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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
content.
Humans click.
Them buy. Me
get money.
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,
resonated 
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 remember their name!
Lovely Wife
Imminent need for
mustache wax
Who were those
guys that made
the cool beard
stuff?
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
more content I
make. Visit
again.
Me build trust,
relationship
with humans.
When them
need me
product, them
come back.
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. Maybe earn fan.
That good enough.
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,” right
guys?
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/RickTRamos1/why-do-peopleshareonline
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-be-the-biggest-driver-of-social-traffic/
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/
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/
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 hard to earn
the types of links that will confer domain authority &
rankings in search engines.
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!
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
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
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 learn.
*
Why Content Marketing Fails
Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com
bit.ly/mozcontentfail

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