It’s been five years since the term content marketing started taking over the Internet. An overwhelming majority of both B2B and B2C companies are now using content marketing in some form – about 70% of the companies that practice content marketing are creating more content today than they were a year ago. Today’s marketing teams are held increasingly responsible for quantifying their efforts and contribution to revenue, making it essential that marketers make the most of their budget and justify their expenditures. (Enterpreneur)
Unfortunately, as there is so much hype around the “right” and “wrong” ways to practice content marketing, some brands will end up wasting their money and time on unnecessary activities. SiriusDecisions suggest that 60-70% of content produced by B2B companies goes unused, while Corporate Visions suggest it is even higher (90%)
B2B marketers spend roughly $5.2 billion annually on content marketing, but $1 billion of this total is reported lost due to “inefficient” spending. As B2B content marketing continues to boom, it becomes even more important for companies to understand exactly how these funds are wasted. Where are marketers going wrong?
Here are 6 ways businesses waste their resources on content marketing:
1. YOU’RE NOT TRACKING YOUR RESULTS
One popular definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. To break the cycle, you should periodically be taking a critical look at your content marketing to understand what’s working and what isn’t.
The best solutions is KPI’s. Key performance indicators are metrics you and your management team have selected as the most critical measurements of your content marketing program’s performance. Which metrics will give you the most insight as to whether or not your content is helping you reach those business goals? It’s helpful to understand your averages. How many tweets your average post receives, or what your average number of email subscribers is per post? CMI suggests that updating your tracking document on a regular basis increases your chances of better content performance. Decide when you want to update your spreadsheet and what actions you need to take on the key metrics.
2. YOU’RE NOT REPURPOSING YOUR CONTENT
Every piece of content you make should be converted into at least one other piece of content. This is the only way to generate the amount of content you need without having to work around the clock.
Blog posts are a great example of this because they’re so flexible. Each post you write can be made into:
- 0-15 tweets
- 2-5 Facebook/Google+/LinkedIn updates (focus on a different aspect of the post in each update)
- A SlideShare
- An infographic… even a simple one
- A short video
- A Pinterest pin
- A section of an ebook, whitepaper or case study
3. YOU AREN’T AUTOMATING AT LEAST PART OF YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY
With every technological advancement designed to make our lives easier, our dependence on technology for day-to-day tasks grows. Technology helps us do things with greater efficiency, and when it comes to social media, it’s only natural to find a way to automate our social media efforts. This can involve anything from automating your content sharing activity to queuing tweets and recycling evergreen content. Automation is done via tools like >Buffer, CoSchedule and HubSpot, and can reduce time spent on marketing by taking over repetitive, energy-consuming tasks.
4. YOU AREN’T TESTING
Whether it’s the call to action in your emails, or your order buttons, or just different social media update formats, it’s always critical to test.
Did you try…
- Tweaking small design elements can have a major impact on how your audience interacts with the page
- Playing with page elements like “suggested posts” on a specific piece of blog content
- Experiment with the headlines
- A/B or “split” testing
- Mapping content to your sales funnel
5. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT CONTENT YOUR AUDIENCE WANTS
More often than not, the problem is a disconnect between you, the content creator, and your audience. When a piece of writing (or any other form of creative content, really) fails to resonate, it’s usually because it’s not what the audience was looking for. This is a fundamental part of marketing your business – before you can deliver a marketing message effectively, you need to know who you’re delivering it to and why.
If you don’t understand who your audience is, and their pressing needs, then you can’t really address those needs effectively in a way that the reader would understand. It doesn’t click with them, and they move on. Take the time to research your audience and know who you want to do business with.
- What’s my ideal customer look like?
- What are their biggest issues and concerns?
- How can I solve that problem for them
- What do I want them to take away from this?
6. YOUR WORK IS INVISIBLE TO THE SEARCH ENGINES
Google processes more than 3.5 billion searches every day. So, it’s no wonder that so many companies are scrambling to get involved in search engine optimization (SEO). For the majority of marketers, SEO often seems complex, intimidating and bogged down with technical logistics. But it doesn’t have to be. The foundation of every SEO strategy is to create and post high-quality content. To make your website more visible online, make it a point to post content regularly. As revealed by a HubSpot study, the frequency of blog posts significantly affects incoming web traffic.