Unless you have been living under a rock, you will be aware that content marketing is the key to driving traffic to your business website. From 94% of small businesses to 93% of B2Bs and 77% of B2Cs – including large, well-known brands such as Coca-Cola and Telenor, everyone has finally paid attention to its importance.

It’s safe to say that content marketing is being taken seriously nowadays. However, just because it is the way-to-go, doesn’t mean all businesses are acing it. A report by Content Marketing Institute revealed that only 9% of B2B marketers considered their content marketing efforts to be “effective”.

So where are the businesses lagging behind and what are their content marketers missing out on? Here are 5 reasons your content marketing sucks (and how you can fix it from here on):

1. Lazy content promotion

It’s called content marketing for a reason. Therefore, once you curate content, it is a must to promote it on different channels. If no one can see your content piece, the purpose of writing it in the first place is defeated!

Promote it on multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus and Pinterest to gain traction. LinkedIn, email newsletters and website banners among others are also fantastic options!

An effective way to gain more shares than your conventional posts is via rich media—images, infographics, slide decks, videos, podcasts, etc. It takes time and patience to create rich media, but it’s worth the effort, and the subsequent results.

Experiment with different types of textual and visual content based on what your prospective customers interact with the most when they’re online. Also, analyse how it will add value to them and to your marketing end goals.

Here’s an interesting infographic we found on Jeff Bullas:

Content-marketing-statistics-

2. Hard niche industry

Most marketers encounter the challenge of having too many competitors in a hard industry. For instance, an article on “5 effective wielding techniques” will have much lower prospect readers than a general article like “5 ways to curate a compelling blog post” would!

The key to tackle this problem is to identify those untapped forms of content that will work effectively in your niche. Take note of what your competitors have been doing for brand awareness and lead generation—How are they approaching content? What areas have they not covered yet? Convert those loopholes into massive opportunities.

Lastly, consistently produce content for your loyal customers/followers. Sometimes the best audience isn’t the largest, but a small group that is definitely going to convert and even promote your business in their circles.

3. Ordinary content

There’s no dearth of writers today—which also means that the quality of content being produced in different industries has gone down drastically! But that’s not all. Content is being churned out at a much higher rate than ever, without any proper plan of action. And all you see around you, is ordinary content that adds value to no one.

For the content to be truly engaging, the efforts must be strategically guided, so that the written word is valuable and targeted towards the end goal.

Quite interestingly, infographics have become the top choice of most content marketers. By visualizing textual information, this form of rich media offers  a fun and creative way to convey the marketing message—and getting a greater response too!

content marketing - statistics

image courtesy: Socially Visual

4. Poor SEO tactics

Contrary to popular belief, SEO will continue defining content on all digital platforms for years to come. The thing is that content marketing needs to move hand-in-hand with a business’ SEO efforts for maximum results. Usage of industry or niche specific keywords in the content assists the bots in identifying topics your website covers and index the pages better to rank accordingly in search results.

Hence, identify and shortlist the keywords you want your business to rank for—opting for a few long tail keywords is wise too. Keep all your content creation and syndication efforts around these keywords to increase the exposure and relevance of your website in the industry as well as the market.

Here’s a nifty workflow by Brightedge in a post on Search Engine Land:

content marketing - content workflow

 

5. Inconsistent content generation

Occasional blogs, social posts and newsletters are not going to fetch your business any results whatsoever—unless you’re consistent at nurturing your leads with them. To keep your leads engaged and customers from going away, marketers need to be on their toes to constantly analyse their changing interests, strategize accordingly, curate or create different types of content and promote it on the right platforms.

Did you know that companies that blog 15 or more times per month receive 5X more traffic than companies that don’t blog at all? Apart from this, leaving your social accounts inactive for weeks will only bring down the number of followers your business garnered over time.

That is why you should maintain and stick to a content calendar to help you stay on track with and on top of your content marketing efforts. We make use of Trello to save, manage and track the progress of our content creation and promotion process.

Even though the reasons are not out of the ordinary, eliminating them can definitely be challenging. For a business, to rise above the chatter and get its content noticed is crucial (and possible). With proper planning, smart execution and a little out-of-the-box thinking, content marketing can do wonders for a business.