4 Epic Failures in Content Marketing + Why They Failed

When executed properly and according to a well-designed strategy, content marketing is an excellent way to expand brand awareness, build up authority in your industry, attract new website traffic, generate new leads, and convert leads into new clients.

Did you know that 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing?

Unfortunately, out of those B2B marketers, only 42% consider themselves effective –less than half! (Source: CMI)

There are some folks out there who like to skip right past all the best practices of B2B content marketing and, thus, they fail at content marketing.

Here, we take a quick look at epic failures in content marketing.

  1. Lack of Strategy

Would you build a house without a set of plans? How would you know how to lay out the foundation and locate the stairs and windows in the walls? It’s not exactly like you can just “wing it.” The same holds true for B2B content marketing.

Of B2B marketers who are successful with content marketing, 66% have a documented strategy. On the other hand, when it comes to unsuccessful marketers, only 11% had a documented content strategy. (Source: CMI).

Rushing into content marketing without a strategy is kind of just like throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. Lack of a clear, documented strategy is a great way to set yourself up for failure before you even begin.

  1. Wrong Strategy

A strategy is great until it’s the wrong strategy. It’s no use selling widgets in the mall if all your widget clients are shopping online. A common reason content marketing fails is that the strategy is all wrong. Wrong audience, wrong channel, wrong content, wrong distribution, wrong messaging, etc.

An effective B2B content marketing strategy centers on producing the right content for the right audience at the right time. Create the right strategy by drafting up a target audience persona. Next, determine what types of information the ideal client needs or wants to know. Lastly, decide what content to create for the various level of the buying stages. It’s no use sending a prospect a case study if they don’t even know what types of services you have to offer them.

  1. Resource Deficit

Creating a content marketing strategy is wonderful, but not allocating the right resources to the execution of the plan only sets it up for epic failure. It seems like we are all trying to do more than we can with the limited resources available. Resources include employees, budget, time, tools, etc.

Did you know that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing or that 70% of people would rather learn about a company through articles rather than an ad?  (Source: DemandMetric)

It’s time that B2B content marketing gets the right allocation of resources to execute strategies effectively. The biggest issue we see is that B2B marketers don’t set aside enough time to blog, review content, evaluate metrics, brainstorm new content ideas, create great designs, etc. Due to this lack of essential resources, content marketing efforts fall off, are inconsistent, or stop altogether.

Making content marketing a priority across the entire organization is the main solution for avoiding this type of failure.

  1. Zero Promotion

Congratulations – you’ve written a fantastic blog! Pssst, no one is reading it. A major point in a successful content marketing strategy that marketers either forget about or aren’t willing to invest time in is the promotion portion.

Promoting a piece of content should be the final step in the creation process. Concept, create, promote! Promotion includes sharing blogs on social media, paying to promote posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Or, create retargeting ads that highlight a particular ebook or white paper. Email campaigns are another great way to get the word out about new content and get it in front of the right people.

Always include a distribution or promotion step in your content strategy.

While this is not an exhaustive list of failures in content marketing for B2B firms, it’s a short list of the most common and epic failures. All of these failures can be avoided through strategic planning, targeting the right audience, proper resource allocation, and serious promotion efforts.

Have an epic content marketing failure you’d like to share? We are all ears!


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