Content Marketing Minds: Top 7 Reasons Content Marketers Fail
Nine out of 10 companies are using content marketing. But only 4% of them are doing it really well, says a new survey by Forrester.
The other 96% are "doing" content marketing, but not at an advanced level.
The obvious question is: WHY?
Why are 90% of companies claiming to be content marketers, but only 1 in 25 turn content into revenue-generating assets?
There isn't a single, catch-all answer to this question. The issues plaguing these companies can be multifaceted, convoluted, and vague. But here are the top 7 reasons we find marketers fail at content marketing. (Know them, avoid them, and do your job well!)
Most marketers don't have an editorial calendar.
Saying you're a content marketer without an editorial calendar is like saying you're a CEO without a P&L. Yeah right. <--(tweet that) The editorial calendar is the content marketer's prized possession. It's your wingman, your fallback plan, the path to reaching your goals, the realization of your objectives, and your team's to-do list all wrapped into one.
But, only 44% of B2B marketers write that sh*t down! And every content marketer should. The B2B marketers who have a documented strategy are 6X more likely to consider themselves "effective."
Their bosses don't understand what they are doing.
You say content, they say potato.
You say marketing qualified lead, they say sales department.
Not all modern businesses are sold on content marketing as king. Thereby, when marketers introduce a content-focused strategy to the higher-ups, the reception is brisker than an ice bucket challenge.
They don't have the budget.
Content marketing isn't cheap, if you are doing it well. There are parts about it that are cheap, like social shares and retweets. (And, ultimately, content marketing leaders save more than $12,000 per customer acquisition when they use content marketing.)
But the basis of content marketing is rooted in the creative development of original content. At the very least, this costs the hourly rate of a freelance writer, but can also include graphic designer, videographers, photographers, and editors. It's estimated that a year's worth of content (if it's well-planned) costs at least $30,000 in production.
Often, organizations don't find the budget to fund this kind of content production-or just barely squeak by. And a lack of buy-in from execs (see point 3) results in a dismal budget for content operations. Together, this results in a content marketing flop.
They think the conversation is over once a lead is acquired.
Content marketing attracts a greater audience to your online presence, whether that be your website, Twitter feed, or Pinterest page. But it shouldn't stop there.
Getting a lead is one thing. Nurturing that lead to become a buyer is a whole other thing, and probably more important. Content marketers need to understand their buyers at an intimate level and deliver education wherever those buyers are, whenever they need it.
They think "content marketing" is a tactic.
Content marketing crashes and burns when the people holding the reins treat it like a tactic when, really, it's a strategic operation. This puts marketers at jeopardy of half-heartedly investing in the development and promotion on content via whatever online channels seem to fit. This is a sharp turn to nowhere.
Content marketing is an operation, built on the developed trust and loyalty between a buyer and a brand. Shortchange the development of this relationship, and your buyers will treat your content marketing like a bad Tinder profile, swiping past without a second thought.
They don't invest time in process or strategy.
A majority of organizations don't have a documented content strategy. This means their content approach is flying by the seat of its pants. Who got anywhere flying by the seat of their pants? Maybe only this guy.
They don't take time to thank others.
Have you ever read a quippy line, then referenced it in one of your posts? Have you shared someone's really cool, super awesome graphic? Probably. I've done it in this post, and I've only listed 7 things. In the 1980s, stealing was wrong. Today, stealing is still wrong, but borrowing, sharing, and linking are all really, really good. Take a moment and write or tweet to the person whose shoulders you are standing on, and THANK THEM. It goes a long way.
What's the solution?
Here's what you've got to do to avoid a bad episode of content marketing.
Get your executive staff on board with a content marketing operation. Don't sell it as a tactic or tool that helps you do your job. Sell it as a complete recalibration of your marketing efforts. That's the way it wins.
Create a regular cadence of content creation-and write that down in an editorial calendar.
Develop a content marketing strategy that is 100% empathetic to your buyer. Know where he is, what she wants, and where they want to sign your contract. See video.
And voila, dear reader. You're on the path to success.
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