content marketing failures, content marketing tips,

5 reasons content marketing doesn’t work

There are 5 reasons content marketing doesn’t work. We explore each of them.

Content marketing is today’s buzzword. Everyone’s doing it. So what could be going wrong if your own content marketing efforts are not bearing fruit?

We’ve noticed five common reasons content marketing doesn’t work.

1. You don’t have a content marketing strategy or a plan

Many, if not most, businesses now recognise they need to do something about content marketing more or less immediately. So they roll up their sleeves and just start blogging, assuming the work will start coming straight way.

But there’s no point just hitting and hoping. Without proper planning any content you produce is likely to send out a confused message, or worse, the wrong one altogether.

It might sound trite but you can’t get to your destination unless you have a destination in the first place. You usually need at least a vague map for getting there. So before you start producing anything you need to work out a coherent strategy or plan.

2. You’re ignoring the data

One of the most powerful things content marketing gives you is data. You can see how many people are reading your articles, what’s driving people to your site, who is opening your emails and what they’re interested in, and a whole lot more. So now that you have access that information, use it! If something doesn’t connect with your audience in the way it should, ask yourself why. And, if you need to, go back to your plan and change what you’re doing.

After all, patience is a virtue, stubbornness is not.

3. You’re preaching to the converted

Blogging, social media, email, SEO and your website all share a symbiotic relationship. In other words, a blog is vital, but it won’t be very effective without every other part of your content marketing arsenal giving it the oxygen it needs to survive.

Too often we see businesses posting to a Facebook page that consists only of their friends and existing clients, or tweeting to a small list of followers without hashtagging (what are the odds that one of your 100 followers is even going to see it, let alone act on it?) or mailing an eNewsletter out to a static list of subscribers.

If that sounds like you, it’s time to revise and grow your content distribution channels. You need to build audiences and engagement. But that’s for another post.

4. You have unrealistic expectations about what content marketing can do

“Well, I blogged like you told me to and it got seen by thousands of people. But do you know how much new business I got? Zero”.

It’s true. We’ve heard this one before. But content marketing isn’t a magic bullet. No matter how many eyeballs you get reading something there’s no guarantee everything you do will translate into cold hard cash.

What content marketing can do effectively is build brand recognition and awareness: position your business properly and draw people into your sales funnel, even if it doesn’t convert them right away. Although done well it can do that too.

Remember what we said earlier about patience being a virtue?

5. You’re pumping out dodgy content

Your content marketing efforts will only be as effective as the content you’re using. So don’t produce bad content. And bad content isn’t just content that’s written badly or designed poorly, it’s anything that doesn’t engage your target audience. It has to be relevant and targeted.

The good news is that of the five mistakes we’ve identified this isn’t just the most common, it’s also the easiest one to fix. If you don’t write well, if your design is bad, if you’re sending the wrong material to people, all you have to do is stop now. Your content marketing efforts are probably doing more harm than good. And doing nothing means you’ll at least save the money you’re currently spending on something that’s harming your brand.

Better still, get some outside help from a professional who does know what they’re doing – from the big picture to the nitty gritty.  We promise it will be worth it.

Contact Antelope Media and find out how we can help your business win more work through content marketing.

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Read more: Why content marketing is like a Jane Austen novel

Read more: What Hemingway can teach us about writing for online

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Related services: Content marketing, Websites and digital marketing

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