More Content Marketing On The Horizon
Content marketing is no longer an option but mandatory requirement for B2B and B2C businesses. According to the Content Marketing Institute, B2B brands will be creating more content in 2017 than ever before and 78% of B2B buyers are seeking out long form content such as whitepapers to support their purchasing decision. Everyone seems to be producing content in vast quantities online. In spite of marketers adopting a content centric strategy, content marketing can fail miserably for various reasons.
Why your content failed
In theory, content marketing seems easy to accomplish. A few blogs here and a few videos there will suffice to engage your target audience. Right? You’ve invested a lot of thought and money into copywriters and content marketers. Why isn’t it making more revenue for your business? Here are the most common reasons your content marketing have failed:
1. Your content marketers are incompetent
Successful content marketing requires a competent team working in a coordinated manner. Before you fire everyone in your content marketing team, find out what the core problem is. This will eliminate the symptoms such as uninspired, poor quality content and coordination. The core problems can be found by asking these questions:
- Is everyone in my content marketing team on the same page about creating content?
- Is there a difference in work ethic amongst the content creators, i.e imbalance of content responsibilities?
- Does everyone know their roles and when flexibility is needed?
- How is the communication between project manager, strategist and social media manager?
- How skillful is your team’s execution? Speed/consistency/excelling in different formats?
Discovering the core problems will help to assemble a better content marketing team.
2. The content is automated
Content can be automated but it must not feel like it has been automated. Does this resonate with your content strategy? Many companies set the content automation in motion but fail to refine and personalize that content. Content needs to be systematic and address individual customer concerns. The automation process has to be customized in certain areas for better response rates.
3. Your content is not up to date
Keeping abreast of the trends and listening to your audience is vital for any content marketing strategy. Track responses to the content you are creating and strive for an up to date image for your brand.
4. Your content is not purpose driven
Outlining the purpose of your content marketing will help you to focus on how to get the results you need. Brands create content for different reasons: for building awareness, educating buyers, nurturing leads, engagement, helping existing customers, up sell opportunities and establishing authority. Determine the purpose of your content and optimize your content.
One of the ways is to use calls to action within the content. Calls to action directs your audience along the conversions funnel and is the most direct way to get results through content.
5. Your content is not adaptable for different marketing channels
Creating the same content for different channels is lazy marketing and will not gain the most from each channel. Content can be shortened, lengthened, socialized or presented with visuals in the form of videos and infographics. When the content is intended for email, websites, social networks, print, press release or promotional events, the wording/tone has be appropriate for the context.
6. Your content is not created for context
One size fits all is a sure-fire way to fail for content marketing. Different audiences have different needs and marketers have to determine the context. A mistake marketers make is to create content that is inappropriate for their audience’s technical knowledge, industry experience and purchasing intentions. The example of great context marketing, Amazon, recommends products according to the customer’s purchase history, interests and reminds people of new launch or sales.
7. Your content strategy is not consistent
Many marketers fail to schedule and plan their content creation in advance. Content creation has to be consistent in quality and published regularly. Better planning will ensure that your audience associate your brand with consistently good and a reliable source of content.
8. Your content is not opportunistic
A new launch, national event, trend and disruptions in an industry should present itself as an opportunity for your content marketing. For instance, a fad can trigger intense interest in your brand; use the opportunity to create optimized content.
Responding to events quickly and creating content with spontaneity is agile marketing.
9. Your content promotion efforts are lacking
Creating content is only half of the equation for great content marketing. Content promotion is the other half. Unfortunately, many companies believe that you can create content and sit back without proactive promotion. Content promotion is very important because it gets the ball rolling for more social media users/consumers to share it. Businesses need to use paid content promotions, social media distribution and one-to-one email campaigns to get their content noticed. If you don’t know what channels of content distribution to use, then your content marketing will definitely fail.
10. Your content marketing ignores SEO
SEO or search engine optimization is absolutely integral to content marketing. Search engine users have intentions to find specific content and it is up to you to help them find it. Optimizing content for SEO; using the relevant keywords/long tail phrases, addressing search queries and using the right SEO structure for text and images will go a long way in getting targeted traffic and conversions. Ignore SEO at your peril.
Content can be rescued!
It’s not all doom and gloom even if your content marketing failed. The worst is that you’ve lost time, money and opportunities to connect with your target audience. The very worst, nightmarish scenario is that you have damaged your business reputation. That will be another blog: how to salvage your business reputation from bad content.
The reasons outlined above should hopefully tell you about why your brand’s content marketing is not achieving the goals of audience retention, engagement, increasing authority, generating leads or gaining awareness. In an age where brands vie for customer attention, great content marketing using a focused strategy can make you stand out from the competition. This will involve both paid and organic methods. If your brand is serious about surviving in the long run, content marketing has to be mastered from today.