Why Most Brands Fail Miserably at Content Marketing (and How to Prevent That)

Why Most Brands Fail Miserably at Content Marketing (and How to Prevent That)

Of the companies who rated their efforts as successful at content marketing, 66 percent had a documented content marketing strategy. However, “good” content isn’t always enough. Creating interesting content is only step one in creating content for your content marketing strategy. If you’re creating a content marketing strategy for a niche that’s not very interesting, or if your audience is difficult to reach online, then it’s time to get creative. It’s important to have patience and play the long game if you want to have success at content marketing. You just can’t have a successful content marketing strategy without SEO. From this chart, you can see that the titles that got the most Twitter shares are 8-12 words long. You want to create content that reaches different audiences. That’s just content. To really do content marketing right, your content must be followed by marketing.

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content marketing

Is your content marketing strategy just not working for you?

You’re not alone.

A lot of people fail miserably at content marketing — and they don’t even know why they’re failing.

The majority of businesses use content marketing, and yet most of them fail. Ninety-four percent of B2B small businesses use content marketing.


And how many of these small businesses are successful at content marketing? Not many. In fact, even they don’t think they’re successful.

Only 9 percent of B2B marketers rate their organization as “very effective” at content marketing. Ouch.


I’ve found some trends that might explain why these companies are failing at content marketing.

For many people, it’s not that their content marketing failed; it’s that their strategy failed. It could also be that they didn’t even have a strategy.

And that brings me to the number one reason companies fail miserably at content marketing:

You have no strategy

It’s as simple as that — most people fail because they have no content marketing strategy.

As you’re creating your strategy, look at which of your competitors have already been successful. You can learn a lot from someone else’s failures and successes.

Why has their content been successful? Emulate that.

Where have they shared their content? Mimic that.

Who’s sharing their content? Reach those prospects.

Your success in content marketing has everything to do with creating a strategy and delivering on your objectives.

Of the companies who rated their efforts as successful at content marketing, 66 percent had a documented content marketing strategy.


This chart also shows that the B2B content marketers who were the most effective were using three more social media platforms and five more marketing tactics on average than those who were the least effective.

Having a focused strategy can make all the difference between content marketing success and failure.

You’re not investing enough time into planning

You don’t have to sink all of the company funds into strategy, but you do have to invest.

No investment equals content marketing failure.

When asked, 48 percent of content marketers said they plan to increase their spending over the next 12 months.


Content marketing has long been considered the magic bullet in the marketing world, and the belief continues to increase as more companies generate success.

With only 9 percent of companies planning to decrease their content marketing spending, it’s clear that content marketing can be successful and is here to stay. That’s all the more reason to learn how to be a successful content marketer.

On average, B2B companies spend 31 percent of their marketing budget on content.


When you’re deciding what to invest in content marketing, just remember that you get what you pay for. Your budget should give you space to create great content.

The content is boring

Boring content doesn’t get shared or read. For your content marketing to be successful, you must produce interesting content.

And yes, it’s possible to create interesting, actionable content no matter what topic you’re writing about.

HVAC? How about content on improving in-home energy-efficiency. Dentistry? How about an article on whether or not George Washington really had wooden teeth. (He didn’t.) Would you read those? I would.

Keep it interesting and readers will flock to your site.

However, “good” content isn’t always enough.

Creating interesting content is only step one in creating content for your content marketing strategy.

Your content should also inspire your community. Viral content or content that keeps readers coming back to your site should present an opposing view or spark a discussion.

There are several reasons why businesses create boring content.

  • They hired an inexpensive or inexperienced writer.
  • They don’t know what kind of content to create for their business.
  • The content is flat out boring.
  • They don’t understand their target audience.

The world of content marketing is getting more and more competitive, so stand-out content is more important than ever.

Quality content can make the difference between content marketing success and failure. This is definitely a case of quality over quantity, as well.

You’ve got unrealistic expectations

In the world of viral content, we’ve all heard the stories about companies that write blog posts and make millions the next week. This does happen — I could tell you a few of my own personal stories — but it’s not the norm. Far from it, actually.

Be careful not to set your goals too high.

It’s unrealistic to expect to hit viral fame with just two or three blog posts under your belt. Make sure to set reasonable goals and metrics when creating your content marketing strategy.


Your goals and metrics should fit your company and what you want to achieve. If you’re a small plumbing company in rural Oklahoma, it’s unlikely that you’ll have over a million Instagram followers.

Those goals and metrics just aren’t right for your company.

You’re creating but not promoting

Don’t be anti-social!

Creating content and then simply publishing it on your blog and calling it a day is about as effective as not creating the content.

Promotion is the major component of content marketing.

There are countless ways to promote your content, from social media to email marketing to referral links and beyond.

If you’re creating but not promoting, your content marketing will become a flop.

Once you choose how and where you want to market your content, make sure that you give love to each channel you’ve chosen.

Consistency is key when publishing content on your social media and blog.

Your content can’t be a success unless people see it. Putting content on your blog and not sharing it is like shouting into a canyon and expecting a response.

You’re ignoring the analytics

Once you’ve set your goals, you have to measure your success.

If you ignore the analytics, there’s no way to know what works.

When I encourage you to measure analytics to measure success, I don’t just mean one metric. Your goals and metrics should be based on multiple numbers.

The majority of B2B small businesses measure their content marketing success based on their website traffic. This isn’t a bad way to measure success, but it shouldn’t be the only way to monitor the success of your content marketing strategy.


Your content marketing success should be measured by multiple metrics. You might choose to monitor your website traffic, SEO rankings, social media shares, and increased customer satisfaction.

But at the end of the day, what do you want to get out of your blog? More email sign ups? A boost in sales?

If you know your end goal, you’ll be able to track your content efforts to ensure they lead to the conversions that you’re aiming for.

The metrics you choose to define your success by…