As a business owner or as a marketer, it’s likely you acknowledge that content marketing is a potent form of marketing. Infact, it’s also likely that you try to use it as a tool to generate leads for your business.

Before I continue, I would just quickly state what I mean by content. By content I mean, the blogs on your site and the information that you take to your audience via social media channels such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter etc.

Back to the topic at hand, this article will highlight some of the actions that cause our content marketing efforts to fail miserably.

No. 1 – You treat content marketing as an afterthought

Whether it’s writing a blog topic or creating collateral for a social media channel, content creation is just an activity that needs to be tick-marked off your to-do list. You give no thought to what resonates with your audience or who your audience is or where your audience flocks. You create a generic piece of content without investing too much time in research or customization.(Read: 10 tips on content marketing)

No. 2 – You try to say what everyone else says

If you are someone who’s under some sort of deadline to produce x amount of articles/posts in a week or month, you just churn articles and the same information that’s present in thousand other places on the net. Now, if you are doing this, it’s nothing more than sheer waste of time and effort. It’s not going to help you because you are defeating the primary objective of content marketing which is to come across as a knowledgeable person and a differentiator in your area of expertise.

No. 3 – You hold back information

Agreed that as a business (and more so if you are into services), you cannot mention those 1 or 2 secret ingredients. Even the best chef while sharing his top recipe, will hold back that 1 secret ingredient which makes all the difference. That said; give away knowledge and real useful information. If you have a mindset that holds back information for fear of giving away everything for free, change it. It doesn’t work like that. What an expert can do only an expert can do! So, sharing information or details of your know-how isn’t going to ruin your chances of sales. Infact, it will further them as you will be perceived as someone who really knows his game. Keep a ‘value-provider’ mindset and begin to see your efforts paying off.

No. 4 – You keep your piece of content in a cocoon

You write a great piece of content, upload it on your blog and then forget about it. It’s highly likely that as a business you need more visibility, more people to know that you exist. So, if you are not taking the content to your prospects, your prospects aren’t going to travel to you. And then, you can’t complain much if your content marketing efforts fail.

No.5 – You don’t know what works well where

I mentioned at the beginning of this article as to what I mean by content. Most marketers/founders don’t understand the dynamics of a content sharing channel well enough. A piece of content that’s suited to Instagram isn’t suited equally to Facebook. If you are posting something on Instagram and then auto tweeting about the same on Twitter, it is not a good practice. You should be playing to the dynamics of each platform and keep your audience engaged accordingly.

If you think there are other reasons why content marketing doesn’t work, please feel free to share in the comments below. I would love to have a discussion around it.

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