The only organizations achieving true growth these days are the ones marketing themselves most effectively — to prospects, strategic partners, even job candidates.
The ones marketing poorly or not at all? They’re quickly falling victim to tough times.
To help you stay on the positive side of the ledger, we’ve identified seven common characteristics of the losers in the content marketing wars.
1. Failing to plan. (As they say, it really means planning to fail.)
Ever wonder why so many companies take a systems approach to their accounting, sales or manufacturing efforts? It’s because the systematic approach works.
That’s why we have to wonder why so few are just as strategic about their content marketing efforts. An inconsistent “flavor of the week” approach is the worst approach of all — and it’s what most businesses typically do. Don’t have a content marketing plan? Make it your #1 goal to create one before the end of this quarter.
2. Bandwagon jumping, or as we like to call it, “ooohh, a red ball” syndrome.
Yesterday, it was Instagram stories or Clubhouse (remember them?) Today, it’s video content. There are always shiny new objects in the content marketing world, and many can help drive prospects down the funnel.
But without a consistent, strategic plan (see #1), you’ll find yourself grabbing at one red ball after another, wasting valuable time/resources and never gaining any marketing momentum.
3. Deer in the headlights.
This is the opposite of bandwagon jumping and another result of poor planning. Instead of methodically implementing a solid content strategy, you find yourself so overwhelmed by choices or data or details that you do nothing — and it shows up as an empty sales pipeline.
Pick a path, and commit to following it for at least six months before shifting strategies.
4. Not measuring results — or not knowing what to do with the data.
Most organizations understand the importance of evaluating their success. The question is, then what?
Rarely are results crystal clear. It’s vital to know up front how you’ll measure the success of your efforts. Then, take a big step back on a regular basis to evaluate outcomes and course-correct as needed.
5. Not honing your craft.
Marketing moves at lightning speed, so we recommend “indulging” in some continuing marketing education. Whether it’s connecting with experts at a webinar, attending an association meeting in your industry or scanning the latest marketing blogs, staying up to date isn’t optional.
Don’t have time to read? Try readitfor.me, a subscription service that recaps key ideas from the latest business books in short videos that are both entertaining and valuable time-savers.
6. Being inflexible.
Let’s say you’ve implemented a well-thought-out content marketing plan. The worst thing you can do now is say, “Okay, great! Thank goodness that’s over.”
Being systematic and keeping to your chosen course is essential. At the same time, you have to allow for organic opportunities that pop up unexpectedly (maybe a competitor going under or the chance for a new strategic alliance) as well as results-based changes and adjustments to your overall plan.
7. Market myopia.
Think a particular marketing or sales challenge is unique to your industry? Think again. Solutions can often be found by looking outside your own backyard.
How do you find out about new ideas and inventive options across the wider business world? By getting out and about and talking to people.
If your company is taking a scattershot approach to and not seeing results, try implementing a truly systematic content marketing program and see just how powerful a habit can be.