5 Tell-Tale Signs Content Marketing is Not Working for You

Content is king. (This phrase is done to death, but humor me this one time.) I’m not going to add statistics to prove my point, because we all know content marketing is an integral part of a successful marketing team.

In the last decade, content marketing has yielded wonderfully for many businesses. In fact, many marketing teams now focus solely on content marketing to generate leads. But not all brands see the same shiny results. There can be a number of reasons why your content is not performing effectively. Here are a few signs that your content marketing isn’t working and suggestions on how to fix it.

No shares or retweets for your content

Check the numbers on your analytics dashboard and compare them with the best performing months. Has it flat-lined? Yup, your content marketing definitely needs a makeover. 

How to fix it: Refine your content strategy. Tie every piece of content to a tangible KPI. The ultimate goal of any marketing effort is to increase ROI. However, depending on the stage of your business growth, content marketing can be used: to increase traffic, for brand awareness, talent branding etc. Content creation is one thing, but promotion is everything. Create a content promotion calendar, much like an editorial calendar and be sure to use different captions tailored to suit different sharing platforms. 

Your content does not provide value to the reader

With so many trends in marketing, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that you’re creating content to enable your audience. The best content is defined by how relevant and useful it is to the people consuming it. This problem is apparent when the content marketing function is outsourced to an agency.

How to fix it: Do not outsource content ideation to an agency. This is the job of your marketing team. Create buyer personas, ideate content for every step of the buyer journey, and pass on this information to the agency. Try different formats— case studies, long form blogging, white paper, research report, slides etc. Hop on to Quora and Reddit to understand what questions your target audience is asking. Do not create content because your boss asked you to or because your competitor is doing it. 

Your site receives healthy traffic but not paying customers

Or the wrong people are signing up for a trial account. This is the #1 problem the sales team complains all the time about. A business needs qualified leads that convert. 

How to fix it: Step back, shift gears, and create content for engagement and not lead generation. It makes a world of difference when you’re not forcing the conversions. Have fun with the process. If you’re boring yourself, it is likely that you’re also boring your reader. Use review mining to understand what words and sentences your customers use to describe a problem and mirror it to them on the sales page.

 Customers have unrealistic asks from your brand

This might seem silly, but is a sure shot way of knowing your content strategy isn’t working. Did anyone sign up for your product lately and asked for ‘X’ feature that is completely irrelevant to what you do?

How to fix it: This is bound to happen when you diversify your content too much. If you’re selling cloud communications platform, it’s smart not to do a roundup of the best CRMs in 2019. This results in reader confusion and also sets impractical expectations from your brand.

Your content is not valued internally

You can create the best content there is, but if it is of no use to the Sales or the Customer Success teams to share with the customers, then there’s no point in churning one white paper after another. Marketers spend a huge amount of time in ideation, creation and distribution, they often overlook an important factor: internal support.

How to fix it: Content does not come from the content team or the SEO team alone. Brainstorm with the customer facing teams and write about what customers want to hear or are talking about. Share the content you create with other teams, put it in a hub where teams can pick it up, localize and repurpose as required. 

These are merely 5 of the many signs that content might not be working out for you. Content marketing is not a sprint, there is no finish line either. Carry on with the hygiene checks, be consistent with your content, have fun creating it, and take risks every now and then.