Top 5 Reasons Why Your Content Marketing Campaign Fails

I have, from time to time, been asked to troubleshoot why someone’s content marketing campaign did not find the success they had hoped for. Almost always, the cause of the problem falls into the scope of one of the following reasons. Here, in reverse order, are my top five reasons why content marketing campaigns fail:

# 5. You are not content marketing:

Content marketing is the marketing of a business to achieve one or more of its goals. If the achievement of your business goal is not a reason to produce your content, then you are blogging. That important difference is not always understood.

Many content creators do not understand the role that content marketing plays in moving your prospects along with your sales funnel. Each phase requires a variety of materials, i.e. to retain and sell dubious, prospects and current customers. If you don’t produce content that supports every stage of the sales process, you’re not content marketing.

# 4. There is no market for your product or service:

It never ceases to amaze me how many businesses fail because the founders did not do proper research to establish whether there is a market for their business and or whether their product or service meets that need.

You may have a technically excellent product, but it will fail if someone does not want to buy it. I once worked for a company that had such a product. Every prospect presented by the sales forces said what a great idea it was, but they wouldn’t buy it. That was the solution to the 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 have no solution.

No matter how good your content marketing is, your campaign will fail at its goal of gaining new customers if:

  • There is no market for your product or service, either
  • If your product does not solve the customer’s problem.

# 3. You are publishing in the wrong place:

You need to make sure your content reaches your target audience. What you need to know:

  • Who is your target audience. It includes demographic information such as their age, gender, socio-economic group, whether they can get married and if they have a family;
  • Where they currently go to get information; And
  • How they choose to use the data.

Let’s consider some examples:

Example 1: You have a business that provides support for WordPress websites globally. Your target audience is likely to be business owners who already own or intend to have a website on the WordPress platform. They are likely to be in the age group of 24 to 54, they are married and probably have a family. They are entrepreneurs, not software engineers.

You’ll find them on LinkedIn, and they may even have a personal and business Facebook presence. They are also likely to use mobile computing devices, the device of their choice to access data.

You need to publish your content where these people go for answers to their WordPress problems, such as YouTube, podcasts (think for iTunes, Stitcher, Podcast Republic, and Zune name) – you have either your other shows, slideshares, Write articles (think about long slideshare documents, not just article directories), make guest appearances on blogs and forums for WordPress users or do your own show.

Example 2: You offer an on-line tuition course in mathematics. Your target audience can be school-age children and their parents. They will have a personal Facebook presence and will probably also use one or more other popular social networking sites such as WhatsApp and Line. They are likely to have a Gmail account and also use YouTube.

Given the nature of your service to visual media, this group prefers to use data. Your target audience will use sites like Udemy and YouTube to find content.

Your target audience’s preferences will determine where you need to publish your content, and predict what medium you will use to deliver your content. If your target audience prefers to use visual content, text-based content will not appeal to them and they will be less likely to visit text-based content sites.

If your target audience prefers to use data at a time and in a place that suits them, in other words, they want to use content on demand, consider audio podcasting. However, you should only do so if your content lends itself to spoken word.

Should you publish your content on your own website?

The answer depends on how long you have been in the business and what reputation you enjoy. The Pareto principle or the 80:20 rule will apply in any event. If your business is a start-up or a young business, 80% of your content should be published from your website. As your business is established and your reputation grows, that ratio can be reversed.

You don’t just have to publish your content wherever your audience goes for information, you need to make sure it gets their attention. That means systematically promoting your content on social networking sites like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube, as well as Twitter, Reddit, StumbleUpon and other similar sites. Consider issuing a press release and linking part of the content in blog posts and comments and in forums. If you have an email list, share your list of content you 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 creating it. Not all marketers do this, which is why many content marketing campaigns fail.

# 2. Your campaign is too short:

Although there are people who claim great success in a short campaign, these are the lucky few exceptions. For most of us, content marketing is a medium to long term exercise that plays different roles for different phases of our sales funnel. In other words, you need to create content that is appropriate for and supportive of each stage of the purchase process.

For example, let’s say you have a business selling video cameras and accessories. You will need to create content that explains the different types of cameras available, their prices, uses for which it is most appropriate and how much knowledge and experience the user needs to operate the device. This type of content is intended for anyone browsing your online store to see what is available.

Next, you can split your content to cover different segments of your potential audience, such as family and vacationers, hobbyists and people looking for a camera to take videos of high-end amateur and professional users. The features, advantages and disadvantages of each product in the market segment, content comparing pros and cons if you like will help the potential customer to make a short list of suitable products. The person browsing your site is now a possibility.

The next set of content will focus on the specific product and the benefits of buying it from you. This type of content will help convert potential into customers.

The final set of content will help your customer get the best out of their purchases and upsell product add-ons and accessories.

If you do not create content for each stage of the purchase process and after sales support, your content marketing campaign is not as successful as you expected.

# 1. Poor quality content:

The main reason many content marketing campaigns fail is poor quality content. The word “poor quality” covers many sins.

At the beginning of this article I said that your content must be created with the objective of achieving business goals. That’s true, but not only should your content marketing do it, it should solve the problem of your target audience. At least it should give them something of use and value. Unfortunately, a lot of the material that is made is a bit higher than the sales pitch with a thin curtain.

It goes without saying that your content should be grammatically correct and free of spelling mistakes. It should be well written and follow a logical order. If you are writing an article, your goal is to keep readers interested so they can reach your resource box. It is there that you should give the reader a good reason to click on the link to your website from where you will sell.

Similarly with video. You want to keep the viewer’s attention until they see the call to action, which is usually to click on the link in the description.

Poor quality is a description that can also be applied to content that is too short or too general that is of no help to the person consuming it. Your content should be long enough to provide all the information needed to provide enough detail, but short enough to make sure you retain their interest.

There is another definition of poor quality content that is often overlooked by content marketers, i.e., even if they are aware of it. If your content fails to connect with your audience, it may not achieve one of your business goals. Most marketers measure the success of their content by how many views it gets, or how many likes it gets, or a combination of both. A piece of content may have been viewed multiple times, and it may have received a large number of likes, but no one connected with it. They haven’t commented on it, or shared it with their own audience, or tweeted about it, or listed it on Reddit or StumbleUpon.

For your content marketing to succeed, your audience needs to engage with your content.

The Takeaway:

As marketers, I think we can overcome the following issues:

# 1. There must be a competent market for your product or service;

# 2. Your content should help you achieve a business goal;

# 3. Your content should be published in places where your audience can find it, and you must promote your content;

# 4. Your content marketing campaign should support all phases of the sales process as well as provide after sales support, and

# 5. You should create good quality content that encourages audience engagement.

Your content marketing campaign is likely to be successful if you apply these five lessons.

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