5 Reasons Content Marketing Fails

You might have crowned content as king in your marketing organization, but that doesn’t mean the kingdom will be successful. Many factors contribute to a content marketing strategy that wins, and an equal number of things can cause your content to fall flat with audiences. Here are five common reasons for content marketing fails.

1. Research is Lacking

Content has to be informative and relevant to provide users with value and keep them coming back, but it’s not enough to get your statistics correct and source from reputable journals or websites. You also need to research the culture and climate through which content is being delivered to have an effective content marketing strategy; lack of this type of research has landed many brands in trouble.

Consider DiGiorno, the frozen pizza brand. It caused controversy by tweeting with the high-performing hashtag #WhyIStayed. On the surface, it was a good move for exposure: the hashtag was trending on Twitter. The problem was the hashtag was being used in a serious discussion about domestic violence and abuse, with victims sharing comments about why they stayed in such relationships. DiGiorno quickly realized its error, deleted the tweet and admitted to not doing the right research, but the brand damage was already done.

2. SEO Components Are Ignored

Content is king content marketing strategy

If content is king, SEO is the advisory council behind the monarch’s wise performance. Without meta descriptions, keyword research, title tags, alt tags and other critical SEO components, your content rarely hits center stage. While general SEO is important when developing your content marketing strategy, most companies do cater to Google best practices, as the company holds 77.43 percent of global search engine marketshare as of 2017.

As you work on SEO to boost content performance and improve your content marketing strategy, don’t forget about mobile users. Mobile search numbers surpassed desktop search stats as of 2015, and the disparity grows wider by the year. Target mobile users with local keywords and responsive designs that work well on any device.

[ctt template=”4″ link=”ea_c8″ via=”yes” nofollow=”yes”]If content is king, SEO is the advisory council behind the monarch’s wise performance.[/ctt]

3. Content or Quality Doesn’t Match Your Needs

If content doesn’t resonate with your audience, they won’t share it with others or return for more. Some reasons content can be deemed poor quality by consumers include:

  • The content itself is poorly crafted
    • Writing contains grammar, spelling and logic errors
    • Writing simply doesn’t make sense
    • Text isn’t formatted for easy reading (hint: use headers, bullets and white space to break up text)
    • Images are blurry or in poor taste
    • Videos are poorly edited
    • Audio quality of videos or podcasts make them difficult to understand
  • The content isn’t relevant to your audience
    • You aren’t talking about subjects that drive your audience
    • You’re speaking to the wrong audience
    • You’re addressing the right audience but in a way that doesn’t resonate with their age, background, education or other demographic factor
  • Your content is simply boring, lackluster or repetitive

[ctt template=”4″ link=”mb9bZ” via=”yes” nofollow=”yes”]Content has to be informative and relevant to provide users with value and keep them coming back.[/ctt]

4. Content Isn’t Being Promoted

Some businesses spend too much time creating content without promoting it. Even content fully optimized for the search engines needs help via promotion on social and other channels. Social marketing expert Derek Halpern recommends leveraging an 80/20 rule: spend 20 percent of online marketing time creating content and 80 percent promoting it. One way to make the 80/20 spread easy without sacrificing content quality is to work with freelance writers and editors, letting them craft content while you promote it.

5. You’re Sticking with a One-Way Street

Finally, content marketing isn’t a one-way street. You can’t simply toss content out until something sticks. Get involved on social media, blog comment sections and brand forums to build a brand culture that includes your audience. Before you fire off sassy tweets and hope for Wendy’s level engagement, though, consider this experienced advice:

Having a strong sense of who our brand is and what we should sound like ensures that we’ll come across consistent in our communications, whether we’re handling a restaurant-specific complaint or gently roasting some of our followers.” – Amy Brown, Wendy’s Social Media Manager

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Sarah Stasik

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Sarah is an experienced writer and copyeditor with a background in project management. She’s Six Sigma Black Belt certified and leverages her knowledge of statistical analysis, process improvement and content marketing to help clients engage audiences and increase conversions.

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