5 Ways To Troubleshoot Your Content Marketing

03/Jun/2019 · 3 MINS READ

The history of content marketing has always been a topic ripe for debate. Some lunatics claim it began with cave paintings. But we’re more inclined to think it really started kicking off – at least the digital kind of content marketing – after the first blog was published in 1994.

Since then, content marketing has gone from strength to strength, with 78% of CMOs claiming that “custom content is the future of marketing”. But what happens when this ‘perfect’ tool in your marketing arsenal doesn’t go to plan? Should you give up? Or is it more about learning from your mistakes to deliver amazing results?

What are some common reasons why content marketing fails?

There’s a reason the average Joe doesn’t perform surgery. They don’t have the training nor the expertise to do a quality job. Content marketing is the same, and so many brands fail because of it. That’s why there’s a whole career trajectory for content marketing these days.

If you’ve tried content marketing in the past but come up short, see if any of these ring true:

  • You thought you could write about anything: By all means, blog away till your heart’s content – that doesn’t mean anyone will read it. People who haven’t worked in content often think blogging is easy. On the contrary, you need to investigate your audience and plan out a comprehensive content calendar that will deliver engaging, relevant topics.
  • You didn’t think about SEO: Another misnomer is that optimising content for search is complicated. But modern keyword research is so easy and user-friendly. If you want to get eyes on your content, SEO is as important as the words on the page.
  • You forgot to build a strategy: When you first started your business, you had a plan or at least an outline, right? Then why wouldn’t you do the same for content marketing? If you’re investing in a marketing tactic – whether it’s time, money or both – you need to build a strategy around it.
  • You didn’t measure anything: In the same vein, all the strategy in the world won’t pay off if you aren’t measuring your results. By measuring how your content is doing (time on site, page views, bounce rate, etc.) you can A/B test your content and get a better idea of the stuff your audience engages with
  • Your expectations were unrealistic: We live in an instant-gratification world right now (thanks, Instagram…), and unfortunately that’s bled into business. But no marketing tactic will pay off if you don’t stick with it. If you fail at the first hurdle and then simply quit, did you really give it a fair crack? Remember, content marketing is a long-term strategy.

5 troubleshooting questions

Ready to get back on the horse and give content marketing another go? If you’re unsure where to begin – or even what is wrong with your current content – ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Do I have an end goal for my content marketing?
  2. Do I know which audiences I want to engage?
  3. Am I publishing across a variety of formats (blogs, social media posts, eBooks, e-newsletters, etc.)?
  4. Can I do everything on my own or should I harness the power of content experts?
  5. Am I promoting my content in the right places?


There are plenty more questions to ask, but this is a good jumping-off point. And it’ll hopefully get your strategy better aligned.

These brands are doing content marketing right

If it helps to see what the masters are doing, here are three companies doing content marketing really well.

Evernote is a simple note-taking app, but the team behind it are connecting with audiences through storytelling. This personalises their offering, making them appear less like a soulless entity and more like a knowledgeable friend.


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Grow and Convert cuts through the noise of a polluted content world by offering readers relevant, actionable content which you can read here

John Deere, one of the most recognisable business names in the world, is actually a content marketing master. For more than 120 years they’ve stayed true to their roots with their The Furrow publication. And consistency here is what makes new and existing customers convert time and time again.

Need a bit of help troubleshooting your content marketing? Contact us today to find out how we can get you on the road to success.

And if you’re keen for more content marketing tips, check out The Beat.