Failure is something we’ve all experienced in our lives. Sadly, it is something some people use to define who they are. But failures aren’t always negative, it all depends on how you choose to look at it.
You can choose to use failure as an effective tool for learning, expanding your experiences, and helping you move closer to your goals. You have to learn to crawl and fall before you will ever walk and run. Most successful individuals experienced some kind of failure before they were able to make it to the top. Everyone should adopt this mindset. Make the negatives in your life a driving force for you to succeed. This idea should be applied to everything you do, including your content marketing strategies.
If you’re a content marketing specialist, website owner or a blog writer and you notice that your content marketing is not driving the expected traffic, you may need to stop and assess your strategy. Know which aspects of your strategy are not helping your efforts can lead to figuring out how to make your strategy better than ever in the long run.
Why Your Content Marketing Is Biting The Dust
Let’s say you’ve spent months developing and building an amazing content marketing team. They can create good content about anything and they have mastered the art of coming up with catchy titles or headlines. The blog looks great with a slick sidebar, high quality photos and the best choice of font. Yet, when you take a back seat to check out the results of these efforts, there’s no growth in traffic or readership, no sales that can link back to your content marketing strategy and the leads just aren’t coming in.
In 1996, Microsoft founder Bill Gates declared “content is king” in one of his essays. You can read some excerpts here. Bill Gates stated that faster connection speeds would make content the app of choice on the internet, creating a marketplace of products, ideas and experiences. Although his vision for the future was essentially correct, he moved quickly to acquire and create valuable content assets, for example the partnership between NBC and Microsoft. Many experts would state that he failed in this venture, as Microsoft basically has no content business. Many believe that having an effective content marketing strategy requires dedication to a goal and a good team to help drive the strategy.
Why Your Content Marketing Will Fail
Old habits that you refuse to change can result in your content marketing efforts going down the drain. Below are some of the reasons why your content marketing could be failing.
a. You’re Unsure About Why You’re Doing Content Marketing
If you want your content to be effective and get your traffic going, your content marketing plan should be tied into the core marketing efforts of the business as a whole. Before you hit the jackpot, you need to know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Define your goals for sales, lead generation and content marketing. Write them down, develop and roll out a content marketing strategy that will support these goals.
b. CTAs Are Not Present In Your Content
The very nature of marketing is to convince your audience to do something based on the information or content that you have presented to them. The best way to do this is to include calls to action. Avoiding this practice is a sure way of killing your traffic. You can do this by asking for action on your blog, website, article or content forms. A CTA does not need to be a million dollar agreement, it just needs to be enticing.
c. Just “Doing It” Is Not The Same As “Doing It Right”
This is the simple quantity vs. quality rule. It’s not enough to create lots of content, you have to create content that your audience will value. Remember: real people are reading what you post, so act upon this and focus on high quality content. It’s not enough that it exists; it should have character that breaks the wall between you and your readers.
d. Imitating Your Competition Will Not Help You
Some say that imitation is the sincerest form flattery. This is not so in content marketing! It’s good practice to be aware of what your competition is doing, however, do not imitate their strategies because you think they are doing well; they might not be. Focus on your own strategy and give 100% commitment and attention and you will be sure to improve.
e. You’re Doing What Everybody Does
Don’t be afraid to be different and find your own groove when it comes to your content marketing strategy. Most marketers are doing the same things with their content or using the same old tactics every time and obviously it’s not working. Remember that a blog is a great content platform, but it’s just one component of content marketing. Focus on what works for your intended audience.
How You Can Turn Content Marketing Failures Into Successes
1. Map Out Your Strategy
This means understanding your niche or target customers, deciding on the goals you want to reach as well as creating and optimising your content across every digital channel you have. Understand what content resonates most with your readers by taking advantage of social media sites; run surveys on your blog, Facebook account and other popular social sites.
2. Create Valuable Content
Challenge yourself and your team to make highly valuable content. Your content should educate, inspire, entertain, inform and ultimately convert. Engage customers and readers through informative blog posts, ebooks or whitepapers, infographics, YouTube videos, Vines or Instagram posts.
3. Optimise Your Content
There are many optimisation aspects that need to be part of your content marketing strategy. Focus on how well your content works in search engines and on mobile platforms. Create an optimised content structure for easy viewing with eye-catching headlines optimised for content sharing.
Napkin sketch originally attributed to Demetri Martin (author of This Is A Book)
4. Market Your Content
Market your high quality content on multiple channels through SEO, social sites or referral partnering with influential companies, blogs and websites.
5. Experiment And Test
You can measure your content marketing success by monitoring your website or blog traffic, email subscriber rates and other metrics. Continue to experiment with your strategy until you find something that works well for your company. You will fail at some point, but this will help you to move on to the next strategy. Social websites and other digital channels allow you to do that without losing any big investments.
Remember, a successful and effective content marketing strategy won’t appear overnight. Sales, leads and conversions will not roll in after one good post. You have to nurture your strategy, giving it time to mature and reach its intended audience. Make small but sure steps, focusing on trial and error. Don’t get frustrated, your content marketing strategy will get you to the top in time.