In 2014, 72% of B2B marketers expressed a desire to produce more content. But only 48% of smaller organizations and 41% of larger ones have a documented content strategy. This HUGE gap in creation and performance measurement is…
A recipe for content marketing fails
With documentation, you can evaluate your marketing decisions and eliminate the ineffective unprofitable ones. Whereas if you don’t record your content marketing activities:
- How do you find your most engaging content pieces?
- How do you even tie back your content production to your business bottom line?
No wonder that 60% of most effective B2C businesses have a documented content strategy.
Now that was just one tenant among the various content marketing fails. With content marketing becoming a norm, many companies just jump straight in without analysis and strategy.
So if you find yourself in the middle of a failing content marketing campaign or if you’re planning to launch one:
Here is a list of 4 major errors that lead to marketing fails.
1. What Is Content Marketing?
‘Content’ is a tricky misnomer for a wide range of marketing messages. Content doesn’t just mean “blog posts.” Videos, infographics, podcasts, social media posts, and even your landing pages are all examples of CONTENT.
You can say that any brand message that is useful, relevant, non-interrupting and valuable to your audience is a piece of content.
But that’s just the start of content marketing.
This content should help your business to attract an audience, build a relationship with them and ultimately…
Drive profitable customer action.
Now most companies shove their product pitches right into the face of a new blog visitor.
But depending on the source of entry of this new prospect…a first meeting doesn’t really translate to sales. For Moz, it takes at least seven-and-a-half visits to their website before a prospect opts for a free trial of their product.
Can you guess where the first four to five of these visits take place?
Nope. Not the sales pages.
The visitors first drift through the valuable content at Moz.
The Prayer of the Content Marketer
So repeat this content marketing prayer after me…
“I shall deliver valuable information to educate my customers and make them more knowledgeable. I shall be relevant, and they shall be grateful and appreciative. And unto me shall come customer loyalty in the long-term, amen!”
Moz is a perfect example of getting blessed with this prayer. Rand Fishkin continues to educate marketers and deliver amazing value every Friday in his Whiteboard episodes. They also have an incredibly insightful blog.
And stellar content marketing has contributed majorly in growing their revenue to $38 million.
Great content is an indispensable element in all forms of marketing. Here’s an infographic by Single Grain that accurately describes the role of content marketing in different stages of your funnel.
You don’t need to adopt every content aspect from the above chart in your funnel. You’ll need to modify your content marketing strategy based on your audience preferences.
2. Do You Believe It’s All About Clicking The Publish Button In Isolation?
If it’s all about providing value then:
Can you lock yourself in a room for three summers and keep spitting content?
It worked out for Kanye…
Not so much.
For one, Kanye seems to have completely lost his mind (just look at his Twitter feed).
But coming back to content marketing:
It’s an iterative process of learning about your audience and refining your content strategy.
Measure Your Metrics
Have a few KPI metrics in place for measuring your content marketing efforts. They can include conversions, on-page time, bounce rate, leads generated and email subscribers besides traffic.
If you want to fare better, you’ll need to perform regular website audits. Log into your analytics account every month and find the type of content that majorly impacts your bottom line.
You might be surprised to find that sometimes more traffic isn’t equal to more revenue. William Reed decided to deliberately lower the rankings for a high-traffic keyword (50,000 monthly search volume) for one of his clients. Because the term wasn’t relevant to the industry.
Sure his client website lost traffic. But by getting quality traffic from focused keywords:
William increased his client’s revenue by 50% to 60%.
Neil Patel recommends applying the 80-20 rule to your content. Find the top 20% posts that drove 80% of your traffic by navigating to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages inside Google Analytics.
Then analyze the characteristics of this ‘top content’ – category, format, length and the like. Now shift your content production to double down on this ‘top content’ and eliminate the ineffective kind.
You Need To Work To Get Your Content Noticed
The second aspect of pursuing content marketing in solitude is:
Consistently pushing the publish button to only get lost in the immense internet noise.
No, people won’t magically discover your content, land on your website and scout your product pages to click on the ‘Buy’ buttons.
Rand Fishkin believes “it’s the biggest myth that content marketing created in the world.”
This is how content marketing actually works.
Huffington Post (the biggest blog in the world) might be able to push out one content piece every 58 seconds. But in all probability, you don’t compare to them in terms of resources and existing audience numbers.
See the world won’t come knocking on your door because you’re delivering value…
You need to explore avenues where your audience hangs out online and brainstorm strategies to put your content in front of them.
With rising competition, crafting high-quality content is already a given. Content promotion and amplification is now the most critical aspect in the content marketing puzzle.
Take cues from Brian Dean…
He invests around 20 hours in writing one post – he has published only around 32 posts up till now. But most importantly, he extensively promotes every content piece.
That’s how he has managed to get 1 million visitors at Backlinko and build a successful business.