12 Reasons, Why Content Marketing fails?
Still don’t know why your content marketing strategies fail?
In 2020, most organizations have adopted content marketing to capture more customers and boost sales!
In fact, only 7% of B2B businesses who had very little commitment to content marketing are successful.
And who were the most successful?
…. The organizations who were extremely committed— 93% of them!!
So, you get the idea!
It’s not just a commitment that matters. From my experience and research, I found some patterns that might explain why some companies are not doing great at content marketing.
Let’s start with the #1 reason!
1. No Long Term Content Strategy
People keep on asking— Does content marketing still works?
It sure works, if you have a plan or a long term strategy!
Your content creation must be backed by solid research, reason and a sense of your target audience. Blindly cherry-picking Keywords and posting online will only drain more money.
The strategies shouldn’t be just in your head or the conference room. It should be well documented.
Here’s an interesting stat!
65% of the most successful organizations had a documented strategy for content marketing.
So, Documented Strategies=Success!!
Try emulating your competitors who had success in this field. What strategies worked for them? what audience they targeted? What measures they took to prevent failure? And.. so on.
You can’t just put up an article for the sake of publishing. You need to know what sort of value your audience is going to get from it and then what next!
If you can connect your strategies across the entire sales funnel, you are more likely to succeed than others who don’t.
2. Not Embracing the Power of Storytelling
According to RedCrowdMarketing, an average American can come across as much as 4000-10,000 ads every day!
How much of those ads actually convert to sales?
In the age of the internet and youtube, you have the power to block ads and see what you want to see only!
Here’s where storytelling can separate you from your competitors.
If you are publishing written content, it should give your audience a visual experience other than the text. So, use images, videos as much as you can to get their attention.
Your brand should have a story that the audience can relate to.
The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series is a great example of storytelling in content marketing.
They aren’t advertising their energy drink here. The campaign tells stories of athletes who love adventure and action. They are building a relationship with their target audience.
And you can do it too!
3. Don't Have Any Blog
Don’t have a blog for your business yet?
Your missing out on the biggest opportunity the internet can give.
A Hubspot research found that organizations who published more than 16 blog posts every month had 3.5X more traffic than others who did less!
In fact, blog posts are 73% more effective than any other form of content in the initial stage of a user interaction.
And don’t just publish a mediocre content everyday. Create great long form content consisting of step-by-step guides and in-depth case studies that your audience will love reading.
You can use the skyscraper technique endorsed by Brian Dean from Backlinko. It’s a strategy that involves targeting your competitor’s most successful content and then creating something even better to gain the same traffic, links and value.
4. Don't Have Content Framework
Your workflow and the content structure can determine your success in content marketing.
Let’s talk about workflow first!
You need to have a distinct process of idea generation, know how to find a profitable content idea and decide who’s going to edit the piece, what keywords to use, what time frame you have and the nature of your target audience.
Without workflow, your content creation can take way more time and resources!
Marketers I know who had success in content creation had a very well sorted workflow. This allows them to come everyday with new ideas and publish on a regular basis.
You got the workflow right? Now it comes down to your content’s structure.
Even if you write an awesome article that has no structure, chances are most people will get nothing out of that.
So, what should you do?
Break down your content into several sections and assign headers to them. Integrate bullet points, images and maintain the logical flow. If your readers are just skimming, they will still know what you are talking about.
5. You Don’t Give Time to Create Great Title and Headlines
What’s the first thing a user notices in your content?
It’s the headline or title!
If you are spending 5 hours to write killer content, you should also spend another 1-2 hours to find a headline that can attract the audience.
Buzzsumo analyzed 100 million headlines and they found 3 word phrases that gained the most engagements:
- Will make you
- This is why
- Can we guess
These types of headlines create an emotional connection with the reader. The readers know exactly how the content can help them find their answers.
You can create headlines that are list types and others that provoke curiosity. So, 10 best X, what happened next, etc. word phrases can really make you stand out from your competitors.
6. Your Content Is Boring
Your content marketing efforts can definitely fail because YOUR CONTENT SUCKS!!
You might think you got a well crafted post, but if your audience don’t enjoy reading it then nothing matters.
