Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com
Why Content Marketing
Fails
Download this Slide Deck
bit.ly/mozcontentfail
Failure Sucks
Most Content Efforts Will Fail
Spike of
hope
Flatline of
nope
You’ll Invest with the Best of Intentions
You’ll Launch
with Excitement
And it Will Suck
And You Won’t
Know Why
Why Your Content
Marketing Will Fail
5 Reasons
You Believed the Biggest
Myth Content Marketing
Ever Told the World
#1
We Imagine Content Marketing Works
Like This…
Let’s go see
what’s on the
Internet today,
shall we?
I wonder what this post Kieran
tweeted is all about.
That was an interesting. I should sign
up for this free ebook download while
I’m here!
And I’ll just fill out their contact form
with my information….
Oh! Better not forget to follow all their
social profiles while I’m at it.
You might laugh, but a lot of companies invest in
content marketing on the assumption that this is how
it works!
Me make
c...
In Reality, It Works Like This:
Let’s see
what’s on
Hacker
News… Meh.
How about
Facebook?
Oh, right. Baby
pictures.
Let’s try Twitter.
Meh.
Maybe Google+?
Actually… This
looks kinda
interesting.
After seeing 400+ links I
could have clicked, I
finally chose this one. It’s
a good article, and this
example, naturally,
...
I wonder
why I like
this blog
so much?
About a week later, I
caught a link to
Beardbrand’s blog.
No magic trick to
grow a thicker
beard?! Dammit!
I’d followed them on
Google+, so I watched
this video they
shared, too.
When my lovely wife told me that I might need to look
into some mustache wax, I thought of Beardbrand. But I
couldn’t reme...
So, naturally, I searched
Google:
Nope
Nope
Nope
Yes!!
A Perfect Match!
Say goodbye bushy
handlebars!
This is How Content Marketing Really Works:
Caveman Rand
explain.
This is How Content Marketing Really Works:
Me Make
Content.
Humans click.
If them like, them
remember.
Maybe them see
mor...
Content marketing not
about convert 1st visit. Or
2nd. Or 3rd. Only foolish
humans think it work like
this.
Content marketing
about earning
familiarity, trust, and
relationship.
Maybe sale come. Maybe not.
Smart cave marketer no care.
Smart cave marketer know
every visit chance to build
relationship...
The Obligation Rests on
Marketers to Set the Right
Expectations with Our
Teams & Clients
You Made Content
Without a Community
#2
Does Content Spread Simply Because
It’s Really, Really Good?
If this content’s really good,
it’ll just spread “virally,” r...
OK, Probably Not
Ha! That’s a good one,
Rand!
In My Experience, Content Spreads Because
It Inspires a Community
It Reinforces a Belief
Refutes an Opposing Argument
Starts (or Renews) a Passionate Discussion
Is in Someone’s Financial/Promotional Interests
Leverages Group Inclusion Dynamics
Makes the Sharer Look
Smart/Important/Worldly/Etc
“Good Enough” Content Often Performs Well
when a Community Is Behind It
Only the Best 0.1% of Content Can Go “Viral”
without a Pre-existing Community
Don’t Bet Your Marketing on
Being the 1 in 1,000
Before you create content,
ask the question: “Who will
support & amplify this
content and why?”
You Invested in Content
Creation, But Not in its
Amplification
#3
Content Must Reach People in Order to
Reach Its Potential
Channels for Reaching the Right People
Depend on Your Audience
Most Amplification Methods Fall Into These
Three Buckets:
Broadcast 1:1 Paid Promotion
1) Broadcast (often via Social Media, Email,
or through Events)
2) 1:1 Outreach (via Social, Email, or In-
Person)
3) Paid Amplification (many varieties)
A basic process for
getting content
amplification right:
STEP 1: Find Successful Content in Your Niche
http://buzzsumo.com
STEP 2(a): Find Where It’s Being Shared
http://buzzsumo.com
STEP 2(b): Go Beyond Social Networks
Google Search and https://freshwebexplorer.moz.com/
STEP 2(c): Find Who’s Doing the Sharing
http://buzzsumo.com
STEP 2(c): Find Who’s Doing the Sharing
http://www.blindfiveyearold.com/ripples-bookmarklet
STEP 3: Copy What’s Working For Them
Via http://followerwonk.com
STEP 4: Build Relationships with Those
Who Can Help
http://www.slideshare.net/RickTRamos1/why-do-peopleshareonline
Don’t Treat Amplification as “Fire &
Forget.” Experiment, Learn, & Apply.
Via http://bit.ly
Think of Each Channel Like a Muscle to Be
Flexed & Strengthened Regularly
Don’t Forget to Leverage What is Still the Most
Powerful Sharing Channel (according to NYT):
http://www.slideshare.net/Ric...
You Ignored Content’s
Most Powerful Channel:
SEO
#4
Google Search Has Grown Massively
~6 Billion Searches/Day!
http://www.statisticbrain.com/google-searches/
While Search Traffic is Distributed,
Social is Highly Concentrated
http://www.simplereach.com/blog/facebook-continues-to-b...
