​Why brands fail at content marketing

Posted by - Bess Obarotimi

Social Media is easily accessible and using it as a platform for content marketing is the done thing. But not every brand will see the results they hope for. To measure whether your efforts will deliver on your expectations, I’ve rounded up nine signs you’re off track.

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1. You’re following a one solution fits all strategy

Perhaps it boils down to a lack of knowledge but trying to copy the content of another brand isn’t sufficient for a few reasons.

A brand which is performing successfully through their content is usually a lot further up the journey than you. If you start where they are now, you’ll have missed huge chunks of the content story that got their fans interested in the first place. In other words, theirs is a mature brand with mature content that’s relevant to where their fans are along the journey. Besides which you can only guess the reasons why they produce content the way they do. You won’t be clear on their objectives and goals. If they’re hugely different to yours, your imitation content won’t be as compelling. It won’t align with your content goals.

A few elements that will your make content perform well is understanding want you want to achieve, who your customers are and the brand message you want to deliver.

2. You put out content everyday but it doesn’t resonate with your audience
One reason social media is so popular is that it allows its users to have conversations. Your content should be your brand having a conversation with its audience. It must be meaningful not a regurgitation of something else you’ve seen. It must communicate what your brand wants to tell the world. Go back and consider why you launched your business. That’s the story your audience wants to hear. They want to know the passions of your brand not the recycled version of some other social media star. It must share your brand values, be personable and evoke emotion. Talk to your audience.
Building and sustaining community is a never-ending part of doing business.
Gary Vaynerchuk, Crush It!: Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion

3. You’re not putting out enough content
The bitter fact is there’s too much going on in the net and content creation requires an immense amount of work. Everyone is putting in their pennies worth. But we only remember the ones who do it all the time and without fear. They stick in our minds because the above coupled with a unique message makes it hard to forget them. When they do disappear we notice. Unless you’re a global icon like Beyoncé, you can’t afford to post when the fancy takes you. Hire an agency or build the team within your organisation to be consistent delivering great content.

4. You focus too much on likes and not on value
This is the frustration of many – the question “How may likes, follows and comments do we have?” Wasted energy. Organisations are better off focusing on identifying what content consumers want. Valuable content will always trump quantity of followers or ‘likes’.

5. You share product descriptions with no context.
I believe there has been a shift in what’s considered acceptable content from brands. You may have heard me say in the past, “Don’t rely on posts showcasing your product pics to build your brand.” But it suddenly hit me a few weeks ago – that notion is no longer valid. So I’ll change my assertion by saying, as long as we’re providing context to our product pics we can post them all day long these days without putting people off especially if your products pics are very appealing and you’re using the Instagram platform. Merely describing the features of your product won’t get you as far as you like.

6. You’re not distributing content effectively
You may wish the case was otherwise, but content creation is a tremendous effort. People want to take stunning photos, flawless selfies, create motion quotes, 4k YouTube videos – it all takes time and effort. So since we’ve put in that labour of love, we need to use the available channels to get that content out there. Plan distribution for every piece of content on multiple platforms in multiple ways.

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7. You are not mining and reusing
If making sure you get your content out through the right channels is important, getting out adequate volumes of content should be equally significant to you. It’s made simpler when you reuse and mine content.

Each piece of content can be reused. Consider how many tweets you can get from one blog post. Turn them into headers for video content. Share captivating photography on Instagram that has a status update that amplifies the message

What content performs well, reuse it. Do more of the same. Mine content trends and consumer usage to get additional ideas.

8. Your content does not drive traffic back to your site
If your purpose for content marketing is to attract customers, your content marketing efforts must include driving traffic back to your website. As long as you rely on social media to serve your customers, the easier it will be for you to lose them.

Name any platform. The competition for attention is high. On your website, the visitors are all yours.

Provide content that drives customers back to your site. Provide content that keeps them on it for a while and then provide content that makes them commit to your site, like opt-ins. Use those opt-ins to build email lists to convert consumers into customers.

The future of publishing is about having connections to readers and the knowledge of what those readers want.
Seth Godin
9. Your content isn’t memorable
Don’t play it safe. Don’t try to please. Don’t try to copy.  These are all methods of content creation that will get your brand overlooked.  Look, I’m going to spell it our simply. Know who your brand is – the very essence of your brand. Take your eyes off what everyone else is doing, and create content that is true to your brand essence. Keep the message pure. Do not water it down. Don’t try to fit in. That’s how your content strikes a chord with fans.

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