Three Reasons Most Content Marketing Fails, and What to Do About Them

Three Reasons Most Content Marketing Fails, and What to Do About Them

Among those who thought their content marketing efforts were most successful, 59% had a documented strategy compared with 18% for the least successful marketers. Lack of Research Many content teams don't spend sufficient time up front to research the niche they are targeting, missing opportunities for creating unique content. One software company that's doing content research right conducts interviews of 20 members of its target audience for each of half a dozen blog posts it produces monthly. Lack of Alignment With the Funnel Content strategy should be thought through so that content effectively drives traffic throughout the entire funnel. At first, at the top of the funnel, while the soon-to-be moms are still pregnant, they will likely be thinking and researching baby names. During that process, women often spend a lot of time searching online with their spouses, and they often chat about ideas with friends, neighbors, and family. Immediately after they have a baby, your audience of new moms can sometimes experience what's referred to as "mommy brain," where even the most basic things are overlooked. Lack of Focus on Outreach, Promotion, and Distribution Many content marketing teams spend 90% of their time on content production and merely 10% on outreach and distribution. To achieve content marketing success, you should instead be spending most of your time on outreach, promotion, and distribution. It's about establishing a team dedicated to content promotion and building a reliable win-win system, with everyone involved gaining value so that your few emails turns into hundreds or thousands of relationships.

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Ever get excited about an idea, but when you start searching online for further information you’re taken to mountains of boring, insufficient, copycat content? Why is that?

In B2C Content Marketing 2018: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America report by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, merely 38% of respondents’ organizations reported having a documented content marketing strategy. Among those who thought their content marketing efforts were most successful, 59% had a documented strategy compared with 18% for the least successful marketers. The numbers were similar on the B2B side.

Clearly, a documented strategy makes a difference in content performance. Instead of flooding the Internet with content that’s merely meh, avoid the following content marketing mistakes to ensure that you are strategically producing content that breaks through and wows your audience.

1. Lack of Research

Many content teams don’t spend sufficient time up front to research the niche they are targeting, missing opportunities for creating unique content. Little to no audience research is done to understand important gaps in the market. No interviews. No insight into what’s being shared or linked to the most, by whom, or for what reasons. Often little thought is given to the types of content that would truly captivate the targeted audience.

One software company that’s doing content research right conducts interviews of 20 members of its target audience for each of half a dozen blog posts it produces monthly. The result is content that offers tangible, real-world, insider insights far beyond what any others are doing in the space. That process also translates into an army of promotional soldiers for the company: Each participant takes to social media to promote the pieces to which he or she contributed.

You may be thinking that conducting 100-120 interviews monthly for your blog would be like herding kittens. And that’s where looking to technology, standardization, and established processes makes the effort efficient and manageable. The result is an onslaught of online promotion of the company’s content all the time, every week, by those with credibility and existing social networks.

Interviews are merely one method for researching fruitful topics. You can also monitor industry trends for fresh, new ideas, or review onsite searches to confirm the current interests of your audience, or monitor online discussions to uncover new challenges or approaches that would be useful to tackle in your content.

The point is, when developing your content, you should incorporate strategic research to ensure your content is both unique and powerful.

2. Lack of Alignment With the Funnel

Content strategy should be thought through so that content effectively drives traffic throughout the entire funnel. Although some marketing teams create a content calendar, the scheduled content is not designated for a specific layer in the funnel.

Align your specific…

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