If you’re thinking about booking a free consultation with me to discuss the possibility of working together, that’s great!
But before you do, you might want to take a look at these 5 key signs that a company is NOT ready to engage with us.
Over the years, I’ve had consultations with some awesome businesses that I knew for certain we could help through our services and get results. But the conversations didn’t go anywhere because they simply weren’t ready to move forward at the time.
It wasn’t that we weren’t the right fit, they just had a few things they had to deal with first.
So rather than waste your time and ours, I thought I would share the most common reasons I’ve encountered, so that you can make sure these boxes are ticked before you book an appointment.
Here we go…
1. You don’t have clarity on your product/service offering
Before you embark on a content marketing strategy, it’s important that you have total clarity over the products and services you offer.
This might sound obvious, but for some businesses that offer a one-stop-shop service, or a bespoke product, things can get blurry. If a job is technically possible with the skills and resources you have at your disposal, then there is always a temptation to say yes, isn’t there?
But, over time, the cumulative effect of this approach is that it’s not clear to the outside world exactly what you do. And if someone can’t articulate what you do, how likely are they to think of you when they have a specific problem that needs solving?
This carries through to your content marketing strategy. If you’re not totally clear about what you offer, then your content will lack focus. You’ll try to tackle too many themes and topics and end up spreading yourself too thin.
Your goal will be to help customers make an informed buying decision, but instead, they’ll be left confused and unsure about how you can help them.
So before you waste time and money on creating content that doesn’t get you anywhere, spend some time making sure it’s crystal clear what you do (and what you don’t).
2. You’re not sure who your target customer is
Knowing your target customer goes hand-in-hand with having clarity on your product/service offering. There’s no point having a whizz-bang product/service if there’s no one out there who wants to buy it.
Developing an in-depth Buyer Persona is something that we’ll tackle in our Content Strategy Session, so you don’t necessarily need to have it completely figured out before we start. But the more clarity you have, the easier the process will be.
You might have multiple target customers, but each piece of content you create should have one particular person in mind and address a specific problem or question that they have. So we might decide to focus on just one, to begin with.
But, if right now, you would struggle to describe who your ideal customer is, even in loose terms, then that’s something to work on before we have a Strategy Session.
3. Your website doesn’t tick the basic boxes
The condition of their website is one of the main concerns people have before they embark on a content marketing strategy. Quite often, they put off working with us until they’ve “made updates” (which may never actually happen!).
So the question is, how good does your website really need to be?
Here are my thoughts on it.
Ideally, in order to benefit fully from our services at Content Boost, it should be built on WordPress. This is a popular Content Management System (CMS) that underpins about a third of all websites on the internet.
The reason being that we have created robust systems and procedures to ensure the quality and effectiveness of the Blog Management service, and these are based on the functionality available within WordPress.
It was originally developed as a blogging platform, so it’s been designed with content in mind, and we know it does everything we need it to do in order to get results for your blog posts. It is also flexible and user-friendly, making it a great choice to build your website on, as it can grow and evolve along with your business.
This is why we ask you at the pre-consultation stage whether your website is built on WordPress or not, and it may affect our mutual decision to work together on your content strategy.
If your website is built on WordPress, your blog page must be “switched on”, and visible in your main menu. It might be called “News” or something similar, but that’s ok for now.
Beyond this, your website should be broadly up-to-date, in terms of your company and product/service information, and it should make it clear to the visitor how to progress to the next step of their buyer journey. In other words, should they fill in a contact form, book a consultation or visit your showroom…?
From a technical standpoint, every page on your site should have a meta title and description that includes your target keywords, so that Google at least knows you exist. You might not be number 1 in the search rankings just yet, but that will come with time, once we start producing content.
It should also be consistent with your brand in terms of the logo and colour scheme so that visitors know they’ve landed in the right place. The menu and layout should be clear to make it easy for people to find the information they need.
These are the main boxes I’d be looking to tick before we embark on a Content Strategy Session.
But your website doesn’t need to be all-singing-all-dancing. In fact, getting started with content before you invest in a full redesign is often a good idea, as it will shape the journey you want your customers to take as they browse the information on your site, and therefore significantly impact the design.
Imagine how you’ll feel if you invest several thousand pounds in designing an amazing website, only to discover that you need to do further work (or worse, redo the whole thing!) after just a few months?
So if your website isn’t perfect right now, that’s fine. Don’t let it become an excuse not to develop your content marketing strategy. As long as it ties in with your brand, is easy to navigate, has up to date information and covers the basics of search optimisation, then we’re good to go.
But, needless to say, you do need one! 😂
4. You don’t have any established promotion channels
Your website may be where your content lives, but it’s not where your customers are hanging out.
Once you start producing content for your business, it may take a little while to gain traction from search so, in the meantime, you’ll need the means to deliver it to the right people.
There are several key promotional channels that we utilise through our Blog Management service:
- social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram),
- e-mail lists (managed through email marketing systems like MailChimp and ConvertKit),
- third-party blogging platforms (such as LinkedIn and Medium), and
- social bookmarking platforms (Pinterest and Flipboard).
But, in order for us to promote your content through these channels, you’ll need an established follower base. In other words, we can’t start completely from scratch with new accounts across the board.
The reason for this is that our job is to promote your blog content and help you gain traffic and engagement for it, with the ultimate goal of driving sales. Growing and developing your social media following is a full-time job all on its own, and is therefore outwith the scope of what we do.
That’s not to say that your social media following or email subscriber count won’t grow as a by-product, but it’s not our main focus.
So if you’re at ground zero right now, you’ll need to get your accounts up and running before we can use those channels for content promotion. You don’t necessarily need to have thousands of followers on every platform I’ve listed above, but a solid following of 200-300 on at least one or two would be good.
Here’s a quick tip, though: don’t forget to invite your existing customers, suppliers, associates and close contacts to follow your social media accounts and sign up to your newsletter, as they will form your core audience. Do that, and you’ll have 200-300 followers before you know it.
5. You’re not able to commit the time, budget or resources
The last sign that you’re not ready for a Content Strategy Session is that, for whatever reason, you’re not in a position to commit.
There are various legitimate reasons why this might be. Perhaps you’re going through major structural change as a company right now, or there’s no one with the bandwidth to take ownership of the project and oversee the process, or you can’t get buy-in from the board or senior management to allocate budget.
We’ll develop a full implementation plan as part of the Content Strategy Session, but the thing to know up front is that your content marketing strategy will require time, money and focus, even if you outsource parts of the process.
So before you jump in with both feet, make sure everyone’s on board and you have the resources in place to see it through.
Over to you…
If you’ve made it to the end of this article and you’re thinking “I’ve got all of those covered!”, then I’d love to have a chat with you!
So, what are you waiting for?! Let’s get a date in the diary.