6 Reasons Your Content Marketing Isn’t Working For You



By now, you’ve heard a million things about content marketing: its history, how it’s changing the face of digital marketing, and how it’s helping companies establish their presences online. You’ve come across blogs, articles, and case studies that show you exactly how potent content marketing can be for your business. And if you’re like 88 percent of B2B marketers, you already use it yourself with the hopes of engaging your audience and generating concrete returns.

However, because you haven’t seen substantial results just yet, you’re probably wondering whether your efforts are even worth it. You might find yourself thinking things like, “Is my content good enough?,” “Am I doing something wrong?,” or “What can I do differently?”

You aren’t alone. Content marketing continues to grow in practice and importance to companies’ marketing strategies, but it certainly doesn’t come without its challenges. If you wonder why your content isn’t working for you, one of these six practices might be to blame:

1. You don’t have a documented content marketing strategy in place.
To be measurably successful at something, you need to have a plan in place before you begin, yet only 32 percent of B2B marketers have a strategy documented for their team to use as a reference and revise over time. If you don’t have a content marketing strategy in place yet, now is the time to create and document one.

You must know what your key performance indicators are to start. Assess the results of your current efforts (such as website traffic, page views, social shares, click-through rates, etc.), and set goals for improvement. From there, match your key metrics to your content goals, track over time, and continuously review your strategy to ensure it’s effective.

It’s important to remember that your strategy can either work or fail — documenting it alone doesn’t guarantee success. If it works, that’s great! If it doesn’t, at least you’ll know what’s wrong and can make the necessary adjustments. Without a strategy, you’ll only find yourself going in circles, wasting your time and resources.

2. Your information isn’t completely factual, authentic, or compelling.
Audiences will instantly reject content they perceive as stale, repetitive, and inauthentic. And if it’s not at least factual and free of blatant mistakes, you can forget about engaging them.

Fresh and unique content, on the other hand, is welcomed with open arms. Your audience actively looks for content that’s informative, engaging, thoughtful, and valuable. If you want your audience to get hooked on your content, it must meet those criteria.

As you create content, consider your ideal audience members. What are their pain points? Their interests? Where during the buyer’s journey are they most likely to need and come across various pieces of your content? Put yourself in their shoes to generate the kind of content that will resonate with your readers, and back it up with solid research and relevant examples.

Apart from being factually correct, make sure your writing is free of research-related and grammatical errors. Ensure that it has a natural flow and doesn’t seem promotional in any way. You want to add value to your audiences’ lives through your content, not just sell your own products.

3. You don’t understand the role of SEO.
Simply writing and publishing content does not guarantee it will be found. You need to optimize it for search engines, which more creative content marketers may find too technical. However, SEO is crucial to content marketing success.

All you need to get started is a little keyword research through Moz or BuzzSumo to help you identify keywords and trending content that your audience searches for.

Underestimating the value of SEO to your efforts can hinder your success, but marrying SEO and content can deliver exceptional results. Understanding how to insert proper meta descriptions, title tags, slugs, alt tags, and links will help you improve your content. Not only does SEO make it easier for search engines (and audiences) to find your content, but it also can help you achieve higher click-through rates, too.

4. You haven’t allocated a sufficient budget for content marketing.
Sure, you can sign up for one of those free blogging or podcasting platforms and start churning out content. But what often comes with these free-to-use platforms is the false notion that content marketing is cheap. This idea may then result in your team allocating a much smaller budget for content marketing than it actually deserves.

The truth is, content marketing isn’t cheap, and high-quality content certainly comes at a price. Multiple departments can contribute to your content marketing budget, but Content Marketing Institute reports that the most effective B2B marketers allocate a major portion (42 percent) of their total budgets to content marketing. It takes a considerable amount of experience and dedicated content marketing teams to execute a strategy effectively; it’s not advisable to pinch pennies here.

5. You’re not actively and strategically promoting your content.
So you’re dishing out high-quality content but find that you still have no takers for it? Maybe you haven’t taken the right steps to bring it to people’s attention. While I’ve mentioned that your content itself should not be promotional, you can (and should) promote your content. Doing so is necessary if you want to get it to the right audience.

A few great ways to distribute and promote your content include:
Joining industry-related communities. Online groups and forums make fantastic platforms to share relevant articles and videos. They also provide opportunities to network with other bloggers, experts, and influencers.

Using social networks effectively. Sharing posts on social media and through email is easy and convenient. Share your own content, and encourage other members of your company to do the same and increase reach.
Advertising your content. Even it means paying for it, advertising content through Google AdWords or social can be a good option and pay off in the long term.

Adopting online tools. Digital tools like Periscope, Flipboard, BuzzStream, and BuzzSumo can help your audience find your content — plus they allow you to engage with your audience in creative ways, too.

6. You’re not being patient with your results.

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