6 Reasons Why Content Marketing Fails [And How You Can Fix It]

content marketing fails

Hold that thought. Yes, that one… and let’s talk about the 6 reasons why content marketing fails and how you can fix it.

If you’re like me, then you know the turmoil and perils of creating content. You most likely produce the content yourself.

Or you’ve hired a writer or writers to do it for you.

You’ve put in all the blood, sweat, and tears. Yet, you have no results to show for your hard work. 

No newsletter signups.

No comments, likes, or shares.

Free trial registrationsーnone.

Quality leadsーnone. Prospects?

You already know the answer to this one.

So now you might have a million questions flooding your mind.

Is all the investment you put towards content marketing going down the tube?

What are you doing wrong? Are you missing a point? Is it all worth it?

Hey, relax. You’re not alone. Before you throw in the towel, I’m here to walk the journey with you.


Watch the video – Why Content Marketing Fails and How You Can Fix It


Watch the video below or continue reading here on the blog.



So here we go. First, take a look at this 6 reasons why content marketing fails infographic to give you an overview.


6 Reasons Why Content Marketing Fails (And How To Fix It) Infographic


According to SEMrush, 91% of companies incorporate content marketing.

It’s easy to see the reason why.

Content marketing is cost-effective, doable by both large and small businesses. 

Whether your objective is to increase sales, attract new prospects, get repeat clients, or improve traffic — marketing through content is flexible and it works.

In recent years a greater number of B2B and B2C businesses have discovered the benefits of content marketing.

This means to stand out from your competition and rank higher in search engines, your content needs to be of high-quality and reasonably lengthy. 

Also, consider how you can create evergreen content and reap the rewards of your content marketing efforts for months and years to come. So, how do you ensure that your content marketing isn’t failing to produce results?

First, you need to understand what you’re doing wrong or not doing.

Let’s unpack together the reasons your content marketing isn’t flying through the roof and how you can fix it. Ready?


Why Content Marketing Fails Reason #1: You’re Overlooking SEO


Who said SEO is dead?  Because it isn’t.  For those who don’t know, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

SEO plays an integral role in content marketing. There’s absolutely no way you can be successful with content marketing without incorporating SEO.

This means that you have to please the Google gods by every means possible. You don’t believe me?  

Have a look at this graph. As of July 2020, Google dominates the search engine market with a whopping 92.26%. It’s incredible.

Search Engine Statistics

These numbers don’t lie. No matter how great your content is, you’ll continue being invisible if you don’t optimize it for search engines. Follow these 2 steps to help you boost the organic traffic growth to your site. 


Step 1 – Optimise Through Keyword Research and Retargeting


Find keywords that are relevant and with high traffic potential. 

Keywords are phrases that people feed into the search engines to find a product or service.

Ensure that you include these keywords in your title, introduction, some sub-headings, and in the body ― be as natural as possible.

Another obvious rule with keyword use ― don’t stuff them. Keyword stuffing attracts a Google penalty. And I don’t want that for you. Really.


A few factors to consider when selecting your target keywords


  • Relevance –  Ensure that as much as a phrase is frequently searched for, it should remain relevant to your prospects.

  • Search Volume – You need to know what number of people are searching for a particular keyword. The higher the number of people searching for that keyword, the larger the audience you’re likely to reach. Contrastingly, there’s no audience available if no one’s searching for the keyword.

  • Competition – Just like any other business opportunity, you’ll need to consider the probability of success and potential costs. For SEO, this translates to an understanding of the respective competition and the possibility to rank for a particular term.


Step 2 – Use On-Page Optimization


The next step after you have your keywords is to implement them into your content. Rand Fishkin provides a well-articulated visual of a perfectly optimized site. Check this out.

perfectly optimized site

Get Google to fall head over heels with your site by using these basic tips. 


You’ll need to include 3 basic SEO elements in your content 


  1. Title tag – This refers to the bold headline found on the search engine results page (SERP). It’s a vital factor in SEO. The title tag informs people what the content is about. A great title tag should be clear, simple, and compelling. For a full display of the tags, keep them under 60 characters.

  2. Meta description – This is the snippet of text that appears right under the title tag. It’s usually 160 characters long. A meta description gives more details about your content. The idea behind it is to coax people to click and read your content. A great meta description is basically a memorable summary. It should be persuasive, powerful, and punchy.

