There have been many blogs and articles circling the web that explain that content marketing does not work. That most web traffic comes from main pages, and that there is no ROI on content marketing.

The problem with most content marketers is they really don’t understand content marketing at all. Content marketing is not simply putting out article after article on a specific keyword or talking to your peers and colleagues and not your target audience. Stern Content marketing always has a carefully planned follow through and a strong call to action.

What? A call to action in a blog article? Well, YES. Every bit of content your business puts on the web should LEAD the reader to take action. It should also be written in such a way as TO lead the reader to in some way CONTACT the person or company publishing the article.

By the way, most responsive wordpress themes come with a shortcode to add a button or a CTA (call to action). Use those shortcodes at the end of your blog, and make sure the CTA is RELATED to the topic in the article. (see our blog on a kinder gentler Call To Action)

I think the problem is most content marketing agencies and content marketers are focusing on publishing “interesting” content but not “helpful” or “useful” content. Furthermore the last word in content marketing is MARKETING, and marketing is the art of starting meaningful conversations. So, take a look through your blog, are you leading people to make contact with you and start a conversation?

It can be as simple as… “Are you experiencing the same issues with your (topic or article)? Let’s talk about it (link to your contact form).

I have seen now hundreds of websites created with Hubspot for instance that have side bars with random “click here to download this ebook” buttons when the content of the article has nothing to do with the inbound marketing piece.

Also it is at the END of the article, actually written INTO the article where the call to action should happen.

And then what. Well, you and your company need to start thinking about not just content and not just social and not even just inbound marketing, but creating an entire inbound experience. Notice I left out the word Marketing.

In my next article I will be addressing how Inbound Marketing is not the answer and how creating an entire Inbound Experience is becoming essential to your Customer Life Cycle.

In the meantime…

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