When the success of your content strategy is in question, you want results — not excuses. So, take a look at the following list of sorry excuses for why your content strategy might not be working.
11 Sorry Excuses for a Not-So-Great Content Strategy
1. Maybe, You’re Just Getting Started
Okay, this is one excuse that’s actually excusable. If you’re just getting started with content marketing, you shouldn’t expect to see immediate results. Building a strategy, a following, and a content presence takes time. Until you’ve established your brand in content marketing, don’t expect the results to blow you away.
2. You Don’t Know Your Audience
How well do you know the people you’re marketing to? If the answer kind of looks like a shrug, then you need to spend more time getting to know your audience. Do some market research and develop several, thorough customer personas. Then think about the path every customer walks from first introduction to your brand to their decision to purchase and finally to becoming a loyal customer. This is your customer journey map. Write it down and create content targeted to customers at specific points along the way to loyalty.
3. You Don’t Hear Your Audience
If you read this excuse, then wondered how you can even listen to an audience, then it’s time to learn and begin. Yes, you can read through customer comments and reviews to get a feel for general opinions. But not everyone leaves reviews or comments on posts. You’ll need to listen using metrics. Curate a list of metrics that speak to you and your goals, then follow the numbers regularly. Keep a close eye on your metrics and listen to what your audience has to say. If they’re not happy or satisfied, then it might be time to rethink your customer relationships.
4. You Don’t Have a Documented Strategy
A strategy should be written down. If it’s not, it doesn’t exist and you (and your team) can’t follow it.
5. You’re Using the Wrong Tools
Creating content in a word processor and publishing from multiple platforms with multiple logins? You need to invest in a content marketing tool that streamlines publication and automates metric tracking and measurement.
6. You Haven’t Set Goals
Your overall strategy and individual campaigns all need clearly established goals. If you haven’t decided what you’re going after, then there’s no clear path (content strategy) to get there. Whether you want to acquire subscribers, boost conversions, or increase click throughs, your marketing campaign needs a clear strategy to achieve those goals.
7. You Don’t Have Support
If you have yet to acquire management buy-in on content marketing, then you’re probably running a bare-bones operation. Devising and executing a full-blown content marketing strategy takes a lot of work, sweat, time, and creativity. If you’re having to squeeze content marketing into your spare minutes between meetings, phone calls, and the primary hat you wear at your job, then your strategy’s going to suffer. Successful content marketing is a full-time job. Learn how to make a case for content marketing in order to get the support you and your strategy need.
8. You’re Under or Over-Selling
You don’t want your content to come off like a late-night infomercial, but you also don’t want to read like an encyclopedia. It’s important to share information and education, while also nudging consumers toward your brand. Find a good balance of providing information, honesty, and experience while not forgetting to say, “Hey, check us out!”
9. You Make Single-Use Content
Don’t treat content like dental floss (unless you reuse floss). Every piece of content you create should be turned into different media. If you have a blog post — especially one that’s performed well — then make it an infographic, a video, or turn it into a discussion. Be sure you’re squeezing every drop of nectar from every fruit that falls from the creativity tree.
10. You Don’t Consider Channels
Content isn’t one-size-fits-all. If you publish the same stuff to multiple platforms/channels, you’re won’t see results. Customize content to specific channels, their audiences, and their capabilities.
11. You Have a Weak (or Non-Existent) Production Process
Perhaps your strategy hasn’t come together because your processes are all mixed up. If you don’t have the talent or the tools, acquire them and establish a consistent workflow.
Get the Results You Want and the Support You Need with a Killer Content Marketing Team
For content that snaps, crackles, and doesn’t plop, you’ll need a capital content marketing team, complete with a team of creative minds, talented writers, and strategists to help you execute the perfect plan. Hire a team of writers, or just one favorite, and start seeing results.
Jennifer G is a full-time freelance writer and editor with a B.A. in creative writing from the University of Montana. She enjoys researching and writing creative content to engage readers and developing professional voices for clients across all industries. She specializes in medical, health, veterinary, and financial writing. Having worked nearly thirteen years in finance, Jennifer applies her experience in the banking industry (marketing, social media management, consumer and commercial lending, customer service, accounts, and bookkeeping) to her writing work within the industry