5 Reasons Why Your Content Marketing Plan May be Doomed
The importance of marketing is one of the few concepts that are universal across all industries and sectors. It doesn’t matter what your business is or what you do, an effective marketing strategy is essential to success and long-term survival.
When your content marketing campaigns don’t seem to be hitting the mark, and especially when you aren’t seeing the kind of financial returns that you need in order to justify your campaigns, you need to make finding out what isn’t working a priority.
We are generally conditioned to think of making mistakes as being a negative thing. However, it is from our mistakes that we do most of our profound learning. This is true throughout our lives, and it is a very important lesson in itself. Of course, some mistakes do cause big problems. Marketing decisions might not be life and death, but they have a considerable impact on the health of the business. The telling sign of someone’s character is not whether they make mistakes – we all do – it is how they react to them.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the five most fatal mistakes in a marketing campaign. Drill these into your head, and into your team’s heads, and make sure that everyone is constantly being mindful of them.
Poor Quality Content Marketing
This is the obvious one to avoid. The key to content marketing is, of course, content! Low effort content, content that is presented in an unsuitable media, or content that has just been thrown in as an afterthought, will inevitably be of very poor quality. A common area that is overlooked in marketing is the copy. Just as everyone thinks they have one novel in them somewhere, many businesses assume that they have someone who can write the accompanying words just fine. After all, with marketing, you are often only looking at relatively short pieces of text.
This is a very dangerous way of thinking, however. You should never underestimate the value of having a professional do work for you. Even if it is only a small job, a good copywriter will be able to make the most of the few words that you do have. Have them work with your marketing department to make sure that they really capture the tone and the essence of your marketing campaigns.
Lack of Passion and Commitment
If the people working on a marketing campaign are bored and uninspired, you will get results which are just as boring and uninspiring! The purpose of your marketing campaign is to get the viewer excited about your products and services. It is to inspire them to spend their money with your business over your competitors. To get marketing campaigns that are truly effective, the marketing team who works on them needs to be committed to the project.
Ideally, you should have enough trust in the creative prowess and business acumen of your marketing department to be able to entrust them with the entire process. If you have a new product or service to launch, trust your marketing team to be able to find the most appropriate way of selling it. Ask them what concepts they think can be best used to inspire a marketing campaign.
Again, your creative people need space in which to be creative! Yes, a marketing campaign is often a serious investment, but seeing that investment used right is something that you should be able to trust your team with. Resist the urge to overmanage, and remember, a truly effective marketing campaign will more than pay for itself.
There are some advantages to involving management in these creative processes, of course. If you are looking to maintain a consistent through line between all your marketing materials, including your public statements and interactions with other entrepreneurs, having your key staff sitting in with marketing is a good idea.
For example, let’s say that you have a killer tagline for a service you are about to launch. This tagline is going to be featured on all your promotional materials, and you are using a variation of the tagline internally so that your frontline sales staff can use it with customers to reinforce familiarity with the words they have heard on TV. Having the managers who are going to be using this phrase disseminate it through the ranks will clearly be of benefit. It ensures that everyone is on the same page, making the technique as effective as possible.
Incoherent and Unrealistic Goals
It’s a good idea to set your team goals and objectives. Giving them something to aim for, and the means to know when they have attained it. If your team doesn’t have a clear objective, or they have an objective which is unrealistic, your campaign will do little more than slowly demoralise them. No one likes to fail, especially not when they think they are letting down their boss.
Clearly defined goals will let your team know what they are aiming for with clarity, but they may also tell them how they should best go for their target. Yet again, you must strike the fine balance between clear and detailed instructions, and the freedom of your marketing team to create in the space they need.
A Poor Atmosphere
A bad atmosphere amongst your team members is definitely not going to do you any favours. This is a very basic rule of business that is not at all unique to content marketing. Every manager and business owner has a responsibility to ensure that the workers under their charge are reasonably happy and able to perform their jobs in a positive environment.
This is about much more than being thought of as a good manager; a poor working environment is just bad for business. Employees who are unhappy or stressed are much more likely to fall ill. Employees who are constantly worrying and fretting will not be focusing as much on their work.
Whenever you are evaluating the success or failure of a marketing campaign, make sure that you check for the above five fatal flaws. If you can get into the habit of always being on the lookout for these and avoiding them at all costs, you will have a much more productive marketing team.