You Might Have Seen Re/Code & Buzzfeed Claiming
Google Search Traffic Was Dead
http://recode.net/2014/02/02/the-year-faceb...
Here’s Define Media Group refuting that with data
from 87 publishers & 48 billion pageviews
http://www.definemg.com/hey-bu...
SEO is Also Critical Because of Intent
“Do things” mode
“Browse” mode
When Done Right, Content Marketing is the
Rising Tide that Lifts the SEO Ships
Without content marketing, it’s incredibly ...
When Done Right, Content Marketing is the
Rising Tide that Lifts the SEO Ships
But as content on a site earns links, it he...
At the Very Least, Do Your Keyword Research
Be aware that AdWords may not show you all the relevant keywords:
http://moz.c...
Better Yet – Gain a Deep Understanding of How
SEO & Content Work Together
4 Posts I’d Recommend:
• The Convergence of SEO ...
You Gave Up
Way Too Soon
#5
The 0.1% Always Look Like Overnight Successes
In Reality, It Looks More Like This:
Geraldine’s Travel Blog: http://everywhereist.com
Geraldine started her blog in 2009
In Reality, It Looks More Like This:
For 2 years, she never broke 100 visits/day.
In Reality, It Looks More Like This:
Then she had a few posts get some attention
In Reality, It Looks More Like This:
But traffic fell back down soon after.
In Reality, It Looks More Like This:
This is where most people give up.
In Reality, It Looks More Like This:
These days, she gets 100,000+ visits each month
In Reality, It Looks More Like This:
The Price of Success
is Failure after Failure
after Failure
* Hopefully, each of those failures provides an opportunity to...
Why Content Marketing Fails
Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com
bit.ly/mozcontentfail
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Why Content Marketing Fails

  1. 1. Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com Why Content Marketing Fails
  2. 2. Download this Slide Deck bit.ly/mozcontentfail
  3. 3. Failure Sucks
  4. 4. Most Content Efforts Will Fail Spike of hope Flatline of nope
  5. 5. You’ll Invest with the Best of Intentions
  6. 6. You’ll Launch with Excitement
  7. 7. And it Will Suck
  8. 8. And You Won’t Know Why
  9. 9. Why Your Content Marketing Will Fail 5 Reasons
  10. 10. You Believed the Biggest Myth Content Marketing Ever Told the World #1
  11. 11. We Imagine Content Marketing Works Like This… Let’s go see what’s on the Internet today, shall we?
  12. 12. I wonder what this post Kieran tweeted is all about.
  13. 13. That was an interesting. I should sign up for this free ebook download while I’m here!
  14. 14. And I’ll just fill out their contact form with my information….
  15. 15. Oh! Better not forget to follow all their social profiles while I’m at it.
  16. 16. You might laugh, but a lot of companies invest in content marketing on the assumption that this is how it works! Me make content. Humans click. Them buy. Me get money.
  17. 17. In Reality, It Works Like This: Let’s see what’s on Hacker News… Meh.
  18. 18. How about Facebook? Oh, right. Baby pictures.
  19. 19. Let’s try Twitter. Meh.
  20. 20. Maybe Google+? Actually… This looks kinda interesting.
  21. 21. After seeing 400+ links I could have clicked, I finally chose this one. It’s a good article, and this example, naturally, resonated 
  22. 22. I wonder why I like this blog so much? About a week later, I caught a link to Beardbrand’s blog.
  23. 23. No magic trick to grow a thicker beard?! Dammit! I’d followed them on Google+, so I watched this video they shared, too.
  24. 24. When my lovely wife told me that I might need to look into some mustache wax, I thought of Beardbrand. But I couldn’t remember their name! Lovely Wife Imminent need for mustache wax Who were those guys that made the cool beard stuff?
  25. 25. So, naturally, I searched Google: Nope Nope Nope Yes!!
  26. 26. A Perfect Match!
  27. 27. Say goodbye bushy handlebars!
  28. 28. This is How Content Marketing Really Works: Caveman Rand explain.
  29. 29. This is How Content Marketing Really Works: Me Make Content. Humans click. If them like, them remember. Maybe them see more content I make. Visit again. Me build trust, relationship with humans. When them need me product, them come back.
  30. 30. Content marketing not about convert 1st visit. Or 2nd. Or 3rd. Only foolish humans think it work like this.
  31. 31. Content marketing about earning familiarity, trust, and relationship.
  32. 32. Maybe sale come. Maybe not. Smart cave marketer no care. Smart cave marketer know every visit chance to build relationship. Maybe earn fan. That good enough.
  33. 33. The Obligation Rests on Marketers to Set the Right Expectations with Our Teams & Clients
  34. 34. You Made Content Without a Community #2
  35. 35. Does Content Spread Simply Because It’s Really, Really Good? If this content’s really good, it’ll just spread “virally,” right guys?
  36. 36. OK, Probably Not Ha! That’s a good one, Rand!
