Content marketing is all the rage these days. Alas, so many companies fail miserably at it and end up flushing mucho dinero down the toilet.
This risks giving content marketing a bad name.
Here, in no particular order, are 34 reasons content marketing campaigns fail:
- Content is designed without specific buyer personas in mind.
- Someone underestimates the resources needed to create the content.
- No one gives enough thought to the architecture – a.k.a. “the system” – that will be built to create, harvest, disseminate, measure and analyze the content.
- Content is produced without an eye towards where it fits in the buying process.
- Not enough content is created.
- The campaign launches without a listening strategy or listening post.
- The target market finds the content overly self-promotional.
- Originality leaves the building.
- The content creators don’t know/care about/understand the target buyer persona(s).
- Content is produced for only one stage of the sales funnel.
- Dissemination of the content happens at the wrong time.
- Shareability is a problem.
- Content built for one medium/platform/place is taken to another without any adjustments and expected to kick ass.
- Top of funnel content does not contain well built/appealing calls to action and offers.
- There’s no keyword (or longtail keyword) strategy.
- Landing pages are poorly done, and do not ask prospects valuable questions.
- Lead generation and cost of customer acquisition are not included in the campaign metrics.
- There’s a mismatch between the voice of the content, the target customer and the organization.
- A/B testing is ignored entirely.
- Data and hard conversations take a backseat to harmony and people’s egos.
- “Art” comes before business fundamentals. (This happens a lot, especially when teams are heavily populated by a certain type of creative).
- Unrealistic time expectations are placed upon a campaign.
- The desire to be on all platforms and media trumps doing just a few well.
- The C-suite doesn’t get content marketing or buy in to a campaign (bonne chance on this one).
- The content marketing team falls in love with perfection and stops shipping.
- The content marketing team is comprised of inexperienced young people and/or talentless hacks (I know, obvious, but don’t discount how much this can screw things up).
- Killer content is created but a brand lacks a big community or audience and refuses to spend money to amplify things.
- Content is offensive to elements of the target market and wider public.
- Content is plagiarized.
- There are no clear goals.
- The whole damn thing happens too fast.
- After a campaign begins no one makes any adjustments based on data that’s been harvested.
- The content produced does not educate, delight, fascinate, amuse or help the target market.
- No one considers optimizing the content for search engines.
We’ve all failed before. Let’s learn from it. Leave a comment if you have anything to add.