7 Problems that Can Kill Your Content Marketing Strategy

By July 18, 2023 No Comments
problems that can kill your content marketing strategy

Content marketing can be one of the most effective types of modern marketing, but only if it’s executed correctly. If you’ve created a content marketing strategy for your business, but it didn’t work, you may be wondering why. Let’s take a look at a few of the problems that can kill your content marketing strategy.

What is Content Marketing?

Before we discuss the reasons that can cause content marketing strategies to fail, let’s first define what we mean by content marketing. The concept of content marketing is pretty simple; it’s creating content that gets your audience’s attention, helps to solve their problems or answer their questions, and encourages them to make a purchase or inquire with your business.

Content marketing differs from traditional forms of marketing that put messages in front of customers and try to convince them to make a purchase, whether or not they may be interested in the product to begin with. Many consumers tune out these types of messages today, or find them disingenuous or unreliable. Content marketing meets the customer when they’re interested and searching for solutions, and engages them with content that moves them towards a particular brand.

Is Content Marketing For Everyone?

Some businesses think that content marketing doesn’t make sense for their business or products. This is seldom true. Before a customer makes any purchase, there’s a decision-making process in their mind, whether it’s conscious or not. Obviously, the decision-making process for buying a car is going to be a lot different from the process behind buying a candy bar, and different content marketing strategies take these differences into account. But, content marketing can improve sales for nearly any product or service, with the right approach. If your content marketing strategy didn’t work and you’re wondering if your business simply isn’t a good fit, consider these other factors first.

7 Problems That Can Kill Your Content Marketing Strategy

1. No Ownership Over Content

As you might expect from the name, high-quality content is a critical component to a successful content marketing strategy. If your marketing team develops a targeted content marketing strategy, but it isn’t clear who is supposed to create the content or how, that’s a big problem.

A content creation calendar can help to solve this problem. This calendar may be simple or detailed, but it should clearly show what content is expected, when it should be completed, who will create it, and who will publish it. Everyone on the team should be involved in creating this calendar. If anyone on the team doesn’t have the time, knowledge, skills, or resources to complete their tasks, encourage them to speak up, so the tasks can be delegated properly.

2. Nothing Original

Content marketing generally relies on helpful, novel, instructional content to help point potential customers to a high-quality solution. However, the most helpful knowledge or expertise is often kept by individuals that don’t regularly write or produce content. Often, these individuals have other tasks within the company, from repairing equipment to developing products to helping customers, and much more. This sometimes leaves content creators and marketers with the responsibility to produce highly technical content designed for informed consumers, which they may not have the expertise to effectively create. This can result in content that is reworked from existing resources, and doesn’t provide anything novel or especially helpful for customers. This type of content generally won’t rank well, and it won’t generate much engagement.

Often, the most compelling content relies on alliance between industry or company experts and marketers. This requires company experts to make time to share their expertise, and it requires that marketers learn these technical aspects well enough to ask the right questions. When this alliance is effective, the resulting content is novel, informative, and optimized for SEO.

3. Nothing Helpful

A content marketing strategy must provide value for customers, or it will be quickly ignored. In an effort to fill a blog or news section of their website, some businesses author company-focused content, like updates on new employees, accolades, or new products. While this might be suitable for a company newsletter or another internal update, it’s unlikely to interest or engage potential customers. This is one problem that can quickly kill your content marketing strategy.

A focused content marketing strategy provides answers to questions a customer might have, helps to relieve their anxiety about a problem, or gives them information that can help them make an informed decision. This might mean comparing potential solutions, even if you don’t provide all of them. Or, it might mean explaining a common problem in your industry, and how it can be solved. Talking to customers, researching commonly asked questions reviewing competitors’ content, or reviewing content from industry partners can all help to create value-focused content.

4. Too Promotional

It can seem counter-intuitive, but content that is overly promotional is one of the most common problems that can kill your marketing strategy. A company may be creating content that answers customers’ questions and provides value, but the content is focused too heavily on the company’s own products or sales, not solutions. This type of content quickly becomes a typical advertisement, which customers will distrust and tune out.

It can be scary, or it can seem counterproductive, to highlight solutions that you don’t provide, or use competitors’ products or services in your content. However, this not only makes your content more engaging and trustworthy, but it can also help to weed out customers that are likely to be displeased or have a bad experience. These customers probably aren’t the right fit for your company, and it’s ultimately better for your customer service staff, sales staff, and your business overall if they find the right solution elsewhere.

5. No SEO

In some cases, a content marketing strategy may be filled with informative, novel, helpful content, but it still isn’t getting traffic. However, the content is disorganized, it’s hard for readers to follow, or it isn’t formatted in a readable way. This not only makes it difficult for customers to read, but it also causes search engines to demote the content in search engine results. That means, the content might answer a potential customer’s questions or concerns, but they’re very unlikely to actually find it.

Though search engines have become incredibly good at understanding what content is about and how it relates to a user’s search query, they still require some direction. SEO best practices signal to search engines that the content is readable and accessible. These best practices also help search engines rank content appropriately, so users can find the right results for the right search.

6. No Measurement or Improvement

Some content marketing strategies produce high-quality content, but the strategy wasn’t established with clear guidelines for success. If a strategy isn’t given any metrics for measurement or what might make it successful, it’s impossible for the strategy to really be effective. With no way to measure success, it’s difficult for the strategy to ever improve, either.

It’s important to establish challenging, but realistic measures of success for your content marketing strategy. This might include new leads generated from content-focused landing pages, traffic improvements to particular pages, traffic improvements to your blog, or something else. Whatever metrics you use, it’s helpful to benchmark them against other marketing efforts you’ve used. This is an easy, short-hand way to set realistic goals for your content marketing strategy.

7. No CTAs

If you’ve created novel, helpful content, optimized that content for search engines, and set metrics for improvement, there’s still one important component that might be missing. Your customers must know how they can take the next step, so you can turn your effective content into leads and sales. This is where Calls to Action (CTAs) come in. CTAs can help you close the loop on your marketing strategy. Without them, potential customers may fall through the cracks.

Ideally, your CTAs should match your content. So, if your content is aimed at customers in an information-gathering stage, the CTA might link to a downloadable document, so the customer can get more information. You, in turn, will get a lead, which you can nurture and convert into a customer. Or, if the content is sales-oriented, like a comparison of different products, or a case study illustrating a customers’ experience, then the CTA might link to a sales page instead. It’s helpful to have a list of CTAs and landing pages you might use, so you can select a close fit for your content.

If your content marketing strategy didn’t work in the past, consider these problems. Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive, and sometimes problems with content marketing can be more complicated. If you have questions about content marketing and how it might work for your business, get in touch with us. We’d be happy to assess your business and brainstorm a strategy with you.

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