15 Reasons you are failing at Content Marketing
December 28, 2015
According to credible sources, most of the companies fail to execute a proper content marketing campaign that generates leads, grows audience and builds reputation. Success seems easy to achieve, but the realities on the ground are quite different from what it appears from outside. There are many things that obstruct your way and ultimately lead you to failure. So, why is content marketing so tough? In this post, we have analyzed the reasons why businesses fail at content marketing.
Some of the companies have internal issues, which can drag you down. It is not that you are doing it just for the sake of doing it. So, you should have an eye to identify whether you have a proper marketing strategy to run a successful content marketing campaign or not. According to a study, more than half of the marketers did not have any strategy at all till 2014 or their strategy lagged behind the strategies adopted by the smart players. It was found in a survey conducted by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) that less than 45% companies, dealing in B2B services had a documented content marketing strategy.
We have identified some 15 signs that may lead you to failure at content marketing:
1. Your content is self-promotional
Too much of self-promotional content is neither helpful for you it’s nor for the readers. If your content is only about your products and services, it sounds more like promotional noise. Readers want to go through the content that informs, entertains and enlightens.
Write content as per the expectations of readers. It will make the visitor go through your content and would like to spend more time on your website. It will help in conversion and there are high chances that she’d turn into a prospective customer for your products or services. She can also be a valuable source of reference for many others. So, your content should also aim to guide your visitors and should be based on your company’s mission.
Key Takeaway: Content should be created to educate, inform, entertain and offer value-addition. Nobody likes to waste their time reading someone else’s marketing ode.
2. You have set small goals
“No failure but low aim is crime.”
If you have low targets, you will score even less than what you normally expect. It will ruin all your efforts. So, always set a higher target and focus on high volumes to achieve better results. While creating content, consider all national and global competitors and target global audience. It will help you to rise above the crowd.
Key Takeaway: Set bigger goals and focus hard to achieve them.
3. You’re afraid of failure
If you are afraid of failure, you can never become a successful content marketer. Most of the marketers, who are unable to succeed generally have an element of fear. It’s true that the road to success goes through failures, heartbreaks, pain, and obstacles. So, be a little adventurous, try new things and leave a trail of footprints for other to follow.
Key Takeaway: Failure is the first step to success. Try to do some experiment with new things.
4. You don’t have a plan for sourcing content
Content sourcing is also a crucial part of success at content marketing. One of the major issues you may encounter while running your content marketing campaign is that it’s difficult to source quality content. Normally, businesses don’t try hard to source quality content. Maybe they are not aware of any standards at all. Remember, low quality content is not going to help your content marketing campaign.
Key Takeaway: Try your best and source quality content.
5. Your operations aren’t synced across your team
Don’t operate in silos, while executing content marketing. It means that all the three departments of content marketing i.e. creation, distribution and promotion of content, should act in unison – and not separately. It should be seamless and integrated. Integrate text based content with graphics, video content and other forms of visual content and repurpose it into each other.
So, stop working in silos? The content marketing strategy should involve different teams, viz. content creation, social media, communication and SEO, teams.
Key Takeaway: Make an organization-wide roadmap for content marketing and involve all the departments in complementary activities.
6. You’re not ready to take the bitter pill
Do not play around your known territory. Try to think out of the box and explore new horizons. Conduct proper research and create quality content. You need to take risks, incorporate new strategies, monitor results and then draw your content marketing plan. It’s a painstaking process, but there is no shortcut here.
Key Takeaway: The path is not easy. Use analytics. Work hard and revamp your strategy periodically if needed.
7. Your content doesn’t contain a proper CTA
You need a well-defined call to action to direct customers to take some action. You can use it to direct your visitors to subscribe for your webinars and newsletters.
You can tempt them with the offers of various free downloads. This way you can get their contact details.
You can also send your visitor straight to the product page to convert quickly. A visitor’s Interest in your content or website should not be allowed to go in vain. Use a proper CTA to achieve your targets.
Key Takeaway: In the absence of a proper CTA, your content delivers no benefit.
