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5 Reasons Your Content Strategy Isn’t Working

A content strategy is one of those things that works amazingly for your business if it’s created well. However, if your content strategy isn’t built well, it can actually work against you. If you’re not seeing the results you want from your online marketing efforts, your content strategy may be to blame.

Is your content marketing strategy like blogging and social media not working for you the way you'd hope? These 5 culprits might be why.

It’s likely that your strategy just isn’t working for you.

There are five common reasons content strategies don’t work:

You don’t have one

It’s difficult to have an effective content strategy if you don’t have a content strategy at all, right? If you haven’t yet taken the time to sit down and create your content strategy, you could be losing money.

Creating a content strategy helps make your marketing efforts and online presence more cohesive. It also creates a plan that dictates what content you create based on your audience and goals, so you’ll create content that actually advances your business. With a content strategy, you’re less likely to create content because everyone else is doing it.

You don’t have the time to waste on creating useless content. A content strategy can help you avoid that scenario.

It’s not documented

If you have a content strategy, or a semblance of one, but it’s not documented, it won’t be as effective. A documented content strategy keeps you accountable to the plans you laid, and it helps you remember what you’re supposed to be publishing or sharing and when. A written strategy is also helpful when it comes to hiring a VA to help you implement it.

You can make mental notes about your content strategy all you want, but as Rolf Smith said, “The problem with mental notes is that the ink fades very rapidly.” If you want to be able to remember all the great ideas and plans you created, you need to document them in your content strategy.

A written content strategy doesn’t have to be elaborate. It just needs to keep you on track with your marketing efforts and ensure that your online presence is cohesive. While there are plenty of paid tools you can use to help you create and document your content strategy, they’re not necessary.

In fact, you can easily create your content strategy using free tools like Trello (my personal favorite) or Evernote. You can even go “old school” and use a Word document if you want an electronic copy.

It’s too ambitious

If your content strategy is too ambitious, you won’t be as effective with your marketing tactics and abilities. You’ll also be less effective when it comes to your client interactions because you spend all of your time creating content.

Remember, as a solopreneur, you have to consider your time when you lay out your content strategy. While you can delegate certain mundane tasks to a VA, you’ll likely still be responsible for creating most of your content yourself. If your content strategy has you publishing three blog posts, teaching two live webinars, creating a video series, and hosting a twitter chat every week, it may be too ambitious.

It’s tempting to try to crank out content like larger organizations do, but you have to keep in mind that more established solopreneurs and businesses have a team of people to keep the business running. It’s not just one person doing everything behind the scenes.

If your content strategy isn’t working because it’s too demanding, take a step back from it and look at the different content you’re creating and sharing. Which of that content is most effective?

What gets the most social shares, comments, and engagement? What you’re looking for here is the content that stands out from the rest, content that your audience loved. Once you’ve identified that, look for the content that’s least effective.

After you’ve identified what kind of content works best for your business, create more content that’s similar to it and stop producing content that’s not very effective. This simple move will free up your time so you can start focusing on what really works for your business and your audience.

It’s incomplete

Your content strategy is kind of like a puzzle. You take specific pieces (like the nine essential elements of a content strategy) and put them together to create a picture. However, if you’re missing one of the essential pieces, like clear goals, your content strategy will be incomplete.

Sometimes it’s difficult to tell if a content strategy is incomplete, so you have to put on your detective hat and look closely at what’s present and what’s missing. At a bare minimum, your content strategy really needs to include:

  • Your audience description
  • Goals
  • Webpage content
  • Opt-ins
  • Sales funnels
  • Blog posts (or some other format for regularly published content)
  • Social media posts
  • Metrics
  • Personalization

If any one of these factors is missing, your content strategy likely won’t be as effective in the long run. Incomplete content strategy can limp along for years without causing major damage, but they’ll hold your business back. The difference between an incomplete content strategy and a complete one is huge.

You’re not analyzing it

This is a step that business owners often overlook when creating or revamping their content strategy. If you’re not looking at your numbers and seeing how they apply to your content strategy, you’re not using them to their full advantage, and you’re not strengthening your strategy.

When you look at page views, don’t just look at the total number of views per day or per month. Find out what blog post or page drew those people to your website.

After you know where they’re going on your website, find out where they’re coming from.

Knowing what people are looking at on your website can help you determine which type of content is popular with your audience. Knowing how people got to your site can tell you which social media platform you should be focusing on or how well your SEO efforts are doing.

Take what you learn from your metrics and apply it accordingly to your content strategy. If you discover that LinkedIn is a huge source of referral traffic, give LinkedIn a more prominent place in your content strategy.

Go in with a plan

Let’s say you want to go to a new concert venue in the major city closest to you. You wouldn’t leave home without a map (or a GPS), right? A content strategy should work the same way. It’s your online roadmap, so try to avoid navigating the online world without one and ensure that it’s in tip-top shape.


Ardelia Lee Ardelia Lee is a content strategist on a mission to help small business owners become client magnets through irresistible content strategies. When she’s not scheming with her clients, she’s creating tools and resources to help solopreneurs DIY their own strategies. Get a head start on creating your own content strategy by downloading a free Content Strategy Template.

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