3 Reasons Small Businesses Fail at Content Marketing

Katie Pollard
August 10, 2015
3 Reasons Small Businesses Fail at Content Marketing

Is your mother the only person who comments on your blog posts? Is your company's blog failing to drive traffic to your website? [Tweet "Are you stuck in a rut with your #contentmarketing?"] Content marketing is an amazing way to engage potential clients and organically grow the visibility and reach of your business, but if your efforts are half-hearted it may be doing more harm than good. Almost every business is doing some kind of content marketing, but not many are doing it well. If you want your business to stand out in the crowd, spend some time learning how to improve your marketing strategy. Here are three content marketing mistakes that small businesses are making:

1) They don’t execute consistently

[Tweet "The #1 rule of business blogging: post frequently and consistently."] If readers glance at the timeline of your posts and see a sporadic schedule, with long stretches of inactivity, it makes you and your business look disorganized and sloppy. If you have established followers and readers, you want your posts to become a regular part of their routine. If content is appearing infrequently, seeing a new post will actually surprise your followers and (in a subtle, almost subconscious way) will actually draw negative attention to the business. Now, we know that running a small business is no small task (... and for the sake of full disclosure, when I was a small business owner my blog was my last priority so I’m guilty as charged on this topic.) You’re already extremely busy keeping all the other components of your business up and running, so it’s hard to find time every day—or even every week—to maintain your blog and social media presence. Fortunately, there are tools designed specifically for small business content marketing! Our favorite is Buffer. This tool allows you to create all of your content ahead of time, schedule the posts and customize across multiple media platforms, then track the analytics so you can quickly see which types of content are working for you.

2) They’re not investing in quality content

Unfortunately, being prolific isn’t enough to ensure success. Readers are inundated with information every day, so no one has time for weak, boring content. Think about these questions before you hit “publish.”

a) Is this information fresh and useful to my target audience?

Think creatively when you’re brainstorming for blog ideas, and don’t be afraid to look for content that’s a little outside your industry.

For example, let’s say you sell custom jewelry. Rather than making every post about jewelry, blog about fashion in general, hair and beauty tips, wedding trends, interior design, and anything else that your clients are interested in.

b) Is the content visually appealing?

Get the advice and opinions of many people when you’re choosing the color palette, fonts, and overall “look” of your blog or website. Don’t go overboard with gimmicky effects, and make sure your style parameters are consistent throughout the site.

c) Is this written well?

Guys, there is SO MUCH bad writing floating around the Internet. Posts that are filled with typos and poor grammar will absolutely affect how you’re perceived and will turn off many potential clients.

Please find a good proofreader and editor, and don’t get your feelings hurt when changes are made. If writing just isn’t your gift, hire someone like Sweet Fish Media to help!

3) They aren’t promoting or optimizing content.

[Tweet "Even if your content is amazing, you can’t just sit around and wait for readers to find you."] It’s tempting to link all your social media accounts and simply “push” content from one platform to all the rest. However, if you’ve spent any time on social media you’ve probably noticed that, for example, LinkedIn and Twitter have radically different personalities and lingo. Every social media platform is unique, so it’s best to customize your posts for each one. This doesn’t mean creating separate content for each platform, just that the way you introduce an article should be optimized for the medium. This is simply about presentation. For the very same article you can post a cute picture on Instagram, a quippy quote on Twitter, a longer excerpt and a shout-out to an industry colleague on Facebook, and a statistic from the article on LinkedIn… You get my drift. Again, Buffer can help streamline this process and save you time.


Is this time-consuming? Absolutely. But it’s worth it! Quality small business content marketing will increase your site traffic, and a strong social media presence can do wonders for your business’ visibility.If you need help creating and promoting blog content, let us know. Sweet Fish Media specializes in writing quality content and helping you get that content in front of the people you want to serve.

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