Sometimes, even when you’re confident about your titles, excited about your content, and feeling great when you start syndicating on multiple outlets, your audience just doesn’t respond the way you’d hope them to. In some cases, this may persist for weeks, or even months. You’ve run through all the usual suspects, making sure your content is well-researched and well-written, and scanning for any technical hiccups that could prevent users from sharing and commenting on your material, but for some reason, you just can build any momentum.
This is a more common dilemma than you might think, and there are actually a number of proven strategies that can help you overcome it. The next time your audience just isn’t biting, try one of these seven tactics to shake things up:
This first step is the easiest, but it can provide you with the most valuable direction for the future. Your audience is the reason you’re writing content to begin with. If they aren’t biting, you can ask them to figure out why. Pose a simple question on social media or put together a brief survey that will help you figure out what your readers would like to see in a blog like yours. You may find that different titles, different mediums, or different approaches would suit them better. Keep an open mind, and if your audience is consistently asking for something—do whatever it takes to give it to them!
There are hundreds of possible channels for your content, but not all of them are going to be effective. If you’re marketing to middle-aged business owners, you probably aren’t going to get much value out of Snapchat or Instagram. If you’re aiming at younger adults who are still in college, LinkedIn isn’t a good outlet for you. Do some research to dig up new social platforms, blogs, and forums that you can use as outlets for your content. Try one or two new ones, and in the meantime, take a look at your current lineup, and cut out any platforms that simply aren’t working for you.
What is the main intention of your site (and your content marketing strategy)? Is it to provide information to your users? If so, what kind of information? Take a close look at how well your content is adhering to that core purpose. If you aren’t adhering, try readjusting your content to be better in line with your goals. If you are adhering, it might be time to tweak or completely overhaul your mission. For example, instead of informing your readers with raw information, you could work to make existing information more easily understandable.
User-generated content has a handful of key advantages—first, since your users will create it, you’ll have less work to do yourself. Second, it’s naturally contagious, so it’s more likely to spark a viral trend. The disadvantages are that you have less control over the final products, and you’ll have to bribe people to earn this type of content, with discounts, free products, or entries into a giveaway. Still, with that little upfront investment, you could easily inspire a wave of new readers (and followers) who associate your brand with collaboration.
Nothing attracts social media shares quite like a surprise. Try surprising your readers with a topic or a format that your brand doesn’t usually pursue—potentially something risky or edgy. For example, you might introduce a much more casual tone or crack a joke about one of your competitors. As long as you do this tactfully and with the possible repercussions in the back of your mind, you should escape unscathed even if something goes wrong. The key here is to break out of your shell with a type of content you wouldn’t ordinarily consider.
Inject new life into your content strategy by bringing in some new outside authorities to post on your blog. You don’t have to allow them to write entire posts on your site if you don’t want to, but you do have to give them a presence. For example, you could start interviewing some of your peers, and leading authorities in the industry. The name recognition could trigger an increase in your brand reputation and audience, and you’ll be able to cross-pollinate readers with your associated authorities.
Digital content in the form of blog posts, whitepapers, social posts, and so on aren’t the only type of content you can produce. Try getting involved in more tangible mediums—for example, you could try to get an article published in a magazine or newspaper. You could even write and design a presentation that you use for speaking events in person. Attract a new audience in the real world to complement your digital efforts.
If you try each of these strategies individually, you’ll probably find that some will attract a noteworthy increase in comments, visits, and shares, while others bear no discernable difference. Each content campaign is unique, so you’ll need to experiment, mix, and match in order to uncover the best overall approach. Even when you find it, you’ll still need to tweak things occasionally, so get used to this process of experimentation and implementation.