April 1, 2020
why your content marketing isn't working and how to put it right

Why Your Content Marketing Isn’t Working (And How To Put It Right)

Learn how to create effective content marketing, even if the one you’re currently using isn’t working for your company now…

— The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not always reflect the views of Xanjero.

Content marketing is a vital part of today’s promotional playbook, particularly in the digital world where it’s hard to get attention, but it’s far from easy to use it effectively. If you look around (on social media, for instance), you’ll see countless brands utterly failing to get anywhere with their blogging and asset-creation efforts — and maybe you’re familiar with that struggle.

If your content marketing isn’t working, and isn’t returning the value you need from it, then it’s imperative that you take action to address that. But what can you do? How can you take your campaign from lackluster to irresistible? In this post, we’re going to look at some reasons why content marketing can fail, and set out some tips for addressing them. Let’s begin:

There’s nothing memorable about it

This has to be the most common reason for content marketing failing. There’s so much content available online that you could read 1000 blog posts every minute and still have enough to last you for years, and it all starts to blur together very quickly. How many websites have you visited in the last week? How much of what you’ve read can you remember now? Not much, I expect.

To fix this, you need to pay close attention to what everyone else is doing, and do something different. There are so many possible routes to choose from — though be mindful that you don’t choose at random, because it needs to be different in a good way: if everyone else is writing long posts, don’t write 200 words on a complex topic and expect it to be memorable for that alone. Instead, think about what makes other content boring, and find ways to make yours compelling. More visuals. More anecdotes. More stories (more on that next).

You’re not telling any stories

Stories draw people together. They allow us to share real experiences with others, or fabricate fictional events to communicate values or lessons, and they’re at the heart of all media. It isn’t the action films with the flashiest explosions that we remember: it’s the ones with coherent stories and relatable characters. Even a simple story can be told in a powerful way.

If your content marketing is all about product characteristics and thin social proof, then it’s missing a lot of what makes promotion effective. You need to start telling stories: stories about how your products or services work, why you’re in business, what you hope to achieve, and what you do outside of work. This will make your content inspire empathy.

It’s going to the wrong people

Perhaps your content marketing materials are actually really good, with memorable formats and features and compelling stories — but they’re still failing to get anywhere. How is that possible? It’s simple: you’re reaching the wrong audiences. This is not only unfortunate but also a massive waste of resources and potential (akin to creating a powerful client pitch and accidentally delivering it to someone who doesn’t work for the target company).

To correct this, you need to invest in better use of analytics and research tools. The more information you can gather about how your content is performing, the better you can understand where it’s falling short — and where you could deploy it more effectively.

Here, we’ve looked at the main reasons why content marketing campaigns don’t work. If you can address each of these things in turn, ensuring that your content is memorable, story-laden, and distributed appropriately, you can turn things around.

Kayleigh Alexandra

Kayleigh is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to spreading the word about startups and small businesses of all shapes and sizes.

View all posts by Kayleigh Alexandra →