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Do you remember the video of skydiver and BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner breaking the speed of sound in the Red Bull Stratos project? Or Google’s interactive, timely Google Doodles? These are just two examples of successful content marketing, where brands are engaging consumers in a completely non-promotional way.

Content marketing has taken off in the past couple years (what is content marketing? Learn more about it here). In fact, 72% of marketers feel that content marketing is essential for their business. It is a fun, authentic way for companies to connect with their target audience and build awareness and brand loyalty.

But, however effective content marketing can be, there are some scenarios where it can be a bad idea for your business.

Here are 3 reasons why you would want to avoid content marketing:

1. You don’t have the time

It is a common misconception that the more blog posts you publish, the more successful your content marketing efforts will be. In reality, you’ll just be left with dozens of thin, fluffy posts that don’t attract readers nor relate to any business objectives. In content marketing, quality trumps quantity every time. You may be able to pump out three or four blog posts a week, but if you’re moving that fast, chances are you haven’t had the time to adequately do your research, come up with original content, and think through the best plan for getting it in front of your audience.

The Bottom Line: It takes a lot of time to create quality content, so if you don’t have the bandwidth to truly develop original pieces, you may want to hold off. Otherwise, you’ll just be filling the internet with more junk.

2. Your social strategy isn’t solidified

Developing content is half the battle. Once you’ve written a killer white paper, produced an engaging video, or designed an infographic, you have to actively work to get it in front of the right people. And what better way to target a certain community of people than on social media? Social media and content marketing can be best friends — original content fuels the social media calendar and gives you a reason to reach out to your target audience. And, by sharing your content on channels like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, you can get a better sense of what people like to read or want more of.

The Bottom Line: If you don’t have a social media presence, you are losing a powerful vehicle for promoting your content. Without Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or other forums, you will keep producing great content that will solely live on your blog and you will be forced to rely on direct traffic or organic search results to attract readers.

 

3. You haven’t identified your goals

Content marketing does not live on its own little planet in the marketing galaxy. It should touch every aspect of your marketing plan, including social media, SEO, email marketing, partner marketing, product, sales, and more. And, it requires clear, measurable objectives to guide the ideation, creation, and execution of content (your content objectives could be to increase conversions or boost engagement on social media). Establishing these goals gives you a framework to develop your content (a blog post designed to get retweets looks very different than a post targeted at conversions). Without these guidelines, you’re likely to produce disjointed content that is hard to track and measure.  

The Bottom Line: Content marketing should not be an afterthought that is pieced together with other marketing initiatives. It should be developed at the same time as your other campaigns and seamlessly woven into every appropriate aspect of your business.

 

Conclusion & Next Steps

Content marketing isn’t going anywhere. But, in a digital world where our attention spans are tiny and we’re constantly getting bombarded with new videos and articles, companies need to fight to break through the noise. And, if your content strategy isn’t quite ready, sometimes it’s just better to be quiet until you’re prepared to say something great.

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