Why Content Marketing Didn’t Work for You and What You Can Do About It
A quick Google search for the phrase “content marketing doesn’t work” returns a host of opinions from some very distinguished people on the difficulties surrounding this darling of the new digital media marketing world. Some, like Forbes contributor Mark Templeman, admit that it’s more accurate to say that content marketing doesn’t work for every company because of a disconnect between the expectation and the reality or because of some other flaw in the plan.
It doesn’t work for many companies because they either have the wrong expectations or the wrong creation and promotion strategies. And when content marketing isn’t deployed correctly, it doesn’t work.
Even though companies big and small are starting to throw more money at content marketing, that doesn’t necessarily mean those efforts will pay off. Content marketing isn’t just about the budget available. It isn’t even just about the amount of people you have working on it or the amount of content being put out if there’s a pivotal flaw in the way the efforts are being structured. Content marketing campaigns fail even when there’s big bucks and big names behind them. Read on to learn why content campaigns don’t pan out the way they’re supposed to and how you can avoid marketing campaign failure.
1. Failure to Make a Plan
Not making a plan is quickest way to get your content efforts off to a terrible start. Even with tons of funding, a campaign isn’t guaranteed success if you administrate it in a one-off, piecemeal way. Sure you might get some traction and you might be able to start putting posts out there sooner, but you’ll miss out on the benefits that a full, integrated campaign will give you.
Peter Drucker’s SMART acronym is one way to make sure you have a good plan to guide your content creation. The acronym refers to the things your goals should be: specific, measurable, assignable, realistic and time-related. Here’s how this relates to your content plan:
- Specific: What exactly do you want to accomplish in your campaign? What will your message be, what types of content will you create and how will you disseminate it?
- Measurable: How will you know that you are successful? This is another key area that can doom your content creation efforts before you even start. Make sure you know what success looks like, whether that’s in terms of social engagements, website interactions, leads generated or a combination of several factors.
- Assignable: Someone has to produce all the content, and if you don’t have the time, skills or inclination, you might need to consider finding article writers to help you produce enough content to make your campaigns worthwhile.
- Realistic: Content marketing isn’t a game of speed. To see true results from this type of marketing (and trust us, when done right, the rewards are worth it) you need to invest at least 9 months of focused energy to make a content strategy work.
- Time-Related: As we mentioned previously, content marketing takes time. Still, you should have a timeline for various milestones as well as a date set when you plan to evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign thus far.
2. Failure to Invest the Resources
Companies of all types and sizes won’t get far with content marketing if they can’t devote the time and effort needed to create an eclectic mix of engaging content presented in interesting ways. Whether it is because of lack of interest or too many competing duties, sometimes content marketing fails simply because companies find they can’t keep up with the article writing required.
Throwing more money at this problem isn’t necessarily the best way to fix it, which is why large companies fail at content marketing just as often as small companies. There are a few ways to handle the time commitment needed to ensure content marketing success.
- Do It Yourself: Yes, this is the cheapest way to do content marketing, but it takes the most time. Not every company has the luxury of investing in full-time content writers, which means many people tasked with making content marketing work have to balance it with social media, lead generation, event marketing and many other areas. Make sure you plan realistic amounts of work for yourself if you choose this option.
- Hire More People: One option is to hire more full-time people to help with article writing. Though this can be effective, it also is a considerable financial investment and, like any hire, comes with risks.
- Work With a Professional: The option with the least time investment on your part is to hire article writers to do your content creation for you. Companies like BKA Content that provide this service may cost less than hiring full-time employees, while providing you more value for your money.
3. Getting Too Impatient
You may think your content marketing work didn’t pay off, but in reality, you may just need to wait a little longer to see results. You cannot expect to see results overnight. It takes time to improve search rankings and build up your authority on social media. Also, your customers may simply not be ready to contact you because of your marketing. According to CEB’s Marketing Leadership Council, buyers are already over halfway through the buying process before they decide to make contact with companies.
4. Lacking the Skills
Sorry to break it to you, but all the money and blog posts in the world won’t give you the returns you want if your content isn’t good. You can’t expect your audience to click on a poorly-worded headline, struggle through a fluffy, bland article and then feel motivated to follow a call-to-action. Respect your readers and give them high-quality content with thought-out, meaty ideas. This is why it’s very important to hire content writers that are skilled at their craft and won’t try to take the easy way out.
Let’s get one thing straight. Content marketing isn’t easy and it isn’t made for people who want to succeed without putting in the work. On the flip side, content marketing is very effective and fits well with the way people research and buy in the modern era. For best results, go into any campaign with a full understanding of how it might fail and how you can avoid this outcome.