  3. Alt attributes – This is an HTML element that permits you to provide substitute details of an image when it can’t be displayed. Your alt text should fit naturally into your description to avoid “over-optimization” filters.

Also, consider:

  • body content, URL structure, schema, and markup
  • links – both internal and external
  • page speed and mobile-friendliness
seo diagram


Why Content Marketing Fails Reason #2: You Don’t Have a Content Marketing Strategy


Allow me to ask you this hard question – do you have a content marketing strategy in place?

Chances are, you don’t. And if you do, it’s more than likely not fine-tuned, which is a contributing reason as to why your content marketing fails.

You don’t have a content marketing strategy if you think that all you need to do is to satisfy your publishing quota. What you need is a rock-hard master plan. 


Here’s why a hammered out documented content marketing strategy works


  • It allows for easy identification and measurement of your KPIs.
  • Getting buy-in from top management becomes less challenging.
  • It assists you to stay ahead of your competition because you’re making premeditated moves.
  • It facilitates better use of your resources and team

According to marketing statistics by Hubspot – 24% of marketers plan on increasing their investment in content marketing in 2020.

Also, nearly 40% of marketers say content marketing is a critical component in their comprehensive marketing strategy. 


focus of content strategy


Having a strategy is critical to your ultimate marketing success since it informs all you do, and aids you in achieving a positive ROI.

So don’t just create content for the sake of it. Invest in strategy and witness the wheels of change turn your site into an unmatchable beast.


Why Content Marketing Fails Reason #3: You Don’t Know Your Audience


I know that feeling too well. Yes — the one that you’re dead sure that the content you create is adored by your readers and viewers.

Yet, you’re still not getting the results you think you should be.

Want to know why? You really don’t know your audience. There. I said it.

Before you create any content, you need to understand who your audience is, what they want, and what type of content they respond to best.

Is it through…

  • A podcast?
  • A blog post?
  • An email?
  • A newsletter?
  • A video?
  • Case studies?
  • Q & As

Ask yourself these 5 questions

  1. Who exactly are you writing for?
  2. Who purchases your product or service?
  3. What pain points and doubts are they experiencing?
  4. Who should you reach on social media?
  5. Will they engage with the content you produce?

You need to know your prospects’ income, age, spending habits, gender, and anything else that’s relevant. This is called creating a buyer persona. It’s also important to figure out where your audience is consuming the content from.


what channels are you creating the content for


Younger people have a tendency of flocking to specific social media platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat.

Global Web Index also showsClic that 41% of all TikTok users are between the ages of 16-24. 68% watched someone else’s video in the past month, and 55% uploaded one. Would you believe that the average time spent on TikTok is 52 minutes? Wow!


TikTok statistics


As of April 2020, 35% of global Instagram audiences were between the ages of 25 and 34.

Conversely, Facebook is used by people of all ages, with half of all users logging on every day. Roughly 80% of 18 to 49-year-olds have an account and use it for both personal and business connections. 

LinkedIn has nearly 700 million active users. According to the Pew Research Center, 34% of these are between the ages of 25-30, and 33% are aged between 30-49.

When it comes to matters pertaining to lead generation and marketing tactics, LinkedIn is the second most popular platform for B2B marketers, followed by Facebook. (HubSpot Statistics)

Understanding the specifics of each platform and where your target audience hangs out is fundamental to your content marketing strategy’s success. 


Why Content Marketing Fails Reason #4: You’re Ignoring Analytics


Ignore the analytics at your own peril. Long gone are the days of depending on instinct in marketing or guesswork. This isn’t a reliable nor clever strategy.

We exist in a data-driven world when it comes to marketing. You don’t stand a chance without measurement and testing.

When I suggest that you measure analytics, I don’t mean measuring just one metric. Your metrics and goals should be hinged on several numbers.

Most brands use website traffic numbers to measure their content marketing success. While this is recommended, it shouldn’t be the only way. 

You need to monitor multiple metrics such as SEO rankings, customer satisfaction, social media shares, and more.


