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Why Startups Fail at Content Marketing


By Sarah Green, October 15, 2015

Since its dramatic growth several years ago, content marketing has taken a central place in the world of digital expansion. Seeing it as an opportunity to reach new markets and customers, both small and large businesses have resorted to some form of content production.

According to the CMI’s 2015-2016 research, 86% of marketer executives said that they used a particular content marketing strategy. However, along with new opportunities opening up for startups, their commitment to content has also brought new, often fatal challenges.

Although most of them are gearing up to build a successful content marketing strategy, many startup companies fail to do so properly.

Facing the lack of quality content

Although creating meaningful and readable content is the matter of choice, it has proven to be the key factor in attracting the largest portion of digital media users. The 2015 research done by the Content Council, proved 63.4% of the startups pooled reported the lack of quality content as their main challenge.

The most common mistake these companies make is focusing on quantity rather than quality of content they provide. According to the Content Marketing Institute, in order to build effective content, startups need to focus on:

  1. Performing a company-wide content audit
  2. Creating a functional editorial calendar
  3. Planning their content creation efforts in advance
  4. Developing a plan for distributing content efficiently
  5. Tracking content marketing results

Struggling with content personalization

One of the latest trends in the web marketing industry is an increased contextualization of content, which is a practice that refers to creating presentable and valuable content based on something you already know about your audience. By addressing the needs of smaller social groups, startups are more likely to create original content and improve the chances of success for the entire marketing campaign.

In relation to this, The Custom Content Council report has shown that consumers are bound to feel better about a company that delivers content that is relevant and interesting to them. Namely, 61% of them reported that they would always choose to buy from a company that approaches its customers caters personalized approach.

When it comes to tailoring content to the target demographics, there are numerous aspects that need to be taken into consideration. Some of these factors are: who your digital users are, as well as when, where, why and how they access content.

Even though custom marketing is believed to be a firm foundation for any future marketing strategy, only 35% of CMOs consider it relevant. Striving to make as much content as possible, companies usually forget to set the factors such as culture, attitudes, behavior, common needs and priorities of target demographic as their top priority.

Ineffective content marketing strategies

You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to understand that writing content without building a solid marketing strategy is pretty irrational.

In the aforementioned CMI’s research, 48% of organizations believed that their documented marketing strategy helped increasing their effectiveness rates, while The State of Inbound 2014-2015 Report, shows that it doubled average website conversion rates from 6% to 12%.

Still, the shocking fact that only 6% of startups rated their content marketing as effective is the main indicator that the majority of them still don’t have a compelling digital strategy. Moreover, only 48% of pooled startups had a verbal-only content marketing strategy, while 14% have never applied any sort of strategy.

Difficulty Measuring Content ROI

When it comes to measuring the effectiveness of content they provide, startups need to choose the metrics that are relevant to their business goals. However, even with the rapid advancement of sophisticated analytics technology, measuring the performance of content marketing is still one of major challenges for startups. Namely, 49.1% of marketers reported that they were not able to successfully drive ROI from content marketing.

According to The Content Council Research, the most common tactics for measuring content ROI are:

  1. Website traffic, according to 80.4% of respondents
  2. Social media, according to 74.6% of respondents
  3. Sales, according to 63.8% of respondents

Poor content distribution

Once the content is implemented into your marketing strategy, it needs to be seen, heard and viewed by your target audience. The study conducted by Altimeter shows that 53% of marketers surveyed said that improving content distribution is among their top three priorities.

What startups always forget is that the regular, or even aggressive, distribution of their content is the crucial factor in increasing chances for success. Although the majority of startups publish their content via social networks, articles, blogs, in-person events, case studies and similar tactics, them don’t seem to take them seriously. The studies show that only 16% of startups post content on a daily basis, while 8% of them publish it less than once in a month.

Combining content and SEO

Although tightly related, content marketing and SEO strategies are often approached separately, but this is definitely a wrong move. Namely, the integration of these two is a key to ensuring quick online growth and occupying relevant positions online.

Therefore, apart from producing interesting content, startups also need to figure out the ways to best optimize it for search engines. This certainly doesn’t mean that they should only focus on creating keyword-optimized pieces, but actually deploying some SEO tactics when planning their topics, as well as content distribution.

Here, one of the initial steps to take is choose the right domain name, as it can greatly improve the outcomes of your digital strategies. The general advice is to go for the one that is transparent and easy to memorize, such as the ones that contain .me to ensure increase brand awareness and better SEO results.

All in all, it is more than obvious that content will take the world of SEO by storm, as the best tactic for startups to attract target audience and drive profitable customer satisfaction. However, unprepared for the constant changes in the erratic SEO landscape, startups still struggle with some major challenges in developing a solid and effective content marketing strategy. Only by keeping them in mind will they be able to avoid major threats, gain a competitive edge and enhance the flow of traffic to your website.


Author:

Sarah Green

Sarah Green explores the latest web trends and covers stories related to technology, startups and digital life in general. Writing professionally since 2012, she has developed a sixth sense for trending topics in these fields.

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