Content marketing comes with a great deal of benefits, but there are also common pitfalls companies fall into time and time again.

We've curated the following stats that have come out over the past two years to illustrate what is going on in content marketing, some common challenges you might face, and issues you are better off avoiding if you do not want to waste resources.

1 - 91% of content gets zero organic traffic

Just because you built it, does not mean they will come. Companies are constantly fighting an up hill battle with SEO, algorithms, changing user tastes, competition, and much more.

This is why at PLAYNECT we advocate creating habits with your users to enable fandom. By setting strong and reliable expectations, your brand and its content become a regular part of your user's lives - providing real value every step of the way.

Source: ahrefs

2 - 68% of companies use paid promotion to help distribute content

The first stat is exactly why this second stat exists in the first place. If your content is not getting served to your audience organically, you must pay. Otherwise you will never even touch your audience in order to be able to set expectations and begin creating habits and real fandom.

A significant amount of companies refuse to accept this reality. They eventually die off or succumb to the reality that they must pay (at least initially) to serve content and grow a healthy community around their brand(s) and product(s).

Source: CMI

3 - Emails not optimized for mobile are deleted by 80% of users

Straight forward - content and channel optimization is critical for user experience. A negative user experience is not going to create positive expectations, habits, or fandom. It will create the exact opposite.

Source: Customer Think

4 - 71% of readers say they were turned off by content that seemed like a sales pitch

Authenticity is consistently overlooked. No one wants to be pressured or pushed to buy something. People want to be appreciated and treated as equals in all facets of their lives - so why should a company's marketing be any different?

Create actual value for your different user segments. Stop wasting people's time with pointless or pushy materials. You are not creating a community, nor are you converting customers - you are pushing them away.

Source: Marketing Week

5 - 67% of companies do not have a documented content marketing strategy

"We know what we are doing" - famous last words, and most definitely not an excuse to not have a well structured and defined plan to achieve business goals. Everyone thinks content marketing is easy; just post a few words and a pretty picture and our company will grow. Except that it isn't easy, and that never happens.

You wouldn't approach product development without a well defined plan, so why leave arguably the biggest chunk of your marketing up to a whim?

Source: CMI

6 - 43% of companies do not measure the effectiveness of their content marketing

No strategy, and no measurement, yet they still insist on performing content marketing. Do yourself a favour - set a strategy and start monitoring your content performance. Otherwise, there are better uses for your budget - like charity.

Source: CMI

7 - 57% of companies expect to increase their spend on content marketing this year

So let's recap:

  • 67% don't have an actual strategy in place
  • 43% do not measure content effectiveness

And now we have 57% of companies expecting to increase their budgets. Unless they fix those issues, that is money down the drain.

That said, you should also note that this is 57% of increased competition for an already time-starved population. Every minute of every day, companies are pouring out content hoping to take a second of your time. What are you doing to keep up and cut through the noise?

Source: CMI

8 - Companies surveyed by CMI indicated that SEO/Search and Algorithms are the biggest issues in content marketing moving forward

Companies need to make money, even social networks and search engines. It helps them to hurt your organic reach as it forces you to pay to play. And this is only going to get worse over time.

In order to ensure an audience returns, you must create the habit in users of seeking out your content. Create real fandom so you do not have to rely on the graces of a gamed algorithm and pay-to-play system every time you publish.

Source: CMI

9 - 34% of B2B customers say that marketers send them too much irrelevant content

Stay focused. Stay on track. Sending meaningless updates to a potential customer just to illicit a response and get a conversation rebooted is likely to have the opposite effect. They will mark you down as spam, and that is how you and your brand will be perceived moving forward.

If you are serving people content, it better be relevant and provide value. Otherwise, don't waste your resources, you are only helping your competitors in doing so.

Source: KoMarketing

10 - Long-form content generates 9x more leads than short-form content

Long-form content generally does a good job of providing value. Short-form content can be vague or miss key information. Worse, short-form content can be published just to drive initial traffic or be a weak attempt at improving search result rankings. More often than not, short-form content leaves people wanting more - and not in a good way.

That said, quality and value are crucial to the success of long-form content.

Source: Curata

11 - The average person only spends 37 seconds reading a piece of content before moving on

Those are two very contrasting statements: people prefer long-form content, yet on average only spend 37 seconds engaging with a piece of content. Essentially it boils down to user expectations and perceived quality of content.

If your audience knows what to expect, and engaging with your content becomes a habit, then you can create true fandom. Otherwise, you will see that 37 second abandon rate and constantly be chasing new users.

Source: Newscred

12 - Only 42% of companies engage their audience to determine needs/wants/expectations regarding content

Solving those engagement issues starts with engagement - talk to your users. If you don't have a clue what your user's expectations are regarding your content and what they want to see and find valuable, you aren't going anywhere.

Creating feedback loops and optimizing your channels enables you to establish mutually beneficial relationships with your users. If you do not take the time to do this, you will waste resources unnecessarily, and miss out on revenue opportunities as a result.

Source: CMI

13 - 53% of B2B companies have only a single person managing the entire organization's content marketing efforts

At the end of the day, you are as strong as your weakest link. If your organization's entire content marketing efforts are left up to one person to handle: research, ideation, creation, engagement, analysis, and optimization - you are setting your company up for failure.

Source: CMI

14 - 90% of marketers said they would see a positive impact if they had more people creating content

Start slow and gradually build up your team, leverage agency partners, and above all else - value your content marketers. They are your life-blood. Leaving this work to an unqualified intern because they "understand social media" is not a valid option.

Source: Data Box

PLAYNECT is here to help. Each and every situation above can be avoided or fixed if necessary. We work with each client to identify and address any such issues and help you achieve your business goals and objectives through proper content marketing.