they don’t even want 100 leads a month!
Because realistically, the amount of follow up involved is overwhelming.
Most people with high-ticket services would be thrilled with 5 to 10 perfect-fit leads a month.
Going viral often looks like 1000 tire kickers – low intention looky-loos seeking bargains, not value. Whether you’re a solopreneur or a 3-5 person sales team, volume like that is exhausting to manage.
If your team is overwhelmed by all those tire-kickers, that handful of perfect-fit leads you’re really after could get lost in the crowd.
The secret? Maybe it’s not about more leads.
Maybe unlocking your growth strategy is about increasing your visibility through high-quality engagement.
Focusing on Content Quality, Not Quantity
High-quality engagement with your best-fit prospects and customers equals steady, manageable growth.
A content marketing strategy focused on visibility and increased engagement isn’t about more.
It isn’t cranking out blog post after blog post (more content).
It isn’t viral social media posts (more exposure for more eyeballs on your business).
Instead, it’s creating intentional and well-informed content that targets the right people at the right moments of their customer journey with your brand. And, then it’s about leveraging the hell out of it. One really great piece of content—whether video, audio, or written—can fuel at least a month’s worth of content when you repurpose it appropriately.
Like putting out engaging and educational how-to content on how to be successful with your products and making sure that more people see it. This type of content effectively moves customers along the life cycle.
Well designed content nurtures prospects so they know exactly what you’re offering. Consistent brand messaging means they know exactly who you are. Get both pieces right to:
- reduce demand on your sales team (even when, yes, your sales “team” is YOU—and you’re also operations) when prospects are well informed
- increase the number and size of sales when prospects are clear on what they want and how you can help
- reduce time and money spent on marketing initiatives when you know exactly what to say, when to say it, and where to say it.
Maybe you are publishing that type of intentionally designed high-quality content, and it feels like it still isn’t working for you. Know this—it may be that people are seeing it and waiting until the perfect moment.
However, if it feels like you’re pouring resources into a content marketing strategy that isn’t getting you the results you’re after, the problem can often be traced back to misaligned messaging.
Misaligned Messaging and Your Content Marketing Strategy
Aligning your content marketing strategy with your brand messaging is the most direct path to growth. It ensures you’re growing in ways that make sense for you, your business and your customers.
Let’s look at four of the most common misaligned messaging moments and what to do when you experience them inside your own business.
Misaligned Messaging Moment #1: Your Website Content vs. Descriptions in Search Engine Results
Some business owners don’t realize they have control over their descriptions in search engine results.
This is a crucial opportunity for alignment.
Readers at this stage fall into awareness and acquisition areas of the customer life cycle.
Like the potential customers who heard about you from someone they trust. Their interest is piqued and so they just want to check out your website to verify what they’re heard.
Or the customers who have purchased from you in the past, but haven’t engaged with your brand in some time.
Seeing something like “no information is available for this page” casts instant doubt.
Does this business have their stuff together if something so basic seems to be missing?
Another problem at this point would be seeing a description that is not keeping with what they’ve heard – remember, they came looking for you based on what others are saying. If it’s not the same as what they see, they’ll trust what they see in black and white, and move on.
Check with the team member responsible for your website. There are settings in your hosting service where you can input descriptions and keywords. This is a part of your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
Make it easier for customers to find you, and to feel confident in your ability to serve them by providing brand guidelines to your team. These guidelines promote consistent messaging by directing your team on what to say, how to say it, and where to show up.
Too often, web developers don’t program the meta content of each page as they prep it for publication, which is why I include suggested metadata with website copy.
Misaligned Messaging Moment #2. Your Social Media Profiles vs. Your Latest Offering
A lot of social media profile content is forgotten about, but it’s a mistake to set it and forget it.
Even when we know our profiles need work, the task of updating them often ends up on the “I’ll get to it when I can list”.
And let’s be honest, NONE of the things on those lists ever seems to get done.
Don’t let misaligned messaging on your social media profiles confuse prospects and turn-off customers.
Most businesses have a way to track recurring tasks. Start by adding regular checkups for your profile content to your recurring tasks list.
But sometimes you can’t wait for the regular intervals.
Like if you’re launching a new product or service.
In this case, you’ll want to make sure you add a checkup for your social media profiles to your launch checklist as well.
Misaligned Messaging Moment #3. What You’re Known for vs. What’s Written About You
Properly aligned messaging extends to the content others are writing about you.
Pop your business name into Google. What comes up?
Throw your URL or social links into Sparktoro (an easy to use web-based audience research tool) – how are people talking about you? How are they interacting with your brand? Heck, you can even run a short focus group using a tool like ChatGPT.
And that’s not all. What about Trustpilot and other review sources? What are people saying there?
Take a look at the history of your business.
Have you changed anything about the way you show up or the services you offer? Are these changes reflected in your messaging?
Consistent brand messaging increases the likelihood that what others write about you – reviews, blog posts, social posts – will represent you in ways that align with your overall strategy.
Misaligned Messaging Moment #4. Topics You Talk About vs. What You Actually Do
Do the topics you create content about align with what you actually offer?
Can your best-fit customers connect with and relate to these topics?
Businesses are a lot like a living breathing thing. Growing seems to happen in the background, slowly, gradually.
Sometimes we don’t realize just how drastically the direction of our growth has changed until we take a step back to reflect on it.
When you regularly check for these points of misalignment between what you talk about and what you offer, you have more control over the way you grow and the direction you’re headed.
Achieving Messaging + Content Alignment
So you’ve identified some areas that just don’t line up. Now what?
It’s time to sit down and examine your content marketing strategy through the lens of your brand strategy. Does your brand strategy accurately represent what’s important to you, your business and your audience?
If you feel good about your brand strategy, it’s possible that your brand messaging is overdue for a check-up. Customers in every industry equate consistency with value. Carefully crafted and regularly maintained brand messaging goes a long way to establishing this.
A messaging check-up helps you evaluate and identify opportunities to improve consistency. Of course, if your content is still aligned with your brand’s distinct personality, voice, and tone, there will be fewer opportunities to identify.
But maybe you do find some inconsistencies. Does your brand voice still represent that sweet spot of what’s most important to you, your business and your audience?
If you’re unsure of any of the answers to these questions it might be time to sit down and review your brand guidelines and messaging.
It can be overwhelming, knowing which marketing initiatives to dedicate your precious resources – not just your money, but your attention and brain power – to.
It can be scary, to invest in messaging and strategy when they feel so intangible.
But clear brand messaging is the only way to ensure customer success. It is the only way to attract and nurture your best-fit prospects along each step of their customer journey.
Applying my REACH Visibility Trajectory framework to your marketing efforts helps you map clear paths to customer success.
When you follow the process, you know exactly which initiatives need attention at exactly the right moments. You feel confident that you’re saying the right things, to the right audience, at the right times.
Still not sure what you need?
Book your free consultation today to discuss the ways we could work together to address misaligned messaging in your content marketing strategy.