There are a number of reasons why your content is boring:
- You are creating content using a ghostwriter
- You don’t understand your target audience
- Your content lacks empathy, readability and engaging elements like images and videos
- It doesn’t provide any real value or solution to the readers
Try to hire writers who have niche-specific knowledge and know the jargon of your industry. You must also convey the insights you gain from the sales team to your writer. So, he can fully understand the target audience’s mindset.
Don’t publish content unless it can add real value. And.. try to invest in high quality and relevant graphic material.
A dull content can really become interesting with infographic, lots of white spaces and valuable information.
7. No Specific Category/niche
If you don’t know whom you’re writing for, there’s a good chance no one will read your content.
The same problem can happen if you try to create content on broad topics.
Topics like these won’t work:
- How to get rich? (doing what?)
- How to earn money online (there are tons of ways and all of them might not suit your audience)
- X business mistakes to avoid (Which business? Every money transaction you see around is a business)
You need to create a buyer persona first. You should take into account the age, gender, behavior, spending habits and other relevant stuff of your target audience.
So, before you create a content you will know exactly who you are talking to and what sort of words and phrases they like most.
8. Don't Have a Community to Share
To become a brand, you need to build a community. These are the people who love to read your posts, comment on your new releases and shares advice.
If you can’t build up your own community, you won’t know whether your content sucks or is just the SEO that is bringing in the traffic.
SEO is great for organizations who doesn’t strive for making a brand. But if you want to build a long term success from your content marketing business, you should build a community.
Communities give you the opportunity to understand your buyer persona and increases trustworthiness.
If you don’t have one yet, start building relationships on social networks and forums.
9. You Have No Content Promotion Strategy
You want to go viral without promoting?
That’s not how it works!
Even if you write an SEO friendly articles and leave it for google to rank you, it will take ages to get any distinct results.
Promotion should be one of the core strategies of your content marketing. It should start with building a small community and then you can also go way and beyond.
Here’s how you can promote content:
- Make your social media profiles more engaging and upload fragments of your main content before you publish
- Reach out to other bloggers in your niche and find opportunities for collaboration or link building.
- Use storytelling techniques to create video campaigns
- Integrate all your online presence, so the right message is published in the right medium
You can also use paid advertisements if you have a big budget. If you know how the ad networks work, you should be able to gain momentum.
Here’s an interesting content marketing statistics.
71% of the most successful content marketers use paid advertisement!!
10. Don't Have Any Idea About Content Analytics
You’ve got the strategies in place and now you have published your content.
Does that end there?
If it ends there then that might be the reason why your content marketing fails!
Only 25% of B2B marketers have proficiency in using metrics to analyze their marketing strategy.
You need choose metrics based on the medium of your publication.
If it’s social media, then the numbers of shares or likes can be a good metric. You can also choose the ROI, sales or website traffic as your primary metrics.
When you start analyzing these metrics, you can create or change strategies to gain more positive results. Otherwise, you will never know whether you campaign was successful or not and end up following the same strategies.
11. You Are Impatient
If you are obsessed enough with content marketing, one or few of your pieces can go viral.
But what after that?
Do you stop? Or Do you create more?
Gaining sales from content is a long term game! The moment you think that you got enough exposure and results, that’s the moment you actually fail.
If you don’t follow a long term strategy, you might only run for short goals. The result is a drop in traffic and you will need to start all over again.
If you are relying on paid marketing and gaining enough ROI, continue with that. There’s no stopping.
People are hungry for new content and if you don’t create something, your competitors will take that opportunity.
12. You Decided SEO Is Not Important
You simply can’t ignore the search engines if you want your content to reach far and wide!
Maybe you are a social media guru or your team is highly expert in generating traffic from social media.
But is it enough?
If you are not doing on page SEO and creating SEO friendly articles today, you are missing out on a big opportunity.
If you can move your website to the top 3 rankings in search engines, you will get 60% more clicks than the others sites on the SERP.
So, redefine your strategies, Emphasize on Keyword research and develop a SEO analytics team that can quickly help you conquer the search engines. Once the traffic keeps coming, it’s all organic and totally free!
