Simply creating content does not mean that readers will come to your website, and it certainly won’t guarantee that anyone who sees the content will buy your product or pay for your service. In order for content marketing to be successful, you have to have a clear strategy in place and omit some crucial mistakes people make when creating content. In this article, we’re going to look at five reasons why content marketing strategies end up failing, and what you can do to correct them.
A Lack of Focus in Marketing Strategy
If your organisation lacks an overarching content marketing strategy, it will fail. This is a common problem, though, according to a Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Professors strategy that found that only a quarter of business marketers had a documented content marketing strategy, while half had not formally documented a strategy.
Yet the same study found that two thirds of successful marketers had a documented content marketing strategy, in contrast to roughly ten percent of unsuccessful marketers having a documented content strategy. If you don’t know what your content is supposed to do – whether selling the product or building brand awareness or repairing bad press – then you will fail most of the time because your successes will only arise from random accidents.
Go forward with a goal in mind, and you will create content that furthers your long term objectives. Note that publishing content is not a marketing strategy in and of itself.
A Lack of Focus for Content
If your content tries to be all things to all people, visitors will leave because it isn’t relevant to their particular questions. Search engines will also penalise content with a vague focus because it won’t rank well for any particular query. Know the intent of every piece of content, whether it is to sell a particular product, build emotional connections with the brand, correct misconceptions about the product or inform people about where your business is located. Then write content that suits that goal and is search engine optimised for the terms or conversational queries of your users.
Failing to Make Data Driven Decisions
- Edwards Deming and Peter Drucker called for data driven decisions in business as far back as the 1950s. You need the information to know what works and what doesn’t. When it comes to content marketing, you need to collect data on the percentage of emails opened, click through rates for marketing emails and conversion rates for content marketing. And to know what works, you must perform A/B testing on everything from subject lines to landing pages to content marketing types relative to customer demographics.
When you know what marketing tactics work, you’ll know what to do in the future. When you know the costs associated with each, you’ll focus on those with the best return on investment. Note that content marketing has the highest overall return on investment when done right, but in a 44 billion dollar industry, many do get it wrong.
Not Knowing What Metrics Matter
The metrics you collect will affect worker behaviour. If you focus on the number of articles written per month, there is a serious risk that quality will suffer. If you track website views, you’ll end up focusing on increasing visits regardless of how many visitors convert to paying customers. In contrast, studying click through rates and conversions will allow you to focus on how well content moves visitors through the sales funnel and eventually buying products and services. Track the metrics that matter and then work toward improving them. For example, doubling your conversion rate of existing traffic has a high return on investment over doubling the number of visitors at the risk of a lower conversion rate.
Failing to Promote Content
Writing the content is no longer enough. Another important step is promoting the content. Failing to promote your content through newsletters and other channels means that it won’t be seen by those it would convince to buy your product.
Search engines now reward content that is shared via social media and generates “signals” like upvotes and likes on Facebook. If you don’t promote your content through social media, it won’t get these signals that increase its search engine ranking.
The first thing you have to do when devising a content marketing strategy is to have a clear goal in mind. If you don’t know what your goal is, you won’t be able to outline a plan for your content marketing efforts. If you don’t collect the right data to determine performance, you’ll risk staff working toward the wrong goals. You need to collect the right type of data and test various strategies in order to maximise the odds of success. Also, you have to promote the content in addition to creating it so that it will actually be seen by your intended audience.
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