When we hear experts talking about content marketing, we also notice that most of the companies aren’t successful at content marketing. It’s not easy to claim victory in this warfare. There are many complex, practical issues that hinder the implementation of a successful content marketing campaign in an organization. So, it’s necessary to chalk out a strategy before you even think of launching a campaign.

There are many indicators that your existing content marketing plan is not going to succeed. Our aim here is not to alarm you, but to highlight the most common and major fallacies that may spoil all your efforts. According to Content Marketing Institute (CMI), less than 45% B2B companies had a content marketing strategy in place in the year 2014. This indicates that more than half of the marketers had either no strategy at all or their strategy was weak. They were “just doing it”.

But don’t be disappointed, we are going to highlight the secrets to success here. Here is a list of possible reasons which may be responsible for your failure at content marketing.

1. Are you shouting “me, me and me”?
If your content is all about you, your products and services, then you could be in trouble very soon. According to trends, readers come to your content looking for helpful information, entertainment and guidance. They are not necessarily looking for product information or promotional soliloquy.

1. Are you shouting “me, me and me”?

So, the content should be designed keeping in mind the needs and interest of your visitors. It should help, entertain and inform and it should spend less time talking about your own business and services. When a visitor likes your content, and consequently, starts spending more time on your website or blog, it would be much easier to offer them your products and services. They are also more likely to promote your business through word of mouth, if not become customers themselves. Your content should support your mission statement, that way, it will benefit you most.

2. Have you set a lower benchmark?
Low aim may also spoil your content marketing efforts. If you have a higher benchmark, you’re likely to see better results as the competition is heating up in this space. Go for quality content, target global audience and try to compete with the leading player in your field. This is the only way to get noticed and attract eyeballs. So, the focus shouldn’t be on volume.

3. Do you fear failure?
A successful content marketer doesn’t fear failure, you can’t succeed at this game until you are taking risks and doing experimentation. A failure today can lay the foundation stone for tomorrow’s success. Start innovating and experimenting with your content marketing campaigns. Many organizations are unable to succeed at it, because they fear failure. Sometimes, they aren’t ready to take even a single step ahead. Their apprehension pulls them down.

3. Do you fear failure?

4. Do you source your content properly?
Many a people fail at content marketing because they don’t know how to source content and related services. Often the quality is too low. Sometimes, the content creators are not subject experts and as a result, they produce mediocre content, which can’t benefit you in any way. So, try to source your content from the experts and dedicated agencies, who have a proven success rate. It’s simple, use Google Analytics.

5. Do you operate in silos?

Content marketing can’t be done in silos, where different people are creating, distributing and promoting the content, independently. It should be integrated and seamless. Video content and other forms of visual content should be integrated with text based content and vice versa.

Do you operate in silos?

The basic corporate strategy and script should be shared across different teams, viz. social media, content creation, SEO and communication teams.

6. Are you ready to “eat that frog”?

Content marketing is not a game for people who are afraid of venturing outside their comfort zone. You have to come out of your comfort zone and take risks, try new things and constantly monitor the results, we know as analytics. Create content that challenges, offer expertise and entertains at the same time.

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7. Do you have a proper Call to Action?
When you succeed in engaging a visitor, will you let him go without any pointers on what to do next? A call to action actually serves the purpose of creating a purpose for the content. Drive your key objectives through these CTAs, i.e. make them sign up for your newsletter or webinar, ask them to download a link and get their email as a lead, ask them to click a link to increase your traffic, or ask them to buy something which can help them, etc.

Call to Action

8. Have you chosen some channel as your mouthpiece?
There are various channels we use in content marketing, but there should be a channel that can act as an official channel for your brand. It should be a channel where you can excel and this decision should be the core of your content marketing strategy.

9. Have you assigned ownership of your content marketing strategy to someone?

If you a dedicated person responsible for implementing your own content marketing strategy, you are more likely to succeed than others who don’t have one. It also works when something goes wrong, as the person responsible for this can themselves take corrective measures.

10. Is your management okay with the content marketing plan?

Sometimes, the problem may come from upper management, as they may not be aware of the gestation period for such content marketing campaigns and hence don’t agree with a six months gestation period required for any noticeable results produced by content marketing. Yes, the content marketing manager should also present an agreed-upon metrics along with that and till such a time, it would be better if the top tier of management not interfere with the strategy.

11. Do you have your content strategy synced with your niche?

Your content marketing strategy should meet your business goals and hence you should also create content based on the niche you’re placed in. Your content should address the basic issues faced by people in your segment while subtly highlighting how you can help.

Niche Marketing

The next thing is to dominate that niche and attract a huge audience for your content. This is possible only when your content properly answers the most burning questions of your prospects and offers them value addition.. Once you’ve succeeded in conquering your niche, you can expand your content strategy to cover other related areas as well.

12. Do you have a smart team?
Sloppy and slow teams are never successful at content marketing where competition is increasing day by day. Just creating content is not enough. You should have a strategy in place. You should choose topics that resonate with your audience and then properly monitor the visitor stats. If that’s not working, gear up your efforts and produce even better content that ultimately gets hits.

12. Do you have a smart team

Your storytelling process should be streamlined. In a CMI survey conducted to assess content marketing practices across the industry, 65% of the “ineffective” organizations were challenged with measuring effectiveness and only 5% of such organizations were successful at tracking ROI.

13. Do you have a consistent approach towards publishing?

Inconsistent approach doesn’t work well when your goal is to build an audience and engage them. If your blog stays dead for almost two weeks after a hectic activity of a fortnight, this may not go down well with your content-hungry audience. Whatever your frequency may be, maintain it throughout the year.

Do you have a consistent approach towards publishing

According to a CMI report, among the least effective organizations, only 23% organizations published content on daily or multiple times per week, while 54% of the most effective organizations were doing it consistently. It shows the importance of publishing content daily or multiple times a week.

14. Do you act like a sale-sy person?

It’s very important not to appear or sound sale-sy, when it comes to your content. Content is meant for information and entertainment and the objective is to engage. Thus with a salesy approach we distract an otherwise engaged audience.

Do you act like a sale-sy person?

Nobody is on the worldwide web to pay heed to your sales pitch. If your products add value, prove it through your content and simply leave a link to the sales page at the end, so that only those interested in buying can go there.. Otherwise, people don’t tolerate such practices for long and may cancel their subscription to your page you soon.

15. Do you pay attention to SEO?

SEO is not dead, it’s very much alive. Yes, the nature of SEO has changed a bit, thanks to recent Google algorithm updates.

Do you pay attention to SEO?

So, pay attention to your Meta data, website performance, loading time, image optimization, HTML and social optimization. This will definitely work for your content marketing campaign and improve your page ranking on Google.

The 16th rule is to stick to these 15 golden rules. Last but not the least, you should maintain discipline. Without discipline, the best of your efforts will still not yield any results.

Best of luck for your content marketing journey!