Digital marketers are well aware of the challenges when it comes to crafting and distributing great content. But there’s a lesser known issue that also needs to be addressed: the problem of unpopular content. Imagine working for hours (or days) to develop something that’s original and entertaining for your target audiences – only to have it ignored.
Few views on your blog post or not enough people reached on Facebook? Don’t worry: you can still rescue all that hard work with bit of creativity, and a dash of resourcefulness.
Identifying The Problem
You can’t resolve something you can’t see. First, go back to your business goals and ask yourself if they are being met by your current content. Are they helping to spread brand awareness? Are you getting leads from your most popular posts? Do they aid your social media accounts to generate more followers?
Next, list content that are not performing well (either on social media or on your blog). Last, study them carefully to recognize their weak spots. Unpopular content typically have the following issues:
- Bland, uninformative, or lacking in substance
- Being too short
- None or very little engagement/clicks/views
After you identified the issue, it’s easier to come up with solutions to fix them.
Problem #1: Boring Content
It’s possible that even if you poured your heart and soul into creating the best content, you will still fall short in your audiences’ expectations. But it doesn’t mean that you should give up! Instead, breathe new life into your unpopular pieces by turning it into other forms that would surprise and delight online users. If you haven’t “recycled” any of your content yet, it’s never too late to begin.
Although there are several ways to repurpose content, you want to focus on the most viewed ones such as video and images. But what if your piece doesn’t match those? There are other alternatives like: slideshow presentations, social media posts, podcasts, or an email series.
Sometimes, words are not enough to grab and retain a person’s attention (especially online). So another option is to edit your content and insert visuals. These could be screenshots, videos, image quotes, or infographics – something eye-catching that also adds value to your work.
Problem #2: Too Short
Although you may have read that online users prefer bite-sized content, it’s NOT applicable to everyone. Always refer to your target audiences and what THEY like. Do they prefer long-form pieces such as case studies or comprehensive blog posts? If they do and you deliver generic, non-informative content, then don’t be surprised if your work gets little views.
Neil Patel is a great example of a digital marketing expert who produces long form content that’s both educational AND entertaining. His blog posts are typically longer than 1,500 words, and include helpful visuals like screenshots and charts.
But he’s not the only one doing this strategy. In fact, other online experts such as Brian Dean, also create longer forms of content. Why?
- More comprehensive posts are valued by search engines, like Google
- Long-form content are typically timeless (evergreen) and attract more backlinks
- They can be easily repurposed
- Comprehensive content makes you stand out as an authority on the subject
If you notice that your work is shorter than expected, your only recourse is to edit it. Elaborate on your idea, insert important links and resources, add a step-by-step guide, etc.
Beware NOT to be redundant though! Your goal is to make content that would leave very little room for doubt – not smother your readers with repetition.
Problem #3: No Engagement
For content marketers, there’s nothing more frustrating than seeing original content get little to no engagement. Whenever you share something on social media, you expect to get at least several reads from your followers. But when this doesn’t happen, you often question your skill and knowledge. Sometimes, it’s with the choice of topic (i.e. maybe it’s not read-worthy); other times, it’s because you’re promoting on the WRONG platform.
So how do you remedy this? Choose the best platform for your type of content.
- Content with plenty of nice visuals would do absolutely well on Pinterest and Facebook.
- News and trending topics should be on Twitter.
- B2B companies would benefit more from posting content on LinkedIn and Google+.
Don’t be blinded by the number of users a website has or by how many followers you already gained. Focus more on how these numbers are helping you achieve your business goals.
But what if you’ve already done this but you’re still NOT getting the engagement you want? Directly reach out to prominent people in your industry, also known as Influencers. They usually have active followers who would gladly click and read your content once shared.
After finding and connecting with Influencers in your niche, the hardest part is developing a long-lasting relationship with them. People don’t want to feel used – so avoid blatantly promoting your content without earning trust from these people first. Be patient. Show that you’re interested in their posts too, before asking them to look at your content.
Once they know that you’re after a long-term partnership, they’ll have no second thoughts promoting your stuff.
Don’t Discard Just Yet!
If, after doing all these tips your content remains to be unpopular, don’t throw them away just yet. Keep them in file for future reference. One day, you could be stuck at a content rut and find an old piece you can elaborate on. Just because an idea didn’t go so well doesn’t mean it’s a waste. In fact, you can create a database for old or unpopular content that you can repurpose at the end of the year.
Learn from this experience and find better ways to create and deliver amazing online works for your target market. Who knows? When that fateful day comes, you’ll be wiser and better equipped to take on the challenge.