According to Content Marketing Institute, content is a part of 73% of B2B marketers’ marketing initiatives, while 83% of companies surveyed by NP Digital said they plan to up their content production spend in 2023.
That’s a lot of investment to leave to chance if you don’t have a sound strategy in place that consistently delivers results.
If you’re not seeing your desired returns or engagement, it’s understandable to search for answers. And to be honest, those answers often aren’t as straightforward as we’d like them to be.
Thankfully there are some common pitfalls I’ve seen companies get caught in that can help you take a critical eye to your content marketing strategy and make sure you’re not making those same missteps.
If you’re wondering why your content strategy isn’t reaching the heights you hoped it would, you’re probably making one of these common content marketing mistakes.
You Lack a Detailed, Documented Strategy
Revenue increases are always a good thing, right? In visualizing ideal content marketing outcomes, improving the department’s bottom line is certainly one of them.
But that’s hard to do when you don’t have an effective nurture campaign. Or when you’re more focused on social shares than leads generated. Or when your sales and marketing don’t have processes in place to turn leads from calls to closes.
Before creating content, develop a strategy centered on your ultimate goal for your content marketing strategy, whether that’s lead generation, SEO, thought leadership, sales enablement, or a combination. Then, establish success metrics and create content that works toward improving those metrics. A well-crafted content strategy provides a road map to keep your content marketing efforts on track. (Not sure where to start? My team’s content marketing assessment can help you determine where the gaps are in your content strategy.)
You’re Thinking Too Short-Term
When companies commit to content marketing, many hope to attain thought leadership and brand awareness. How they go about doing so, however, can vary.
Sometimes, a company will load up on blog posts without exploring earned media. Others might see the value in PR and not think to explore guest-contributed articles that could help them own the messaging. And if they decide to prioritize guest-contributed articles, they might only take big swings at large publications instead of sprinkling niche publications into the mix.
Here’s the truth: One of the most common content marketing mistakes is thinking one of the above strategies alone will get it done. But a sustainable content approach leverages a combination of them and practices patience.
I’ve seen far too many companies test out content marketing for three months and then move on when the ROI isn’t immediate — only to later come back to content. A great process that consistently generates leads takes at least a year to materialize, and it’s never fully done.
We’ve been doing our own content marketing at my company for over eight years now, and every new year is a new learning experience. We’re always testing and tweaking our approach. If you give yourself a three-month content marketing runway, that’s as good as flushing money down the toilet. Take time to find your groove and create a sustainable strategy that can generate results for years to come.
You’re Not Prioritizing Quality Enough
Too often, I see companies focus on content quantity instead of quality. They’re OK with cranking out a bunch of 500-word AI-sounding blog posts and calling it a day. The result? The content is devoid of personality, expertise, or real value.
Be it blog posts, guest posts, whitepapers, or videos, your content needs to offer something that leaves your audience members better off than when you found them. Take SEO, for example. Lots of companies use it to improve search rankings and get in front of prospects more quickly. That’s fine, but if you only optimize your on-site content, don’t leverage backlinks, or only focus on hypercompetitive keywords, you can shortchange the process.
Instead, the key should be finding creative and engaging topics that also help accomplish your defined goals and help readers address their pain points. Readers won’t remember the company that put out the most content, but they will remember the one that created high-quality, engaging content that truly helped them in some way.
Why content marketing fails rarely comes down to one single reason. What’s important is that your company invests the necessary time and thought into creating a content marketing strategy that truly generates measurable results that bring you closer to achieving your defined content marketing goals.