1. SEJ
  2.  ⋅ 
  3. Content

Reasons Why Content Marketing Fails

Common mistakes made by businesses which result in their content marketing to fail

In this article you will learn…

  • Common mistakes made by businesses which result in their content marketing to fail
  • Takeaways to help over come the common failures

We all know in today’s online marketing world it’s not enough to just have a website.  You have to have a blog however you need to implement a content marketing strategy to help get your blog off the ground. Here are reasons why so many content marketing strategies fail.

1.    Not enough Scope


Image by Flickr: bk1bennett

 Many companies try to write an article to meet all of their objectives but in doing so the content falls flat on its face. Before starting a content strategy a business needs to identify what they want out of it.  For example gaining new customers, increasing social engagement and search rankings to educating exiting customers about products and service offerings.

However even if you tell your customers about your products/services don’t over do this as you run the risk of self promotion like GE did with their launch of their new website using Facebook which has 96k fans but each of the content doesn’t merely get a handful of likes, this is due to the fact that most of the content is self promotion.

Another example is the New York Times that created email content that was suppose to go only to the customers that has unsubscribed but it ended up going to all customers which resulted in them being angry that they would not be getting the discounts.


The content you create meets the needs of the target recipient.


2.    Not knowing Your Audience


Image by

As with creating the right content you need to research on what your audience want and which type of content they respond to best. This could be how-to’s to visual based content imagery to video or a mix.  Many businesses get this wrong and wonder why their audiences switch off and don’t respond.

As like you come up with the right content for the relevant  social media platform.

If you don’t know your audience this will also have an impact with them not wanting to share your newly published content, as the correct social share buttons are not available for their preferred network. I have seen this for many businesses and when they get this wrong they wonder why they are not increasing their social signals.

Another reason why it is important to know your audience is the scope of your campaign and the internet, which Walmart found out the hard way with one of their Facebook campaigns. The Walmart campaign was the Walmart store with the most facebook likes would get a visit from the rapper Pitbull, which saw the rapper been sent to Alaska from the campaign.  They obviously didn’t realise the reach of the internet.


  • You can use social media monitoring tools to find out who and where your niche is being mentioned.
  • Thorough research into the relevant platforms for the correct social share buttons.
  • Remember to know your audience


3.    Lack ideas


Image by Flickr: ryan-berry

Having a blog and an audience is all well and good, but if you lack ideas or don’t create something unique this will again result in failure. Many content strategies fail at this hurdle as they create something that has already been done before or looks closely like another article and you just look like a copy cat especially if its one of your main competitors.

On the other hand you could rely on your customers to help generate content for you however be careful as like Pepsi found out that the majority of their website consisted of user generated content with lacked social engagement which in some ways damaged engagement overall. Be sure to create your ideas and that way you keep in control.


  • The key is to use various methods such as content curation, infographics to feedback from your customers.
  • If the content has been done before its best to add a new spin on it and make sure the facts are still up to date.
  • Don’t be afraid to take a little longer researching for some content, as each one doesn’t have to take the same amount of time to write. It will be worth it in the end!

4.    Content Executed Wrongly


Image by Flickr: kaiban

So you have the right unique idea but you executed it in the wrong way which resulted in not been a great piece. If your idea is full of facts and figures then may be creating content in text format is not the best idea. It will probably look better in a beautiful infographic making it more interesting to read.



  • Remember you don’t want your audience to stop reading your content half way through because of boredom.

5.    Issues with Promotion


Image by Flcikr: fa_photos

You have the right content and your best content yet, however it fails because you don’t do enough, or use the right promotion and you don’t target the correct influencer in your niche. So in turn your content fails and doesn’t gain the correct results it should have got. You can’t just think you got the right content so once its published it will just work for you. It doesn’t work like that. You still have hard work to do.  No one said content marketing was easy!


  • With correct research and the right relationships built in your niche it will steer you to gaining the results you want.

In regards to the research you need to find out the best publishers in your niche that will want to promote your content, plus you don’t want to pitch content to people who haven’t the right interest as its not gonna benefit you or the publisher

6.    You lose Momentum


Image by Flickr: edesignpics

Overtime you and your business loses momentum and focus on your content marketing. Even with the best strategy I have seen this, especially in smaller businesses in busy periods the website/blog and content overall is put on the back foot until they can dedicate more time to it. The danger of this is the audience stops coming and go elsewhere.


  • Your content marketing needs to be like Pringles once you start you can’t stop
  • In smaller businesses you as the owner need to be dedicated yourself to writing the content or hiring a writer to fulfil your content needs. You won’t be spoilt for choice for companies offering content writing services such as and
  • For larger businesses they are able to supply resources to their content marketing, however this doesn’t mean it is going to be successful, they need to consider the previous mentioned steps and a bit of trial and error to seek the right content for your audiences.

Brands Who Are Being Successful in Content Marketing

It’s not all doom and gloom for brands in content marketing, the following brands are getting it right Coca-Cola, Colgate and Red Bull just to name a few. Here is why they are leaders in content marketing. These examples will help you with your content strategy.

Image by

Coca-Cola is being successful in content marketing as it has put content as it’s core mission with their Content 2020, their content advertising strategy, from storytelling to content creation. Coca-Cola have shifted from creative excellence to content excellence.

Image by Coca Cola

One content campaign stands out for me, which their campaign for the London 2012 Olympic Games, not only did they create the anthem for the games but they enabled fans anywhere in the world to put their own stamp on Coke’s Olympic content. The company has launched desktop and mobile applications that allow teens to create their personal “Beat” and share it with others using social media platforms. Another example of fab content they launched the  “Around the Olympic Torch Relay”, Coke gave 1,300 inspiring young people—dubbed “Future Flames”—the opportunity to carry the Olympic Flame, a compelling example of emotional storytelling content.

The brand has made a video of their content 202 vision. It is certainly worth a look and demonstrates the importance of “content” to Coke.

Image by Switched

Another great example of a brand knowing their target audience and what content they want is Volkswagen. They knew that their target customer was tech-savvy and love social networking.  The campaign they created would connect the audience in the mobile world. Volkswagen launched the Real Racing GTI App. The app tapped into the natural enthusiasm of gamers who not only love playing, but also loved to share results with other gamers and through social media. In the first week VW saw huge success with over 1 million downloads and 40K consumers and ranking the app as number 1 in 35 countries. This shows the brand got the right audience and most importantly the content!

Image by

The last example is that of Ikea who embraced storytelling and created deep emotional connections through a Facebook campaign to promote the opening of its store in Malmo, Sweden. The campaign involved uploading images of the new showroom to a newly created Facebook photo album. Then, it used the popular photo tagging function to connect with people on an emotional level.  The first person to tag their name to a product in the pictures won the product. The campaign was a huge hit and dramatically grew the news of the store opening. The campaign was also distributed across multiple channels of conversation including Twitter, Blogs, Television, and Print.

There are many more examples and it would be great to share them all however maybe that’s another article!

I’ve shared a few examples of bad and good content marketing; it would be great for you to share some in the comments below.



















Category Content
Mark Scott Owner at Doc Marketing

Mark Scott is the owner of social media and SEO company DOC Marketing and a freelance writer. He is also ...

Reasons Why Content Marketing Fails

Subscribe To Our Newsletter.

Conquer your day with daily search marketing news.