At the core of creating any form of marketing content lies the sole deciding question responsible for a brand’s success,
“Is the brand offering what the customers are asking for?”
Does your communication strategy instantly manage to capture your customer’s attention? Does it make your customer think, “Yeah, I’ve faced the same thing too, I know what they’re trying to say!” Eliciting such a response from your customer means that your content strategy is working.
But more often than not, brands get stuck in the specifics of unravelling the marketing quagmire and lose focus from their ultimate goals. Here are 5 common factors that lead to the failure of content marketing and what you should do about it:
- Misreading Audience: For content to be effective, understanding audience preferences is of utmost importance. Know what your customers think, understand how they feel and strive to deliver what they want. Listen and try to catch the pulse of the current customer trends and expectations. You can do this by understanding which forms of media your consumers respond to most (e.g. Audio, Visual or Print). You could also delve into consumer research databases which have mapped data of consumers across segments or talk to your loyal consumers. But most importantly, listen.
- Undefined and Unrefined Content Strategy: After understanding the audience, it is very crucial to conduct in-depth research to map out consumer expectations. Formulate a flexible content strategy plan which can be refined later if requirements arise. Clearly state expectations and define and allocate budget according to expected outcomes in terms of increasing sales and brand identity. Also, have a segmented audience categorisation so that your strategy can appear more customised for various audience groups.
- Short-sighted Viewpoint Leads to Losing Momentum: If a very rigid content strategy plan is formulated, it creates limitations in terms of audience reach. An inflexible plan will also lead to a repetition of content topics which can lead to your audience losing interest in the brand. Due to this, there could be a lack of new ideas which may affect the momentum, frequency and reach of the content, ultimately creating a barrier between the brand and the audience. To counter this, it is very important to create a flexible plan that can incorporate new changes when the need arises.
- Balancing Search Engine Optimization: SEO is a crucial tool when it comes to content marketing. There are, on average, 6 billion searched happening on a daily basis through Google. While you shouldn’t focus your attention on writing specifically for Google-bots to try and rank well, it is important to have a balanced approach. SEO helps in constantly updating and remodeling your website content which leads to your brand ranking higher on search engine pages, which will ultimately result in driving more traffic to your website.
- ROI or Nothing: It is true that companies invest money to elicit profits – and that is an important aspect for a business to succeed. But expecting a content strategy to immediately result in sales is not a realistic goal. It’s worth remembering that return-on-investment doesn’t always have to be monetary. Sometimes when the content strategy is not culminating in sales, it might be paving a path to build ROI in building customer recall and brand retention which is important in increasing brand awareness and value in the customers’ minds.
Lastly, remember to have fun with the content being created for your brand. Ask yourself, “As a customer, would I be intrigued by this idea and enjoy this content if I came across it?”, if your answer is yes, then you’ve succeeded.