21 Reasons Why Your Content Marketing Strategy May Be Headed for Trouble

martinjones
Martin Jones Marketing Manager - Social Media, Cox Communications

Posted on October 14th 2012

21 Reasons Why Your Content Marketing Strategy May Be Headed for Trouble

The role and value of content marketing has dramatically changed in just the past year. Many business owners are still trying to get their heads around an effective social media strategy; now they have to also think about becoming publishers and content marketers.

Why? The digital media convergence of social, search and content. If social and search are peanut butter and jelly - content is the bread that makes the sandwich.

The problem is, while most businesses and companies realize the importance of content marketing and are attempting to engage in it (recent studies suggest 80-90%) many don't understand it and are making critical mistakes that could undermine their efforts.

Below, I've put together a list of 21 reasons why your content marketing strategy may be headed for trouble.

  1. Your current content marketing plan is that you have no plan
  2. You publish a random assortment of articles, videos, infograhics, etc that don't come together as part of a larger story or message.
  3. Newsletters, social media posts and other communications are unpredictable - not scheduled or consistent
  4. Your website, social media, press releases, newsletters and email are all handled separately and not tailored to specific channels around a unified, targeted message.
  5. Your published content is "salesy"
  6. Marketing, PR, Product and Customer Service departments within your organization don't meet on a regular basis to discuss and optimize a content plan and calendar
  7. Your content always ends with a period. There are no next steps or paths to take the reader deeper into your content or message
  8. You treat content marketing like a marketing campaign not like a communication channel
  9. You don't respond to comments and questions posted to your published content
  10. You write about your company's experts and expertise rather than sharing it
  11. Your content is not personalized, building a relationship with the reader
  12. You're not monitoring your competitors. Caution: don't ever copy what they're doing but definitely watch it and take away key learnings.
  13. You create and publish awesome, amazing content - but you have no strategy for targeting, sharing and promoting it to your audience
  14. You cannot succinctly describe the make-up of your target or niche audience
  15. You finally "nail it" with a viral piece of content - maybe an infographic or video however; a few people are saying negative things about it. You respond by disabling the comments and deleting each of the negative comments
  16. Your content is just that ... content. It doesn't move anyone to take action or engage. In other words, there is no value in what you're publishing
  17. You publish content without Search Engine Optimization (SEO) being a part of the over-arching strategy
  18. You don't track and measure the activity and performance around your published content. 
  19. You haven't set any defining goals or objectives. Lacking specific goals and objectives will send you down the wrong path every time. Each social platform and type of published content should have clear goals and objectives (fans, followers, shares, downloads, etc)
  20. You believe that content marketing competes with your other tactics rather than supports and compliments them
  21. You talk about things that are important to your company and that you care about - not what your audience thinks is important, or cares about
martinjones

Martin Jones

Marketing Manager - Social Media, Cox Communications

Martin Jones is a Sr. Marketing Marketing Manager with the corporate Cox Communications social media team where he assists in leading strategy, campaign ideation and marketing execution for Cox Business social media & content marketing. Today, over 1 million fans engage with Cox Communications content, campaigns and Customer Care on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube. LinkedIn and Google+.

Thoughts and ideas expressed here are his own.

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Comments

Excellent article! As a content writer for the web (and new social media manager) I have always stressed the fact that content is important but it has to be relevant content, content that works.

Thank you Carol - I agree 100%

 

Identifying the problems is very helpful. Now how does a novice go about addressing the problems.

That will be addressed in another post - glad you found the post helpful.

Some very good points and serious problems to be sure. Have a look at this. Content marketing experts helped me create the Content Marketing Hall of Shame: http://www.slideshare.net/barryjfeldman/content-marketing-hall-of-shame

Thanks - I enjoy your posts and I'll check it out.

Loved it, very visual way to deliver the point.  Assumer slide is my favorite.  :)

Fitting article for start ups as well that are wrestling how to intertwine social media into marketing/sales plans.

Thank you David. Establishing a solid content marketing plan in the beginning stages is something I would consider essential for any start-up. Hope this helps.

 

Thank you martin for this post. I think this will help me to remember he do's and don'ts while writing and posting the content.

 

Thanks!

The article was very helful to me in doing the content marketing. Thank you very much.

Thank you Sandy, glad you enjoyed it and found it helpful.

I have seen 2 types of brands in Social Media channels.

Type 1 brands treat social media as just another mouthpiece for their promotions. Since they offer special discounts & prizes, exclusively through these pages, fans get along with it. Even though these brands dont share good content on their pages, fans visit their pages daily for freebies. As long as they have free stuff to give, fans become viral marketers of these pages and their fanbase grows. They might even host games and Apps on their pages as part of promotions and increase their fan base.     

Type 2 brands, unfortunately, are tight on budget for giving away free stuff & discounts. All they can provide is good content in the form of pictures, videos and text. Loyal fans visit these brand pages; liking, commenting  and sharing every post. But others just might Like or Follow the page in the beginning, but forgot to check it as they dont find any incentives. Some might even Unlike or Unfollow the page. Engagement and traffic to that page would be always low and eventually the content too begins to degrade in quality.

 

Contests, freebies and discounts are a must for every brand page as that is what brings in the fans. There is too much information and content created and shared everyday in every media - Print, Outdoor, Electronic - that people are drawn towards what excites and benefits them. Why do people go to Vegas ? Get my point ?  

Some really good points here. Nice work.

 

Great post. Content management is integral to a focused digital marketing strategy. Check out the SERVAS benchmarks for an effective digital campaign.http://www.entwinedigital.com/2011/12/servas-digital-analysis/

 

Martin, this is absolutely great.  Having an exact plan is extremely important.  I am fortunate enough to witness the results of well put together content first hand.  We took a long time to plan our blog, that included defining the audience, topics, keyword research for every topic, breaking results of keyword research into articles, creating a strategy for editing, image selection and so on.  We also wanted to see if we could get any traction without any marketing of our content, so we didn't spread the word other than showed it to our clients when they had a question that one our articles could answer.  First few months were dry, very dry, but then we started noticing people visiting our blog, reading multiple articles, sharing it with their friends and as the result we have a blog that is enjoyed by many people.  Main topics of Printwand Blog is print design, marketing, branding and copywriting.  Here is a link to our copywriting section that could hopefully help with creating a good content after the strategy is put in place.  

This is a great article and this will help me a lot in planning my current content marketing plan. I am working in higher education, and I have a lot of content flying all over the place, however, these need to be organized and carefully planned in terms of feeding to the target audience, and means and method of providing such information. I need to pull out information, assembled it, and distribute it accordingly. It may not be as simple as leaflets distribution, but a clear direction is needed, and this article just nailed it. Thank you for sharing these thoughts!