10 Reasons Why Most Small Businesses Fail When They Try to Do Content Marketing on Their Own

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Content marketing is becoming the standard in marketing strategy. Big media companies are largely moving away from traditional marketing strategies such as print design, and are focusing on original content marketing. You will often find at the end of a particularly engaging video or article, that it was secretly an advertisement. However, many companies that try to dip their toes into the world of content marketing on their own find that it is much more difficult than they expect, and eventually end up reverting back to traditional marketing methods.

Below are the top ten reasons why most businesses fail in successfully using content marketing

1. The content is not engaging

You need to write good content. If you don’t think you’re creative enough then seek help. Find a colleague or 3rd party creative agency that can structure your idea into a more captivating story. Take an objective view on your idea before deciding to take it to production. Share it with colleagues and close friends. Think closely about their responses. Remember that it can have a negative impact if perceived incorrectly by someone.

It is not enough to simply get a potential consumer to click on a link to your website, you have to engage them to the level that they want to reach out to you and establish a connection. While it is certainly important to have an eye-catching and intriguing headline it is the substance behind that headline that truly translates to successful content marketing. In this way, catchy headlines can only get you far. Don’t focus on high click ratio, focus on quality content that will provide value, and will match the viewer’s expectations when they click on your marketing campaigns.

2. A company is not reaching out to its viewers directly

If a business creates great content but fails to provide a way to have new content delivered directly to fans how do they expect to grow a consistent consumer base? Establishing a way for viewers to subscribe to your newsletter and hear more about great ways you are changing the world will excite them to keep coming back. Focus on creating added value, keep them engaged. Make them remember your brand and what you’re passionate about.

Establish a subscription system so that readers who visit your site can be encouraged to visit again. At this point, it is easy to use subscription lists and email marketing to target these readers/consumers with new content as soon as it is published.

3. They post infrequently/irregularly

Even if a business is lucky enough to have attracted a few loyal followers, it can be very easy to lose them without a regular posting schedule. Consistency is key. Plan the topics you wish to discuss and always keep people on their toes. Stay ahead of your competition by posting about new issues, and your opinion on changes in your industry.

With such a large volume of new content available every day it is important to become a regular fixture in your reader’s lives, to be a place from which they come to expect interesting and informative content.

By posting consistently you will create the expectancy of new and interesting content. Think of the phrase “out of sight, out of mind”. Plan the content you wish to post so that you will have quality topics to discuss for months to come. Don’t let yourself be forgotten.

4. Find a balance

Many businesses make the mistake of simply creating ads for their products, instead of focusing on truly interesting content related to their products.

For instance, Business A is focusing on only posting positive testimonials of their high-end art supplies. While these can be very effective interspersed naturally within your regular content you want to be reaching a wider audience and as such should make content that appeals to this wider audience. Business B, on the other hand, sells a similar product as Business A but is creating a series of short videos featuring local artists using their products while telling personal stories. Which business do you think is likely more successful?

Think about variety,  don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something different. People like being surprised, and you might attract more potential customers or viewers by trying something different.

5. Lack visual Excitement

Nothing attracts our attention like a captivating video or picture. Many people are unlikely to even read the title of an article link, let alone click on it, if it doesn’t have a thumbnail, or there is no picture within the text. We understand it might be difficult to find the right picture to bring out emotion, but this is an important piece of creating quality content. You need to excite your audience. You never know, sometimes a captivating picture will attract people to read what you have to say. It’s all in the details.

Also, keep in mind that articles with images are also much more likely to be shared on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. This is critical to keep in mind for your social media strategy.

Find royalty free pictures through Google or popular websites such as Pixabay. There are also marketing agencies online which can help you with this. Another way to add creativity to your content is to add infographics. They are becoming very popular and can convey more information than a detailed paragraph or bullet points. Intriguing images are also an important factor of social media marketing strategy as articles

6. They don’t promote the content they create

As with anything else, content marketing requires a promotion strategy. Sponsored or paid posts are a great way for a small business with a small following to reach a larger audience. Even once you feel like you are established and are receiving a steady stream of traffic you should continue in your efforts to promote your content.

If you don’t know where to start, hire a marketing agency that will help you find the keywords people search for, so you can bid on them and attract leads. Remember that all of these key points compliment your overall strategy, so it will only help you. Remember that it’s a trial and error process, and this process is shortened if you hire a professional to help you reach a successful marketing strategy.

7. They don’t understand SEO

Not only should your site and content be found easily on popular search engines but they should also rank highly. Although SEO can be difficult to understand there are many online resources to help you understand it and maximize your search engine visibility. If possible, you should consult an agency that specializes in SEO. Make sure that your content is tagged efficiently.

Spend the time to understand and set up Google analytics. It’s a great tool that will give you insights as to how your website is most viewed. Is it seen on a mobile device, or tablet and computer? During what times are people reading your content? How old is your audience? Where are they located?

These are all key questions that you might be surprised to find the answer to.

8. You’re not writing for the right audience

Keep in mind that the content you are creating is not for yourself, but rather to help others grow and develop. It’s very important to create content that is interesting and valuable to a wider audience. Consider creating content aimed towards reaching your target audience. What kind of things what sort of questions do your consumers frequently ask you? While it can be a great idea to write about new innovations in your industry, it is all too easy to fall into creating content only accessible by fellow industry professionals. Remember that your average reader will likely not understand your industry-specific jargon. Make your content accessible to a wider range of audiences and it will likely translate to a wider range of consumers.

Do you think you really know your target audience? Your niche might be somewhere else, with more potential. Learn to understand your analytics to get a better idea of who your target audience is.

9. They believe they don’t have enough time to focus on content marketing

The majority of small businesses have three employees; and as such, it’s very common for each employee to wear many hats. Other times a company is managed and run by a single individual doing everything. We understand it’s difficult to prioritize, but you have to remember that you have to generate sales. Without sales, there’s no growth. People need to know your product, brand or service exist, in order for them to reach out to you.

If you don’t have the time find someone who can help you. A marketing agency will help you get exposed as fast as possible and reach your consumers effectively. Think about investing effectively in your business.

10. They are not following a clear marketing strategy

In order for your content marketing to be effective, you need to have a real strategy, not just create content haphazardly and sporadically. It is not effective to just hope consumers will find your company organically, be impressed immediately by your dazzling original content, and then start purchasing from you right off the bat. For successful digital marketing, you need a clear content marketing strategy that details how your original content will be created, and why you are creating it. Set clear goals then start working on an editorial schedule to ensure that your content is coming out in a timely manner.

The good thing is that it’s never too late to start, and with a detailed plan you can execute a successful marketing strategy. In summary, don’t focus only on creating content. Make it appealing and interesting to others. If you can’t do it yourself hire a marketing agency to help you target your current customers, as well as your potential customers. Broadening your marketing strategy with these tips will translate to growing your business.

-Sean

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