When promoting your business, you need to make sure that you’re using the right strategies to find and retain new leads.
While there are many digital marketing options, one of the most effective is content marketing.
Unfortunately, as helpful as content marketing is, many companies struggle to make it work for their needs.
So, to ensure that you can gain and keep up your momentum, we’ll show the top eight content marketing fails.
From there, we’ll explain how to solve these issues before they even arise.
First of All, What is Content Marketing?
Typically, marketing is all about promoting a single brand’s products or services.
No matter the channel (i.e., email, billboards, social media), the brand is front and center.
Content marketing, however, relies on providing high-quality materials to your audience first, then promoting your company afterward.
This content can take different forms, such as blog posts, video clips, articles, infographics, and more.
The goal is to ensure that the material is useful so that you can establish your brand as an authority within the industry or niche.
Stats on Content Marketing
Overall, content marketing is powerful because it brings customers to you, not the other way around.
The more high-quality pieces you create and promote, the larger your audience.
Over time, you can leverage that audience to get more customers and raise brand awareness.
But, don’t take our word for it — here are some impressive content marketing stats to illustrate this strategy’s value.
- Unique visitor traffic is 7.8 times higher for content marketers than those who don’t invest in content.
- Content marketing costs around 60% less than traditional advertising methods. It also generates three times as many leads.
- Content marketing adopters see a conversion rate six times higher than non-adopters.
- Most marketers (69%) say that content marketing is more effective than PR or direct mail.
- 82% of marketers who blog see a positive ROI from their posts.
Knowing why content marketing is so valuable is different than practicing it.
So read our list carefully and, if you’re guilty of one or more of the following mistakes, make sure to focus on correcting these issues before they get out of control.
Content Marketing Fail #1: No Cohesive Strategy
Many companies take the “see what sticks” approach to content marketing.
They produce a bunch of varied pieces, promote them, and then see what works and what doesn’t.
Doing this can derail your momentum because there is no cohesive strategy holding the content together.
But, what does that mean exactly?
Having a content marketing strategy means that your content serves a specific purpose.
- Why are you producing these pieces?
- What do you hope to achieve?
Generic goals don’t count, as they’re almost impossible to measure. Examples of generalized objectives can include web traffic, social media likes, or “improved sales”.
Instead, you should narrow your focus to both individual pieces and your strategy as a whole.
For example, do you want to sell a particular product or service? If so, what content can you make for that item?
Also, don’t be afraid to utilize multiple media sources, such as videos, blogs, infographics, and more.
If each piece is centered around a specific actionable goal, you can know if your strategy is working or not.
Content Marketing Fail #2: No Consistency
How often do you post new content? And how often do you promote archived pieces?
If you don’t have a consistent schedule, it’s hard to maintain momentum.
For example, one week, you might post three blog articles and then nothing for two weeks afterward.
Consistency is critical because it ensures that your audience is always paying attention.
On average, you have to connect with a prospect eight times before converting them to a lead.
The longer the period between these touchpoints, the harder it is to bundle them. If it’s been three months between interactions, you’re almost starting over from scratch.
One of the best ways to ensure consistency is to build a content marketing calendar.
This way, you can schedule posts ahead of time so that you don’t fall behind.
That said, you need to have enough content to promote — that’s where archived posts come into play.
Up to 60% of marketers say that they create at least one piece of content per day.
Content Marketing Fail #3: No Alignment Between Departments
All too often, sales and marketing departments are in their own bubbles and not talking to each other.
Salespeople rely on instinct and tried-and-true tactics to close a deal. On the other side, marketers use data and trends to promote different products.
If these departments are not aligned, it can create friction — both within your company and with your customers.
For example, if the marketing team launches a campaign to promote a specific product, does the sales team know what’s being sold and why?
If not, they may steer customers to something different, defeating the campaign’s whole purpose.
Instead, managers need to bring sales and marketing together when developing content marketing pieces.