  37. 37. In My Experience, Content Spreads Because It Inspires a Community
  38. 38. It Reinforces a Belief
  39. 39. Refutes an Opposing Argument
  40. 40. Starts (or Renews) a Passionate Discussion
  41. 41. Is in Someone’s Financial/Promotional Interests
  42. 42. Leverages Group Inclusion Dynamics
  43. 43. Makes the Sharer Look Smart/Important/Worldly/Etc
  44. 44. “Good Enough” Content Often Performs Well when a Community Is Behind It
  45. 45. Only the Best 0.1% of Content Can Go “Viral” without a Pre-existing Community
  46. 46. Don’t Bet Your Marketing on Being the 1 in 1,000
  47. 47. Before you create content, ask the question: “Who will support & amplify this content and why?”
  48. 48. You Invested in Content Creation, But Not in its Amplification #3
  49. 49. Content Must Reach People in Order to Reach Its Potential
  50. 50. Channels for Reaching the Right People Depend on Your Audience
  51. 51. Most Amplification Methods Fall Into These Three Buckets: Broadcast 1:1 Paid Promotion
  52. 52. 1) Broadcast (often via Social Media, Email, or through Events)
  53. 53. 2) 1:1 Outreach (via Social, Email, or In- Person)
  54. 54. 3) Paid Amplification (many varieties)
  55. 55. A basic process for getting content amplification right:
  56. 56. STEP 1: Find Successful Content in Your Niche http://buzzsumo.com
  57. 57. STEP 2(a): Find Where It’s Being Shared http://buzzsumo.com
  58. 58. STEP 2(b): Go Beyond Social Networks Google Search and https://freshwebexplorer.moz.com/
  59. 59. STEP 2(c): Find Who’s Doing the Sharing http://buzzsumo.com
  60. 60. STEP 2(c): Find Who’s Doing the Sharing http://www.blindfiveyearold.com/ripples-bookmarklet
  61. 61. STEP 3: Copy What’s Working For Them Via http://followerwonk.com
  62. 62. STEP 4: Build Relationships with Those Who Can Help http://www.slideshare.net/RickTRamos1/why-do-peopleshareonline
  63. 63. Don’t Treat Amplification as “Fire & Forget.” Experiment, Learn, & Apply. Via http://bit.ly
  64. 64. Think of Each Channel Like a Muscle to Be Flexed & Strengthened Regularly
  65. 65. Don’t Forget to Leverage What is Still the Most Powerful Sharing Channel (according to NYT): http://www.slideshare.net/RickTRamos1/why-do-peopleshareonline
  66. 66. You Ignored Content’s Most Powerful Channel: SEO #4
  67. 67. Google Search Has Grown Massively ~6 Billion Searches/Day! http://www.statisticbrain.com/google-searches/
  68. 68. While Search Traffic is Distributed, Social is Highly Concentrated http://www.simplereach.com/blog/facebook-continues-to-be-the-biggest-driver-of-social-traffic/
  69. 69. You Might Have Seen Re/Code & Buzzfeed Claiming Google Search Traffic Was Dead http://recode.net/2014/02/02/the-year-facebook-blew-past-google/
  70. 70. Here’s Define Media Group refuting that with data from 87 publishers & 48 billion pageviews http://www.definemg.com/hey-buzzfeed-search-traffic-is-doing-just-fine/
  71. 71. SEO is Also Critical Because of Intent “Do things” mode “Browse” mode
  72. 72. When Done Right, Content Marketing is the Rising Tide that Lifts the SEO Ships Without content marketing, it’s incredibly hard to earn the types of links that will confer domain authority & rankings in search engines.
  73. 73. When Done Right, Content Marketing is the Rising Tide that Lifts the SEO Ships But as content on a site earns links, it helps every other page on that domain rank better in the search engines, lifting the tide!
  74. 74. At the Very Least, Do Your Keyword Research Be aware that AdWords may not show you all the relevant keywords: http://moz.com/blog/be-careful-using-adwords-for-keyword-research
  75. 75. Better Yet – Gain a Deep Understanding of How SEO & Content Work Together 4 Posts I’d Recommend: • The Convergence of SEO & Content Marketing • Link Building vs. Content Marketing • How to Build a Content Marketing Strategy • Build & Operate a Content Marketing Machine
  76. 76. You Gave Up Way Too Soon #5
  77. 77. The 0.1% Always Look Like Overnight Successes
  78. 78. In Reality, It Looks More Like This: Geraldine’s Travel Blog: http://everywhereist.com
  79. 79. Geraldine started her blog in 2009 In Reality, It Looks More Like This:
  80. 80. For 2 years, she never broke 100 visits/day. In Reality, It Looks More Like This:
  81. 81. Then she had a few posts get some attention In Reality, It Looks More Like This:
  82. 82. But traffic fell back down soon after. In Reality, It Looks More Like This:
  83. 83. This is where most people give up. In Reality, It Looks More Like This:
  84. 84. These days, she gets 100,000+ visits each month In Reality, It Looks More Like This:
  85. 85. The Price of Success is Failure after Failure after Failure * Hopefully, each of those failures provides an opportunity to learn. *
  86. 86. Why Content Marketing Fails Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com bit.ly/mozcontentfail
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