You’ve worked really hard on a piece. Maybe it’s for your brand journalism site, an intranet or even an email.
You eagerly check your analytics tool, waiting for those sweet, sweet clicks to roll in.
But they don’t. Your labor just sits there, unread, unloved, not contributing to your goals.
Don’t despair! There are still ways to fix this — and to do better next time.
In order of the easiest fixes to the trickiest, let’s take a look at how to give your content the boost it needs to get more eyeballs.
Your headline/subject line is boring.A headline is the undoing of many a great story. In order to get trackable analytics, you need to give users a reason to click. Maybe your headline already gives everything away so there’s no need for your audience to learn more. Maybe it’s simply dull and doesn’t give readers a reason to care — even if the story is fantastic.
Remember, your headline or subject line is all your reader has to go on to determine whether or not anything else is worth reading. Make sure you’re taking the time to get that right.
Re-read your story. Think about what’s most interesting in it. What would you tell a friend at the water cooler? Remember, what’s most interesting to your audience might not always be what’s most important in your overall comms strategy. And that’s OK — your story can highlight the most important points for your campaign success. But first, you’ve got to get them into the story. Do that by appealing to their interests, not yours.
You published at the wrong time.
There are lots of graphics and studies out there purporting to tell you the best day and hour to publish content.
That’s not what we’re talking about.
Those studies are looking at are large, general and don’t take into account your audience.
You need to think about when your audience is looking for content. Whether that’s when they read their email, when they do a Google search or when they scroll social media.
If you don’t know, look at your existing analytics data. When do you see the biggest bumps of traffic? Identify those waves and ride them — or you may be buried beneath them.
Your story is in the wrong format.
So you’ve created a TikTok when your average audience is a 50-year-old man. Or you’ve written a 2,000 word story when your average audience is a deskless worker who needs to get off the communal computer and back to their shift on the assembly line.
The format you create content in matters. Even if you have the perfect headline or subject line and you’ve sent it out at the precise moment your audience is most interested in the content, they might click off immediately once they see how the information is presented.
In a perfect world, you’d be able to be all things to all people and have multiple pieces of content for each target audience and the way they like to receive information. But you probably don’t live in a perfect world. You live in one with constrained resources and content that needs to go out yesterday.
So, if you can’t hit perfect, try to make sure you’re presenting content in the very best format for your audience. If your piece is too long for your busy staff, make it shorter. If no one’s watching video, switch to written.
This may take experimentation to discover — play with it and try to avoid preconceived notions.
Your story isn’t relevant.
Sometimes, you’ve just got a dud.
This may not be your fault. We’ve all been assigned those stories that have to be done but we just know no one will ever actually want to read or watch — besides your boss, that is.
If the story is simply one that no one is interested in, learn what you can from it. Why wasn’t it interesting to your target audiences? Why was it important to your bosses that you create that piece? Can you communicate to them the audience disconnect? With the right attitude, you can turn a flop of a piece into a rich learning opportunity.
And hey, if it was your story idea that flopped? It happens to the best of us. Dust yourself off and try again.
Always monitor performance.
Above all, remember to keep yourself accountable to your readers through regular analysis of analytics — whatever that looks like for the content you’re creating. The work we do doesn’t matter if no one sees it. So, understand who’s looking — and how you can get even more attention.