If a video or article is centered on a specific product, make sure that the salespeople know what to expect.
The sales team may also be able to provide insight based on their interactions with customers.
Imagine that multiple users complain about a specific product feature — the salespeople can notify marketing to address that issue.
Content Marketing Fail #4: Not Targeting the Right Audience
As we mentioned, marketers are usually data-driven. And one of the most valuable data points is the buyer persona.
Rather than selling products to a broad swath of people, companies find much more success by narrowing their focus to a single identifiable demographic.
Unfortunately, this research may not make it into the content marketing strategy.
If it doesn’t, then pieces may appeal to different customers, which will derail your overall success.
Just as you should align different departments when developing new content, you have to make sure it appeals to the right person.
Otherwise, you won’t get the data points you’re looking for, which can disrupt momentum.
In a worst-case scenario, your marketing may be working on a different demographic, but you don’t know it is because you’re looking at the wrong audience.
Content Marketing Fail #5: Incorrect or Not Enough Promotion
It’s not enough to create content for your brand — you also have to promote it as much as possible.
Most companies assume that they can only promote their pieces one time. So, if it doesn’t get much of a reaction, it’s onto the next piece to see if that works.
Instead, it’s better to recirculate different content over and over again.
For example, if you have pieces centered around a specific holiday or time of year, you can promote them around the same time each year.
Overall, never take a “one and done” approach to your content, particularly if it took a while to produce.
There is no statute of limitations on promotion, so put it out there as many times as necessary. Then, once you’ve promoted the piece a few times, you can measure its success.
For example, a blog post may only get 50 clicks on the first round, 75 on the second, and 100 on the third.
If you only paid attention to the 50 initial clicks, you might not think that the content was worth producing. However, once it reaches 225 clicks, you can say it’s valuable.
Unfortunately, there is no set waiting period for old content, so you have to feel it.
Also, some pieces may do well with rapid recirculation, while others may have to wait longer.
Content Marketing Fail #6: Not Enough SEO
Are you optimizing all of your content pieces?
There are many Search Engine Optimization (SEO) elements to keep track of, so you might not.
For example, are you using the right keywords in your meta, alt, and title tags? Are you using anchor text correctly?
If you don’t know what these terms mean, that’s another reason to work with a high-quality content marketing firm.
Without SEO, your pieces will almost certainly fall flat.
Content Marketing Fail #7: Poor Content Creation
Regardless of your industry, there’s going to be a lot of competition.
If you want to stand out, your content marketing has to be captivating and engaging.
Unfortunately, many companies don’t invest much into producing high-quality content, so it doesn’t get much traction.
Some common mistakes can include:
If you’re not a writer, don’t try to create a blog post.
Instead, outsource your material to a writer who can make it shine.
Stock Library Looking Images
Thankfully, most stock image sites today have much better images than those of yesteryear.
Overall, try to use photos that look authentic, not staged.
Compelling artwork uses both positive and negative space.
If you just throw some images into a text document, it will seem amateur and boring.
Instead, try to use dynamic graphic placement to hold your reader’s attention for longer.
Content Marketing Fail #8: No Analytics
If you’re not analyzing your content marketing, how do you know if it’s working?
Fortunately, you should be able to get tons of data from your website, social media traffic, and search engines.
The trick is knowing how to digest this information and turn it into actionable insights.
If you’re struggling to interpret your content marketing data, work with a marketing firm that knows what to do.
Doing this ensures that you can utilize the information as efficiently as possible.
Wrap Up: Making Your Content Marketing Work
As you can see, there’s a lot more to content marketing than meets the eye.
Even if you can create magnificent pieces, promoting them effectively can be challenging for most companies.
Besides that, there might be a few gaps in your strategies distancing your brand to the expected results.
Fortunately, we have the perfect material to help you.
Answer the questions on our Content Marketing Maturity Assessment and find out how you can improve your business!