Why Content Marketing Plans Fail

by | Jun 28, 2016 | blog

You’ve spent the last month reading every blog post and e-book you can get your hands on. You’ve spent countless hours watching YouTube videos and you’ve worked out your content marketing plan. Fantastic! Then you plough hours into writing your first blog post or recording your first video and hit the publish button, just waiting for the likes, shares and comments to come rolling in. But to your surprise, days go by without a single click. Not even a nibble at the fishing rod of your blog. So you begin to wonder – is it all worth it? Don’t be daft – of course, it is! But before you try again, first have a long look at why your first attempt failed. 

1 – You Have No Goal In Mind

This is an interesting one. We get a lot of clients who say ‘we know we should have a blog’, which is great – but they have no idea what they want to do with it. The first question you should be asking yourself when you start your content marketing plan is what you want to achieve with your efforts. Do you want to create an information channel for your customers? Or maybe you want to provide a platform for reviews and interviews, r a place to showcase your knowledge to potential buyers? Understanding what you are trying to achieve with your content marketing goes a long way to shaping your strategy and approach, meaning you will spend time and money on the right things.

2- You Have No Way To Amplify Your Content

If you host a dinner party but don’t send out any invitations, you are guaranteed to dining alone. Sure there is the slim chance that a friend or relative might drop round unexpectedly, but they are unlikely to stay for dinner. The same thing will happen if you don’t amplify your content once it’s been created. If you don’t spread the word about your content and promote it – no one is going to know it’s there. The channels you can use to amplify and promote your content vary depending on your business and where your potential customers are, but they generally fall into 3 categories:

  • Broadcast by posting links through social media, publishing the content on platforms and sending through emails. When using this you should also encourage your readers to share your content.
  • 1-2-1 Outreach by sending links through emails, directly linking to one specific person on social media or talking about the content in person.
  • Paid Amplification using promoted posts and sponsored posts on social media.

3 – You Think It’s A Quick Fix

In life and in business, there is no such thing as a ‘quick fix’. That includes content marketing. The trouble a lot of businesses find is that they plan for content to be the guiding light to mend all of their problems and get business on the right path within a few short months. But nothing about content marketing is quick. An effective content marketing strategy can take years to build up properly, and it takes a lot of long term planning and dedication. What we’re saying is, if your marketing plan calls for 6 months of content marketing, save yourself time and money and don’t bother. The art of successful content marketing is one of long term goals, careful planning and dedication. A short foray to try and boost your marketing efforts just isn’t going to cut it.

4 – You Believe Content = Sales

Unfortunately, it is a myth that by just creating the content and publishing it, your business will gain committed customers straight away. Much as we might like this to be true, it simply doesn’t work that way. The majority of visitors to your blog or readers of your newsletter aren’t going to read through it, then read through everything else you’ve written and share it to all of their friends and clients. It takes a phenomenal post to reach the ‘viral’ level, and it’s usually the unexpected ones that manage it. Instead what happens is that your visitor reads your blog, goes away and thinks about it, maybe visiting again in a little while to see if you’re written anything new. At this stage you are just starting to build a relationship with this visitor, the first tiny step in their buying journey. It is up to you to guide them through the buying cycle with more quality content and targeted outreach channels. Remember – content marketing isn’t about instant conversion to sales, it’s about building a solid base for a business relationship to blossom on.

Content marketing is all about perseverance, determination and consistency. Once you understand your customers, where they are and what they want to read, you have started on the right track. When you understand what you want to achieve from your content marketing strategy you can start to make real progress. Try new things, experiment and above all don’t give up! For advice or help creating your own content marketing plan, get in touch with our content experts today.

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