8. You haven’t chosen a specific online channel as your mouthpiece
Some of the entrepreneurs doing business online have YouTube video channel as their official mouthpiece, whereas some have blogs. Whatever it is, you should choose a channel as your mouthpiece according to your expertise at handling it.
Key Takeaway: Chose a channel as your official mouthpiece such as a video or a blog according to your expertise.
9. You don’t have a dedicated person to run your content marketing strategy
You should have a dedicated content marketer, who has the knowledge, capability and experience of handling and executing a successful content marketing campaign. It may not seem to be necessary, but it is always better to have one. Someone, who can take charge and take right decisions to design a proper content marketing strategy and also do some damage control when something goes wrong.
Key Takeaway: It’s necessary to have a person on board dedicated to content marketing campaigns.
10. You and your management aren’t on the same page
Make sure that there is a clear understanding regarding the whole concept of content marketing between your content marketing department and the management of the company. Sometimes, the management may not want to wait for a period of six months to see the results of a campaign, because they are not familiar with the strategies and aren’t aware of the period required for content marketing to produce results.
Key Takeaway: Try to take your management into confidence before you implement a content strategy. Most of the strategies take a long time for fruition.
11. Your content strategy isn’t woven around your niche
Your content should be so designed that your target audience can relate to it. It should also match with your business goals. Besides being informative, your content should offer solutions for the most pressing issues of your audience. You need to try for domination in your niche so that you can attract your target audiences more effectively. Your content is the prime weapon through which you can achieve this goal. Help your niche by answering the questions related to their major concerns and then expand it to address related issues as well.
Key Takeaway: Your content should be created to feed your niche. It should be woven around their needs.
12. You don’t have a smart team to track and implement your content strategy
Include people in your content marketing team, who are smart and innovative. They should be ready to experiment, explore new ways and contribute new ideas. Content marketing is not just about creating content; you should have a proper distribution and marketing strategy as well. You need to create relevant content to target your niche. Use analytics to asses the effectiveness of your content and your teams should repeat the process tirelessly, until you’re able to create content that resonates with your audience.
As per a CMI (Content Marketing Institute) survey that was conducted to review the current industry trends related to content marketing, it was found that only 5% of the companies were successfully tracking their ROI and almost 65% of the businesses were unable to measure their effectiveness and content marketing performance.
Key Takeaway: Hire a smart team to track, analyze and implement your content marketing strategy.
13. You don’t publish content consistently
You need to be consistent to attract new audiences as well as retain the existing ones. Online audiences constantly crave for fresh content and have a tendency to look for the active blogs that are regularly updated.
In a CMI survey, it was found that 54% of the most successful organizations were effective enough to maintain consistency in posting content and only 23% organizations posted content many times in a week. So, it is evident that frequency of publishing content is important to stay ahead of the rest.
Key Takeaway: Publish content regularly and follow a content calendar.
14. You sound sale-sy
Say a big ‘no’ to “the sale-sy” approach. Your content should never indicate that you are directing your audiences towards a sales transaction. You need to write content that informs, entertains and educates your audience. Yes, you can leave a link at the end of the post that directs the reader to your landing page meant for sales. In that case, if someone is interested in buying your products or services may do so, but you should strictly avoid distracting or annoying common visitors by including a sales pitch in your content. They can tolerate it for once or twice but a consistent sale-sy approach can lead them to unsubscribe your blog.
Key Takeaway: Don’t sound salesy. Create content to inform, educate and entertain.
15. You haven’t integrated SEO with your content marketing strategy
SEO is directly linked to content marketing. Content Marketing is the new SEO. Many people try to compare the effectiveness of SEO services and content marketing, but as a matter of fact, both complement each other and go hand in hand. You should focus on Meta data, social media optimization, image optimization, loading time of website and HTML, to improve your SERP rankings.
Key Takeaway: Incorporate SEO into your content marketing activities. Focus on keywords and quality back-links.
Last but not the least, follow discipline.
If you adhere to the prescriptions discussed above, your success is almost guaranteed.
Best of luck for your content marketing journey!
Read also Content Marketing for eCommerce in 2017