Stop Your Content Marketing from Failing With 9 Proven Ways
1. Make Smart Goals
You can use SMART marketing goals strategy in any business. For content marketing, this works best!
Let’s look at what SMART goals mean:
You get the idea. It helps you to understand the goal of your content strategy and how you want to achieve.
This helps you to stay on track and be realistic about the outcomes. Once you set SMART goals into your business, you will at least know what you are doing and what you need to do to get to your target.
2. Make Content Framework
We’ve talked about this earlier. To create your content framework, you should decide on a couple of things earlier:
- The format of your content
- Create outline and connect ideas
- Do research and collect facts that can support your ideas
- What sort of medium you’re going to use to publish your content?
- Who’s going to create the content and who’s going to edit it?
- What sort of audience I am dealing with?
And so on….
Do some experiments and If a certain content framework works for you, stick with that. It will keep you on track and eliminate delays!
3. Have Fun When Creating Content
The process of creating content can be boring. But that doesn’t mean your content should be boring.
Try to use humor and human voice into your content strategy. Customers always love when they can relate to an organization through their words, activities and culture.
If you can create a good feeling whenever someone hears your brand name, that’s the real success. People will buy from you no matter what the competitors are offering.
Think about Mountain Dew. Whenever I see a bottle of Mountain Dew, I can feel the thrill and rush. It’s how the company created their image.
4. Build Your Own Community
The best way to build a community is to interact with your target audience on social media.
If you are new to content marketing, you still might not know where your audience stays most of the time.
From a 2016 study by content marketing institute, it was found that 66% of B2B marketers rated LinkedIn as their most effective platform for engagement.
For you, it might be Twitter or Youtube or Instagram. Try exploring all of them and see where you get the maximum engagement and sales.
Once you figure out the platform, amplify your efforts and serve your audience regularly.
5. Select a Specific Niche
Niche selection is probably the first thing you should do before creating content ever!!
Don’t target a broad niche that will be difficult to monitor.
Instead niche down and make the best content for a specific set of people with specific needs.
In that way, you can hire niche specific experts to write articles, create videos and develop marketing strategies.
When you know exactly who your targeted audience is, you can create a better and long lasting relationship with them.
6. Don't Be Impatient
Save your patience as you will need plenty of it in content marketing.
You can create a hundred campaigns and they might fail. You only need one or two viral content to reach your audience.
But that doesn’t come in a day!
Keep it moving everyday and when you reach a milestone enjoy the results. And..don’t stop there!
A good way to remain patient is never to target unrealistic goals. Set goals that you think are achievable considering the resource and budget you have.
7. Focus on Content and Promote Blog
Always keep your focus on your content and whether it is meeting the needs of your customers.
And then promote your blog to mediums which you think are suitable.
You don’t need to get your name to Forbes or the moon!
If your audience is 18 years teenagers, there’s no point in promoting on LinkedIn or newspapers.
The promotional strategy should support the content you create. You should have a dedicated team who will work together with the content creators to better understand the plan.
8. Various Types of Content
Over the years, the use of audio and visual content format has increased quite a lot. In case of B2B marketers the increase 64%.
Try to mix up your content and explore different formats. The best way to do it is incorporating visual content into written content. So, your audience can get the whole picture.
Why waste the opportunity when you can transform the same idea into different formats.
9. Use Call to Action
Without a call to action (CTA), your audience will get nowhere. You need to channel them towards more new content or an opportunity to stay connected to you.
In fact, CTA is a great way to nurture your target customers. 62% of B2B marketers use CTA to nurture their audience.
You can also take the opportunity of email campaigns through CTA directed towards email subscribing.
If you ask me what’s the only reason behind content marketing fails? I will pinpoint to only 1 reason— Lack Of Strategy!!
If you manage to get the strategy part right, you will be way ahead than most content marketers.
The promotion, content framework, niche and everything are just part of that strategy. You can always fix those down the road.
Set a time frame like you want to go from X to Y in 3 or 4 years. Content marketing will not bring you overnight success. So, play the long term game!!
Once you eliminate the reasons of failure, you are left with only the most successful tactics.