24 Jul 2018

5 Self-Defeating Practices That Are Killing Your Content

You’re producing content and measuring performance, but the results aren’t what you expect. Maybe you’re seeing no movement at all or decreases in traffic when you compare the data to previous periods? Or maybe your content isn’t driving traffic to your products and services, generating leads or meeting the specific business goals that you’ve identified for your team?

If you’re following content marketing best practices but you aren’t seeing results, it’s possible that you’re getting in your own way. Here are five practices that could be thwarting your efforts:

1. You Don’t Have a Content Marketing Strategy

Not having a strategy in place is like building a house without a blueprint. It might work, but you’re taking a potentially costly risk. Producing content without a plan isn’t an efficient or effective approach to content marketing, and it doesn’t lend itself to collaboration or measurement.

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We know for a fact that not having a documented plan in place has a negative impact on results:

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According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report, B2B marketers with a documented strategy report higher levels of success when compared to marketers with an undocumented strategy or no strategy.

Having a documented strategy allows you identify what resources you need so that you can plan appropriately and avoid running into roadblocks like time constraints, prioritization issues or budget limitations – which were also identified as problematic factors.

We’ve also found that not implementing your content marketing strategy is the same as not having a strategy at all:

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When we compare clients who have trouble with implementation to clients who not only implement fully, but do so with a sense of urgency, the difference in results is astronomical.

On average, our clients who implement see a 66 percent increase in organic traffic after 12 months and a 167 percent increase in traffic after 24 months. See why businesses choose us!

2. Your Process is Broken

Do multiple people at your company review and make changes to content as part of your approval process? Do they all respond in a timely manner, or does this make the process longer and sometimes result in delays? Are your approvers aware of the strategy driving each piece of content or do their changes water it down?

If your content marketing process isn’t streamlined, inefficiencies will trickle down.

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Design a process that works for you, determine who needs to be involved at each stage of the process and set expectations with deadlines. Keep it simple.

3. You Don’t Promote and Distribute Your Content

Publishing your content shouldn’t be the last step in your content marketing process. You should be distributing it to prospects, loyal customers, potential partners and other stakeholders, as well as sharing it internally so that your team can serve as ambassadors.

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“You could have the best content in the world, but it will only be as good as your ability to make it visible.” –Blake Pappas, Digital Marketing Coach

Your promotion efforts should include a mix of organic and paid promotion, which will expand your reach beyond your followers and significantly increase your traffic.

Create a strategic paid promotion plan that will get your content in the eyes of people that matter. Download our beginner’s guide to content promotion!

4. You Talk About Your Brand Too Much

If all your content is highly focused on your brand, you run the risk of alienating your audience. According to a report by global marketing agency Sense:

  • 88 percent of consumers think brands are selfish
  • 72 percent of consumers think brands spend most of their time talking about themselves
  • 86 percent of consumers want brands to do more to demonstrate their value

Conversations about your brand should be strategic and organic. Talking about yourself when you’re educating consumers on your key differentiators as part of your consideration-stage content makes sense. As does leading with your brand values when your goal is to convert them with decision-stage content.

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Take advantage of organic opportunities to talk about your brand and dedicate the rest of your time to producing educational content and helping your audience solve their problems.

5. You Don’t Have a Budget for Content Marketing

There’s only so much that you can do for free before your results plateau. And spending the bare minimum will either affect the quality of your content or your ability to produce at volume. High-quality videos or well-written and researched blog posts will have a higher ROI than thin, poorly executed content that was produced cheaply or in a hurry. Similarly, engaging, properly formatted social posts will yield better results than auto-posting the same flat message to multiple platforms.

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Allocating a budget should be a part of your strategy conversation because content marketing will require a financial investment if you’re looking to grow your website traffic.

Ultimately, having an infrastructure that best supports your business goals will give your content the space to succeed. All you have to do is get out of your own way.

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