You’ve initiated your content marketing program. You’ve researched your target audience, you’re regularly publishing relevant content, and you’re promoting it.
Still, you don’t seem to be getting results.
Content marketing takes time, so this is not a problem unless you’ve been at it for several years and you’re not gaining any traction. If that’s the situation you find yourself in, then other factors need to be addressed.
Here are several reasons why content marketing can fail.
You’re Treating Content Marketing Like a Marketing Campaign
A campaign is a concerted effort to bring attention to a cause, product, service, promotion, or message. At first glance, content marketing doesn’t appear to conflict with this idea.
The main issue is that a campaign is not ongoing. Content marketing is supposed to be. If you’re always starting and stopping, you’re just confusing your audience and only generating short-term traffic.
If you’re serious about content marketing, you must begin thinking like a publisher.
You’ve Tarnished Your Reputation with Your Audience
Today, customer expectations are high, and disappointing them too many times could mean ruining your reputation with them.
It’s easy to earn a bad reputation, and incredibly difficult to eliminate. It starts to follow you everywhere you go – online reviews, blog comments, forum posts, and more. That will put a significant damper on your content marketing efforts.
People will overlook some of your flaws if you acknowledge them and rectify problems early. Sadly, many executive level people aren’t even aware of what their customers think of their company. Too much red tape can put a damper on transparent communication.
What are people saying about you and your company? If you don’t know, it’s time to do some research.
You Aren’t Tracking or Measuring Your Results
Your content marketing initiative might not be failing at all. It could be that you aren’t tracking or measuring results, and you don’t know what you want or what’s going on.
If you haven’t installed Google Analytics tracking code on your site already, that’s an excellent place to start.
You also must define what metrics are important to you – page views, conversions, blog comments, social shares, and so on. How else will you know when you’ve succeeded, never mind when you’ve failed?
Your SEO is an Utter Mess
Is your site mobile-friendly? Does it load quickly? Is it on a reliable server? Are you using black hat SEO tactics, keyword stuffing, spamming, or no? Is your site closer to a link directory than a proper content-rich website?
Google continually updates their algorithm to weed out and de-rank low-quality sites. Though your SEO does not need to be perfect for your site to be considered legitimate and valuable, you must get the basics covered.
You’re Creating Thin, Low-Quality Content
It’s all well and good to have publishing goals and to churn out content at a rapid rate. But it’s not doing you any good if it’s thin, low-quality, poorly-written content.
Take time to develop value-rich, relevant, quality content for your audience. Write at least 500 words, and add two or more images to each post. Include relevant quotes, charts, stats, presentations, videos, and other media.
If you’re having trouble putting together better content in a shorter timeframe, publish less and focus instead on your target audience who has pain points and questions that need answering.
You Have a Short-Term Mindset
You’re not looking at what content can do for you six months, one year, five years, or even ten years from now. You measure your success based on the engagement you receive on a few posts.
Some bloggers, entrepreneurs, and businesses gain traction with just a few posts. But it’s better to think of these as exceptions rather than the rule, or you might fall into the trap of thinking you should see content marketing success overnight.
Ultimately, your content marketing can’t fail if you’re looking at it the right way.
After all, you can always adjust and tweak your strategy as you go. As we’ve already established, content marketing is about ongoing publishing, and if something isn’t working, just look at it as an experiment gone awry and put new parameters in place for your next one.
Also, if you can’t publish regularly, consider using alternatives like advertising. But, no content marketing program indeed “fails” unless you run out of resources, your company shuts down, or you just give up on it altogether. As long as you’re in the game, there’s a chance to win.
What are your thoughts? What has worked for you with content marketing?
Let us know in the comments below.