Here are 8 KPIs that you should include while measuring and testing your content marketing


  1. Article views to establish the number of people who viewed your content.
  2. Social shares to determine whether your content is reaching new audiences.
  3. Comments to learn if your audience is engaged and also get feedback.
  4. Conversions to know if your leads became purchasing clients.
  5. Geography to know where you have most readers or viewers from.
  6. Dwell time to confirm how engaging your content is and if your audience is fully consuming it.
  7. Click-through rates (CTR) to figure out if your prospects are extending far down into your funnel.
  8. Devices to determine which gadgets were used to consume your content.

Observing these metrics over a considerable amount of time will help you catch sight of trends, modify your tactics, and polish up your content performance.

I created a worksheet to help you with this. To download the 3 CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS FOR 2020: Analyse Your Marketing Plan worksheet please click here.


Why Content Marketing Fails Reason #5: Your Content Is Plain Boring


Oh! I can’t stress this enough. No one reads boring content. I agree, it’s a thin line. Writing for SEO to woo the Google gods while trying to sound human is no mean feat. 

You may end up cramming keywords and sounding too formal. On the other hand, you might go overboard with being too casual or not gelling with your audience.

The outcome? Nobody wants to touch or share your content. Be encouraged though. There’s a fix for this — an easy fix.

Write like you’re talking to your friend  — and then  — adapt for search engines. 

Write with passion. Write for people, not bots. Determine the style and voice you want your brand to portray and be consistent with it. You’ll have people devour your content.

However, great content isn’t sufficient. Your content should inspire the community at large. Viral content usually sparks a discussion or presents an opposing view. 


There are three reasons why brands end up creating dull content 


  1. They don’t know their target audience.
  2. They hired an inexperienced or inexpensive writer.
  3. They’re not sure of the type of content to create.

The content marketing world is becoming more and more cut-throat. So stellar content is more critical than ever.


Why Content Marketing Fails Reason #6: You’re Not Promoting The Content


Hearing crickets on your site instead of clicks? Please, I plead with you — don’t be anti-social! Your content marketing efforts will be unsuccessful.

Curating content and publishing it on your site — then leaving it there, is tantamount to not creating the content in the first place.

Promotion is a critical component of content marketing strategy.

There are numerous ways to promote content. You can use referral links, email marketing, social media, and beyond.

If you’re just focusing on content creation but not promoting, your content marketing goals will flop.

For your articles to go viral, you must incorporate well-founded promotion and distribution strategy in your content creation workflow.

To increase brand awareness and content reach to meet your business goals, use a three-dimensional approach:

  • Owned media
  • Paid media
  • Earned media
different media types paid owned earned


10 sought-after content promotion tools


  1. Sumo
  2. Quuu Promote
  3. Meet Edgar
  4. Buzzsumo
  5. Sniply
  6. Optin Monster
  7. Viral Content Bee
  8. Triberr
  9. IFTTT
  10. Outbrain

Your precious content will only gain traction through a unified and aggressive promotion strategy.

You can grab your FREE guide – Vital Marketing Tools Guide for 2021 to assist with your marketing strategies.



There you have it! The 6 reasons why content marketing fails. 

Your content is your brand’s most valuable asset. This means your content marketing strategies need to be top-notch, and as I said before, I don’t want you to continue to feel like you are failing in your content marketing.

To download the PDF worksheet of this article click here.


Let Me Help You Win With Your Content Marketing


Hey, I’m Simone


For 20 years, I’ve been creating compelling content and marketing for entrepreneurs, big and small businesses.


I’ll help you turn your traffic into loyal customers and return visitors. As well as create valuable content your audience will love!


Let me show you how to manage it effectively, create authority, and generate leads.


I have also created courses and resources to aid you in this journey. No need to fly blind anymore!


In the meantime, I’d like to know from you — what additional reasons do you think contribute to content marketing failure? What remedies can fix these reasons? I’d really love to hear from you.


Also, if you have any questions, feel free to shoot.


As always, thank you for dropping by, for reading my blog posts, and for subscribing to my Youtube channel.  Thank you too for watching my videos. I feel the love. 


See you in the next one – yes?

Simone Cunningham

Simone Cunningham

CEO of eWords Agency & Simone Cunningham Media

Simone is a public relations and content marketing strategist. For more than 20 years she’s been developing communications and media content, as well as marketing strategies for written, video and audio content. She partners with businesses, government, and not-for-profits as an industry authority, and also offers 1:1 coaching sessions to help individuals and businesses achieve their content and publicity goals.

Have something to say? Comment below.


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