Three reasons content marketing fails (and what you can do to avoid them)
“Content marketing” has become the new mantra for brand and performance marketers, however, an increasing number of those who embraced content marketing are now disappointed with the results.
From working with some of the best and brightest marketers on the planet, it is clear that there are three culprits in content marketing failures:
You View Content Marketing as a Campaign
Content Marketing is more than a program or a campaign – it is a strategy. Content Marketing is about building relationships over time. Companies such as Red Bull and IBM who make Content Marketing a core part of their culture and marketing are those who are seeing the best results. If your Content Marketing plan has an “end date” in it, your chances of success are slim.
Your Content Isn’t Cutting It
An ongoing supply of good-quality, targeted content is key to Content Marketing success, but whereas marketers are told they need to act like publishers, becoming a publisher like The Guardian is hard, very hard. Companies that don’t have adequate resources, processes and tools rarely see the results they hoped for, since their content simply does not drive a change in consumer perception, knowledge or behaviour.
Nobody Comes to Your Show
Consumers are inundated with information and their attention span is ever-shrinking. You are competing for attention with legions of content creators – from family members to mega brands – across a host of channels. Even when a brand is “armed” with the best content, if distribution isn’t properly planned, managed and executed, positive returns are unlikely.
How does one start to compile a content distribution plan? First, it’s important to determine where your audience (or potential audience) lives. Do your social media posts typically get a lot of traction, or do you have a substantial email database with high response rates? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, then you’ll want to leverage those channels. Next, decide which paid distribution methods you wish to utilise. For example, if you post valuable content to your blog or website – try promoting this content via sponsored updates, paid search or display networks, or Content Discovery platforms. The keys to developing a solid content distribution plan are to experiment, test, measure, and modify based on your results.
Content Discovery is a new, unique way to distribute content. Platforms (like Taboola) use mathematical algorithms to match content to users based on several factors including context, collaborative filtering and social media trends. Users browsing the Web on desktops and mobile can discover personalised, relevant content they may like but never knew existed. Think of Content Discovery as a search engine but in reverse. Instead of users typing words to find information, content will find them. Content Discovery is successful partially due to the user’s mindset at the moment of discovery; rather than actively “hunting” for information, users who have just finished reading an article are more inclined to continue consuming content and click on content that interests them.
At first glance, diving into the world of Content Marketing sounds like a quick and easy way to boost brand awareness and conversions, but finding your yellow brick road to success may be more challenging than you originally anticipated. Remember, Content Marketing is about building long-lasting relationships with your consumers. It’s important to allocate your resources to create valuable, highly-engaging, and shareable content. Then, be sure to develop a comprehensive content distribution plan that blends free with paid content distribution methods to maximise your reach and return on investment.
Head of Media Sales
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