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Common Reasons for Content Marketing Failure

*The original article can be found in ASPE’s ROI November/December Newsletter. Interested in more articles like this one? View the most current newsletter here.*

As content marketing continues to grow in popularity, the number of companies implementing this strategy will also rise.While some organizations have a clearly defined plan in place, others take a scattergun approach and hope for the best.

Has your content marketing strategy come up short in the past? Are you looking for a way to change your fortunes in the future? If you answered yes to either question, you need to know what you are doing right, what you are doing wrong, and how to make the appropriate adjustments as you continue forward.

No two content marketing strategies are exactly the same. However, regardless of your company or industry, there are reasons why this part of your marketing plan may have failed you in the past. Here are five common reasons for content marketing failure:

1. Taking a “half in, half out” approach. Just because content marketing is the “in” thing doesn’t mean it is the only way to market your business.

If you aren’t all in with content marketing, you should stay on the outside for the time being. Anybody can create a blog, but not everybody has what it takes to keep it fresh.

It takes time to create high quality blog posts. Not only that, but it takes creativity to continue with the content creation process on a regular basis.

Simply put, if you don’t have what it takes to blog regularly, you will find it challenging to gain traction. Your readers want to hear from you consistently. Are you able to give them what they want?

2. Believing that longer is always better. Google has made it perfectly clear that it is uninterested in websites with little or no original content. Here is what the search engine giant has to say about this:

“One of the most important steps in improving your site’s ranking in Google search results is to ensure that it contains plenty of rich information that includes relevant keywords, used appropriately, that indicate the subject matter of your content.

However, some webmasters attempt to improve their pages’ ranking and attract visitors by creating pages with many words but little or no authentic content. Google will take action against domains that try to rank more highly by just showing scraped or other cookie-cutter pages that don’t add substantial value to users.”

This has led many to believe that longer has to be better. This may be right to a certain degree, as longer posts give you the chance to provide more detailed information. At the same time, you don’t necessarily need to compose long pieces of content, such as those in excess of 1,000 words, in order to achieve great results.

What you should care about the most is this:

  • Providing value no matter what you are talking about
  • Making sure your content is unique
  • Building trust among your readers

Rather than focus all your time and attention on hitting a particular word count, take a stronger look at the quality of your content. This is what matters most.

3. Keeping the best content for your blog. When you come up with a killer idea for a piece, you have some big decisions to make. Most importantly, you have to answer this question:  where will you publish the article?

It is a common belief that your best content should be published on your site. While this may help your site grow, there is something you need to consider:  there are other places that may be better suited for your best content.

Don’t hesitate to hold off on publishing as you search for the perfect partner. It is likely that there are bigger and better outlets out there. By posting your piece on a third party site, as a guest post, for instance, you may be able to generate more traffic and interest.

4. You lack a clear plan for defining success. Is there anything better than tracking your content marketing strategy back to a big sale? This is sure to put a smile on your face as it makes you realize that all your hard work has paid off.

Unfortunately, you cannot expect every piece of content to generate sales. You need to focus on more than sales. Here are some of the other ways you can benefit from content marketing:

  • Building your brand
  • Increasing the number of high quality backlinks to your site, thus strengthening its authority
  • Connecting with others, including potential customers, current customers, and those who simply enjoy what you are doing

Even if your content marketing strategy comes up short in terms of generating sales, there are other benefits to be aware of.

5. The belief that you have to do everything on your own. From one-man companies to those with hundreds of employees, there is always help to be had.

Have you given any thought to hiring a freelance writer to produce blog posts for your company? Have you experimented with the idea of enlisting the help of employees within a variety of departments, knowing that each person can bring valuable advice to the forefront?

You should never feel as if you have to create all the content on your own. Even if you enjoy doing so, don’t be afraid to hand off the responsibility from time to time. Not only will this save you time, but it will allow you to more easily provide unique content.

These five reasons for content marketing failure never have to slow you down. Now that you are aware of the mistakes that others are making, you can avoid doing the same in the future. As a result, you can expect solid results from your content marketing strategy.

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