The numbers are in: “62% of B2B marketers say their organization’s content marketing efforts are much more or somewhat more successful compared to a year ago.” That’s terrific news but it leaves a whopping 38% who feel their content marketing strategy has either plateaued or become less successful than it once was. What items are the 62% doing right? And what items are the 38% doing wrong?
Content Marketing Strategy Mistake #1:
No Content Marketing
We include those who haven’t adopted content marketing in the 38% who feel their content marketing efforts are less than successful. It’s pretty darn difficult to make any improvements to a content marketing strategy that doesn’t exist. Content marketing is no longer considered a fad that’s expected to pass. So, the number one content marketing strategy mistake is … failing to implement any type of content marketing effort at all.
Content Marketing Strategy Mistake #2:
Overlooking the Basics
It may seem like marketing 101 but there is a huge difference between a marketing strategy and a marketing tactic. This seems very basic; yet, most organizations completely fail to create a documented content marketing strategy. They move right on to the tactics and wonder why their content marketing efforts aren’t working. For instance, developing blog content, sending emails, creating videos, and designing websites are all tactics. These are smaller elements within a larger environment. A content marketing strategy should define how these activities will ultimately combine to engage a well-defined and understood target audience.
Content Marketing Strategy Mistake #3:
No Plans for Consistency
Consistency is the most important element of a content marketing strategy; yet, most efforts fail within 30-days based on the inability to produce consistent content. Savvy marketers create a plan that clearly details how they will consistently create content as an ongoing business process. A content marketing strategy will evolve over time but there should always be measures, countermeasures, and contingencies in place to ensure consistency.
Content Marketing Strategy Mistake #4:
Weak or No Mission
Every great content marketing strategy includes a mission statement. Even a simple 3-4 sentence statement that outlines your intended purpose can be extremely effective. For instance, do you have a unique message to share or story to tell? Maybe this differentiates you from competitors and your mission is to communicate this value proposition to your audience. Perhaps, the objective is to inform people as to why your offerings are better than your competitors and influence your audience early in the buying process. The mission drives your ability to focus your content and draw-in your target audience in the most effective way possible.
Content Marketing Mistake #5:
Weak or No Understanding of Who
Who is your target audience? It’s not enough to identify titles, industry, company size and call it a day. Successful content marketing strategies include a set of target audience profiles, or personas. It’s a method used to segment buyers based on professional and personal characteristics. It may seem very elementary; however, many organizations (and marketing agencies) skip this step. They move on to the content marketing tactics without ever gaining a deep understanding of their audience personas and who they are trying to engage. Persona creation impacts your ability to create relevant content that your audience enjoys and helps foster trusting relationships. Audiences are receptive to those who demonstrate a genuine understanding of their interests, needs, and challenges.
Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail
Remember, you don’t need a complicated strategy. Some of the most effective content marketing strategies are quite simple; however, these four primary components should definitely be included:
- Content development tactics for consistency and quality
- Channel distribution and performance measurement plans
- A simple but clear business or mission statement
- Answers to big-picture questions (e.g., What business challenge are you trying to solve? What’s the risk? Who’s your target audience? Why should your audience care?)
If you’re working with a marketing agency, make sure they’ve incorporated these elements in to your company’s content marketing strategy. If they haven’t included these items, ask yourself: “why haven’t they?”
If you have a content marketing strategy that isn’t working or would like to build one from the ground up, we’re here to help! 8020 Digital Marketing is a professional content marketing agency with over 10 years of business blogging, content strategy, and content creation experience. Contact us to request a free consultation and evaluation of your current content marketing efforts!