Content marketing is only effective if your audience is engaged. They have to be intrigued by your headline, impressed by your body content, and then moved enough to take a strong action like converting, sharing, linking, or even commenting. Achieving that level of engagement is difficult even for exceptional content marketers, and there’s a problem that makes it even harder to achieve: boredom.
The sad truth is that even “good” content can create reader boredom—you might have very thoroughly and thoughtfully explored a topic that just isn’t interesting, or you might have explored a concept so many times that your users are no longer engaged in it. The first step is acknowledging that you have a reader boredom problem, but it isn’t always straightforward.
These five signs can help you establish whether or not your readers are bored with your material:
Depending on the popularity of your blog, an occasional post with no comments and no other visible signs of traction isn’t anything to be concerned about. However, if you feature several posts in a row, none of which have any comments onsite or on social media, you might have a problem. Comments are a positive sign of engagement; even though only a small percentage of readers ever leave comments, if those vocal readers aren’t moved enough to respond, it could reflect on the overall interest level of your readership.
Shares and links are more than just valuable assets for an SEO campaign; they’re indicators of how well your content is performing. If your pieces consistently get no shares and no links, it means you aren’t doing enough to captivate your audience. You have to make your content important, interesting, and valuable—all at once—or else your readers will be bored and unwilling to take meaningful action.
As a content marketer, you should be checking Google Analytics (or whatever other analytics tools you’ve adopted) as a pulse for the health of your strategy. Here, you’ll be able to see which of your posts are performing well, which ones are faltering, and overall trends for your campaign. Compare your last several dozen posts to one another. Are there spikes and valleys? This is natural, and a good indication that at least some of your content is exceptional. If your statistics are suspiciously consistent—flatlining across the board, regardless of volume—it means readers are generally unmoved by your content.
It’s usually a bad idea to gauge the health of any marketing campaign, including social media marketing, by the sheer number of followers you have. This is because a single number can’t tell you things like interest level, loyalty, or demographics. However, if you notice your social media followers are declining any time after integrating your social and content marketing campaigns, take it as a bad omen. Your followers don’t like what they see, and it’s your job to change it.
Finally, think about your own interest level. Are you excited about your newest topics and initiatives? Are you genuinely engaged and interested in it when you’re writing it? If you aren’t interested in your own content, how could you expect your readers to be?
You didn’t think I’d leave you hanging, did you? I went through all the trouble of letting you know whether your content was boring—now I’ll teach you how to fix it. You could start by tearing down your strategy and rebuilding from scratch, but first, I’d recommend trying these easy adjustments to return your content to its former glory (or reenergize a bored audience):
If you find your content really is boring your readers, these fixes should be a good solution to the problem—at least in the short term. The truth is, reader boredom is usually a recurring issue, and even the best content marketing brands sometimes suffer from it. You can’t always prevent it or predict it, but you can always respond to it, so stay on your toes and make the best effort possible to keep your readers engaged.