Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content.
I am, from m marketing agency, asked to troubleshoot why someone’s content marketing campaign has not been the success they had hoped for. Almost always, the cause of the problem falls within the scope of one of the following reasons. Here, in reverse order, are my top five reasons why content marketing campaigns fail:
- You are not content marketing:
Content marketing is marketing a business to achieve one or more goals of that business. If the achievement of your business goal isn’t the rationale for producing your content, you’re blogging. That important distinction is not always understood.
Many content creators don’t understand the part content marketing plays in moving your prospects along your sales funnel. Different types of content are needed for every stage, that’s for suspects, prospects, and retaining and selling again to existing customers. If you’re not producing content that supports each stage within the sales process, you’re not content marketing.
2. There is not a market for your product or service:
It never ceases to surprise me how many businesses fail because the founders did not do proper research to establish whether there was a market for their business and or whether their product or service met that need.
You can have a technically excellent product, but it will fail if no one wants to buy it. I once worked for a company that had such a product. Every prospect the sales department presented to said what an excellent idea it had been , but they might not pip out . It was a solution looking for a problem. Then you have the other side of the coin: There is a market, but your product or service does not meet it. There is a problem, but you do not have the solution.
No matter how good your content marketing is, your campaign will fail in its objective of acquiring new customers if: There is no market for your product or service, or
If your product does not solve the customer’s problem.
3. You are publishing in the wrong place:
You must ensure that your content gets to your target audience. You need to know:
Who your target audience is. That includes demographic information like their age, gender, socio-economic group, whether or not they are likely to be married, and if they need a family;
Where they currently go to get information; and How they prefer to consume data.
Let’s consider a couple of examples:
Example 1: You have a business that provides support for WordPress websites globally. Your target audience is likely to be business owners that already have, or intend to have a website on the WordPress platform. They are likely to be within the age bracket 24 to 54 years old, likely to be married and doubtless have a family. They are entrepreneurs, not software engineers.
You will find them on Linked In, and that they probably even have a private and business Face Book presence. They are also very likely to use mobile computing devices, which is their device of choice for consuming data.
You need to be publishing your content within the places these people attend for answers to their WordPress problems, like You Tube, podcasts (think iTunes, Sticher, Podcast Republic, and Zune to call but a few) – you’ll either have your own show or make guest appearances on other shows, SlideShare, writing articles (think long SlideShare documents, not just article directories), blogs, and forums for WordPress users.
Example 2: You provide an on-line tuition course in mathematics. Your target audience is likely to be school age children and their parents. They will have a private Face Book presence and can probably also use one or more of the opposite popular social networking sites like WhatsApp and Line. They are likely to have a Gmail account and also use You Tube.
The nature of your service lends itself to visual media, which is how this group prefers to consume data. Your target audience will be using sites such as Udemy and You Tube to find content
The preferences of your target audience will determine where you need to publish your content, and predicate the medium you use to deliver your content. If your audience prefers to consume visual content, text based content won’t appeal to them and that they are going to be much less likely to go to text based content sites.
If your target audience prefers to consume data at a time and in a place that suits them, in other words, they want to consume content on demand, consider audio podcasting. However, you should only do so if your content lends itself to the spoken word.
Should you publish your content on your own website?
The answer depends on how long you’ve got been in business, and what reputation you already enjoy. The Pareto principle or the 80:20 rule will apply in any event. If your business may be a start-up or may be a young business, 80% of your content should published off your website. As your business becomes established and your reputation has grown, that ratio can be reversed.
Not only do you need to publish your content in the places your audiences goes to for information, you must ensure that it comes to their attention. That means systematically promoting your content on social networking sites such as Face Book, Google+, Linked In and You Tube, as well as on Twitter, Reddit, StumbleUpon and other similar sites. Consider issuing a press release and linking to the piece of content in blog posts and comments, and on forums. If you have an email list, tell your list about the content you have created and ask them to share it with others.
You should expect to spend at least as much time promoting your content as you did in creating it. Not all marketers do that , which is why many content marketing campaigns fail.