Anyone who has been following the trends in marketing lately can’t help but read about content marketing as being a potentially powerful tactic for companies both large and small. However, most of these articles fail to mention why, for some companies, there are reasons not to implement this approach. Below are 6 reasons your company should not do content marketing.

Your company expects instant results from your content marketing efforts

Content marketing is hard.  It takes time. It’s the sum of cumulative efforts that take months and months to see any true results.  If your company is looking for marketing efforts that will yield immediate results, content marketing is not something you should embrace, as you’ll quickly become disappointed in the lack of apparent return. So how long does it take for content marketing to work? Some of the top content marketing agencies in the country have provided research showing it could take 9 months or more to see true results.  That’s based on a certain number of new content pieces; less frequent content creation may take even longer. Can’t wait that long?  Then move on to other marketing efforts instead.

Your company has no idea what kind of information your prospects are looking for

Content marketing is about providing information people are looking for. Instead of creating content that sells a company’s product or service, effective content marketing is about providing useful content people actually want.  It’s about answering the questions people are asking.  If your company has no idea what questions your prospects or clients are asking, or what kind of information they’re looking for, your efforts will fail. If they want all their content to be about selling, that’s not content marketing.

Your company doesn’t see the need to start content marketing with a strategy 

You’ve seen this before:  someone decides some marketing tactic is a great idea, and they just jump in and start doing it; no plan, no direction, no goal, no measurement. It’s pretty much the “throw something up against a wall and see what sticks” tactic. That approach will NOT work for content marketing.  The only way to implement a truly effective content marketing effort is to start with a plan; ideally a fully fleshed out content strategy, or at the very least, having some semblance of a content strategy as part of their overall marketing strategy. If you can’t take the time to start with a strategy, best not to start at all. It doesn’t have to be comprehensive, but at least have some kind of plan, some kind of idea who your audience is, what they want for information, how they consume information, etc.

Your company doesn’t want to take the time to create substantial content pieces

There was a time that a nice little 300-word blog was all you needed to be labeled a “content marketer” but those days are long gone.  Remember the comment about “helpful content”? How helpful can a 300-word blog post be?  Sure, there are times where you can and should be short and sweet; provide the needed info and be done.  But on a regular basis? Your audience will demand more and you’ll quickly lose them if your content marketing isn’t substantial.

Your company only wants to blog

Most companies start their content marketing efforts with blogging; it’s a fantastic way of dipping your toe into content marketing and it’s a great way to start seeing what resonates with your audience.  But after that?  You need to expand. People consume information in different ways and different formats. At some point, you need to invest in white papers, case studies, infographics, images or videos. You need to try creating lists, interviews, and curation pieces.  If you think your content marketing efforts will be a one-trick pony, you should probably put your efforts elsewhere.

Your company only half-heartedly embraces content marketing

Content marketing is hard, remember? If your company doesn’t understand that to make content marketing work, there needs to be a full, enthusiastic commitment, you’re headed for failure. It’s critical for everyone on the marketing team at the very least to embrace all aspects of content marketing and do it enthusiastically. If your marketing people are doing it because “everyone does content marketing now”, don’t bother, as again, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Worse, if your efforts are inconsistent, you’ll lose your audience.

Content marketing has become the most commercially important digital marketing trend. Small and large companies alike should plan and execute an effective content marketing effort to see success in their overall marketing efforts, but should only do so if they understand the time and energy involved, and plan accordingly, setting reasonable expectations for success.

Patty Hughes
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