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13 Scary Reasons your Content Marketing will Fail + #ThisOldMarketing Bonus

In the spirit of the season, we’re bringing back one of our favorite SlideShares from 2013: 13 Scary Reasons your Content Marketing will Fail. Plus, read through to the end for a #ThisOldMarketing bonus! 

Only 38%* of B2B and 37%* of B2C content marketers in North America consider themselves to be effective. Now, if that was a batting average, we’d be all-stars, but . . . It’s downright scary that marketers are failing and flailing at their content marketing. Why is that the case? Here are 13 chilling reasons why (and quick tips for how to fix them).  *Updated numbers based on 2015 Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends)

13 Scary Reasons Your Content Marketing Will Fail from Content Marketing Institute

Which of these 13 reasons have you STOPPED doing in 2014?

1: Your content is all about you. Realize that your customers don’t care about your products or services, but they care about themselves.

2: Your fear of failing paralyzes. What would you try with your content marketing if you gave yourself permission to fail? Set aside time to experiment.

3: You’re setting the bar too low.  Are you truly best of breed in your niche? Quick better content, not more content.

4: You’re not sourcing correctly. What do you struggle with the most? Bring in outside expertise, from a dedicated agency, or outsourcing service, or other external resources.

5: You operate in silos. Do your social channels & website look like they are coming from the same company? Is there a consistent story? Develop a corporate storyline and share it.

6: You don’t seek out discomfort. When was the last time you tried something that made you nervous (in a good way)? Does your content challenge, entertain or provide expertise?

7: You don’t have calls to action. If someone engaged in your content, would they know what to do next? Build CTAs around important and high-traffic pages and assets.

8: You aren’t excelling at any given channel. Is one of your channels “Must-See TV”? Pick your top channel to serve as the centerpiece of your content marketing strategy.

9: The content role isn’t owned. Who in your organization owns your content marketing strategy? Assign someone as your content champion.

10: Your C-Level doesn’t buy in. Is one of your biggest challenges getting support from management? Present your content pilot program (6 months should do it) and set agreed-upon metrics.

11: You are not niche enough. In what business area is your content the go-to informational resource? Go small to go big.

12: Your team is too slow. Speed beats perfection in most cases. Is there anything you can stop doing that is stopping you from having a streamlined process?

13: You execute inconsistently. You need to have a schedule and stick to it. Start by committing to a schedule you can handle, and then increase frequency from there.

But, after another year’s worth of content marketing learning, Content Marketing World, your own trials, errors and successes, we’re confident that you’re not doing any of these. Right? Where are you stuck? How can CMI and CMWorld help?

Happy October and Happy Halloween from your friends at CMI. Enjoy this pumpkin carving template of Joe & Robert. Why not listen to an episode of PNR: This Old Marketing while carving pumpkins? And who knows? There may be a special prize for anyone that uses this template this Halloween! Post your pics on Twitter or Facebook – we’d love to see them!

Click on the image below for a downloadable pdf template.



  1. james brown says:

    I would like to add one more important point that is the irrelevant or duplicate content on the website. Sometime, we see the differentiation on the blog topic & the content on that blog.

  2. Tom Leonard says:

    I like #3; #4 is tough. In my experience it takes a lot of time to educate an outside resource on the brand.

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