Why Content Marketing Fails

Posted on April 23, 2018 by Alana L

Only 42 percent of content marketers think their content marketing efforts are effective. Does that sound familiar?

When it comes to creating fantastic content and turning those words into wins, the struggle is real. If you feel like your content marketing is failing, we might know why.

Strategy Isn’t Your Strong Suit

Everything that makes your content marketing work relies on one central blueprint that is your content strategy. Randomly tossing out content isn’t going to achieve anything except chaos. Having a plan in place, on the other hand, is worth its weight in gold.

  • Who are you trying to reach?
  • Where are those people hanging out on the internet?
  • What are their pain points?
  • What message are you hoping to get across?
  • What formats will be most effective for your purposes?
  • What’s your budget and which approaches make the most sense for your bottom line?

The answers to those questions will help you put together a strategy that works now as well as in three months and, likely, even in three years. There will be some tweaks along the way, but for the most part, your initial strategy is an investment that delivers bigger bang for your buck. Otherwise, you’re just spending money on bricks with no idea how to turn them into a house.

You Don’t Understand Your Demographic

Every single piece of content you and your team (or your freelancers, as the case may be) create should be written with a specific demographic in mind. Crafting a buyer persona makes it far easier to capture that unique, super-targeted voice. A BP is like a snapshot depicting your ideal customer. Think of it as “a day in the life.” You want to understand what makes them tick so you can address their concerns and stoke their interest using meaningful connections. This is the difference between “buy my awesome product!” and a soft sell “Craving clean floors but no time for traditional mopping? Try Tile Blaster XXL!”

Your Writers Aren’t Actually Writers

Plumbers shouldn’t dabble in drywalling, you don’t want your doctor’s receptionist subbing in during your upcoming surgery, and it’s doubtful that your graphic designer is equally adept at Photoshop and copywriting. If you want something done right, hire the right person for the job. Lots of people can write a funny Facebook post or put up personal blogs that resonate, but B2B and B2C marketing require a specific set of talents – and specific kinds of content as well. From SEO to mobile-friendly structuring, there are details professional content writers are paid to be familiar with and that expertise is a valuable commodity.

You’re Way Too Passive

“If you build it, they will come” might work for Kevin Costner, but constructing your own content field of dreams is going to require a lot more effort. Look, it would be a truly magical thing if you could simply post a blog and watch the traffic pour in. Unfortunately, that’s just not how it works. You must be willing to toot your own horn and drum up the attention you seek:

  • Share your blog on social media repeatedly (vary up the lead-ins and post times so it doesn’t come across as spammy or repetitive)
  • Actively draw in traffic using paid channels (PPC, Facebook ads, etc.)
  • Send out an email blast announcing your newest post
  • Create an online community and keep them engaged
  • A/B test to see which approaches are bringing in readers and which aren’t

The good news is you can flip content marketing failure on its head pretty quickly. Hire someone to lay out a killer strategy, get to know your audience, find a freelance writer you adore, get serious about self-promotion, and grab success by the bullet points.

Alana L is a copywriter, content strategist, and unabashed digital marketing enthusiast. In her previous professional lives, she was a chef, sommelier, and touring musician. These days she uses her laptop-based talents to help companies shape their brand story and make a lasting impact. 


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