Why Your Content Marketing Machine Is Doomed to Fail

November 20, 2014 Francois Mathieu

content marketing failing

You’ve spent months building an amazing team of content crafters. They can write about anything and everything, and do it in every format. They can even come up with those irresistible headlines, you know the ones: Buzzfeed-style titles that beg to be clicked.

You set up a blog because “this is where content marketing goes”. And it looks great, with its big shiny photos, its slick sidebar and the perfect choice of fonts. Yet, you look back at the results and you can’t see any sort of growth in your readership, no sales that you can connect back to your content marketing efforts, let alone any leads.

In fact, your blog is one of many places where content simply goes to die. Every day your awesome content team comes up with the greatest ideas and brings them to life through writing and design. But instead of featuring those masterpieces on a pedestal for everyone to see, you’re hiding them in a locker.

There it is: your content marketing machine is failing right before your eyes. Let’s take a look at what exactly happened and how you can turn it all around.

Your Blog is a Walled Off Garden

If your blog has no door and windows, visitors won’t find it—unless they squint to see your footer links or manually visit blog.yoursite.com (which is very unlikely). No wonder your home page bounce rate is so high: first-time visitors need something to hold their attention. Since over 95% of them won’t buy right away, don’t let them leave your site empty-handed.

Feature your resources proudly on the header of your site and strategically funnel some of your traffic in this direction to start educating them about your industry and your product. Make it obvious that you can provide value right away through thoughtful content.

"Since over 95% of visitors won’t buy right away, don’t let them leave your site empty-handed." Tweet This

Your Content Engine is Not Set Up for Distribution

If content distribution is not deeply rooted in your processes, drop everything and hold off on publishing your next piece. Distribution is central to content marketing, and remember that we don’t want your content to die alone anymore. You distribution strategy should include tools to help your content spread but also tactics that your team needs to execute as well.

The most obvious tools are social sharing buttons. In a recent research undertaking, we found out that 80% of the 10 most popular marketing software blogs use these buttons to help with their content distribution. Readers expect to see social sharing buttons because they're enabled on most of the blogs they frequently visit.

The next logical step is to entice readers to share your content by explicitly asking them to do so and making the process as easy as possible:

  • Prepare quotes, charts and images that are ready to share
  • Position content in a way that will make readers look smart for sharing it
  • Use reader’s egos to encourage further sharing by shouting out their names online

On the other hand, social media is not all there is to content distribution. People don’t spend 100% of their time on social networks. So go past social sharing and find where your audience actually spends their time online. Make sure that your content is being shared, read and discussed in those relevant communities and that your team regularly contributes to these conversations.

Your Machine is Not Engineered For Lead Generation

Look beyond your content and start evaluating the place where your blog lives. Is it engineered to increase time on site and engagement? Is it built to capture leads?

Your team is probably doing an awesome job at creating content but how can that content perform if it’s not given the right platform?

What they need is a content engine that’s equipped  to turn your blog into a lead generation magnet that includes:

  • Contextual calls to action
  • Smart lead collection tools
  • Analytics to learn what really works
  • The ability to channel content interactions into your marketing software 

Only when you have all of these parts in place will your content marketing machine be able to make the most of all that quality content, and truly make an impact on your bottom line.

About the Author

Francois Mathieu

Francois Mathieu is a Marketing Consultant and Entrepreneur based in Toronto, Canada. He is the Co-Founder of Hōjicha Co., a specialty tea distributor and retailer.

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