This post examines common reasons for content marketing failure and introduces a 7 step content marketing strategy framework to mitigate the problem

Many businesses are now actively using content marketing, but it seems that there is potential for these initiatives to fail. According to the Smart Insights - HubSpot’s  Managing Content Marketing Europe 2016 research as many as 72% of marketers rated their content marketing as "limited," “basic" or "inconsistent.” 

In another survey from the CMI examining content marketing usage and effectiveness, a mere 32% of those polled describe their organisation’s content marketing as “sophisticated or mature”, with just 34% saying they are effective. 

New report shows the key trends small and medium businesses need to stay ahead of in 2016

Small businesses have more marketing options than they ever have had before. Low barriers to entry on marketing automation and social media platforms present massive opportunities for smaller businesses, yet it also means increased complexity and more channels to keep on top of. This can be a big problem for smaller marketing departments which can quickly become overwhelmed.

To give an idea of the scale of the problem, just last year the number of marketing technology companies doubled from around 2000 to 4000. Even in our infographic of digital marketing tools we identified 30 categories. That means way more options and loads of great new tools, but it also means there are twice the number of solutions to get your head around. How are you meant to know which tools you need and…

SME/SMBs are often overlooked for marketing best practice advice. Our new RACE planning guide addresses this

Marketers tend to love talking about the big, high budget campaigns. People writing up case studies are naturally drawn to big brands with big budgets, as they have the capacity to produce the 'flashiest' campaigns and assets. But investment in marketing for startups and smaller businesses is more important by volume, even though in each, budget is limited and every dollar, euro or pound of investment counts.

To get the most from limited marketing budget, in our guide for SMBs we have reviewed all the low-cost options through the marketing funnel shown by our RACE planning framework developed by our own Dr. Dave Chaffey. If you're not familiar with the RACE framework, this infographic gives a brief explanation - you can see it covers the activities to support marketing across the customer lifecycle or funnel and how to measure them.

Content Marketing is evolving into an era of hyper-personalisation

One of the more advanced pieces of advice we tend to give to people looking to improve their content marketing is to make better use of personalisation. It's easy to see why. If you can target people will content that is far more likely to appeal to them based on what they're interested it, then they're far more likely to engage with that content, spend longer on the site and once you've hooked them in you can set about trying to convert.

It's a simple narrative based on simple logic. But does it hold up to rigorous analysis? When we're A/B testing various different types of messaging on Smart Insights, it's not always the one that you'd logically think should work best that ends up performing optimally. The best way to find out the answer is to test, test and then test again. To…

New survey shows better communication between marketers and creatives is needed to create better content

Content marketing certainly isn't new anymore. A huge number of brands already have well-developed content marketing strategies and are creating great content on a regular basis as our recent research with HubSpot on Content Marketing in Europe shows. This means there is more content than ever before, and so brands need to publish compelling content to be able to stand out.

A new report from the content marketing agency Visua.ly shows what marketers think of the creatives they work with and what the creatives think of their marketing departments. It makes for interesting reading and gives some insights into how marketers can get the most out of their creative teams and vice versa.

As this chart from this new research shows, content marketers are now using content to build brands, engage customers and increase sales.

Use these 5 steps to successfully market your start-up at low-cost or no cost

Your start-up opportunity...

So, you’ve had a fantastic idea for a new product, piece of software or solution to a business or personal challenge that everyone has, but no one has fully solved. The idea was so good you decided to quit your day job and found a start-up and have defined your business model using the legendary Business Model Canvas and built the online revenue model to prove the idea will fly.

Maybe you just invented a mobile app that allows you to hire someone to stay in your house for when you're waiting for a parcel to be delivered that is going to be ‘The Uber of getting people to wait for parcels’. Maybe it’s a website with a new photo-analysing algorithm you can submit photos of yourself to that finally answers the question ‘does my bum look…

How to make sure your backend is SEO friendly

Most SEO guidelines focus on off-page SEO. Little attention is given to optimizing your website backend for SEO. Without an optimized website, off-page SEO campaigns are all in vain.

As with any project, the success of an SEO campaign starts with mastering and flawlessly executing the fundamentals.

Digital marketing involves having well-optimized online real estate and then letting the world know about it. The success of your online business, therefore, rests on building a solid website backend that is optimized for performance and usability.

What does an SEO-friendly backend look like? Here are some issues to pay attention to:

Clean Code

Page loading speed has become a significant Google ranking factor. Google users are an impatient lot and will quickly exit a site that takes much time to load.

In fact, 25% of your visitors will have left your site if your site takes more than four seconds…

Optimise your landing page designs to boost your conversion rate

Landing pages are a vital conversion trigger within the Customer Journey. Typically, they are used within internet marketing campaigns that use Calls To Action, and are a core component of online advertising too. Indeed, Hubspot’s Marketing Benchmarks From 7,000 Businesses report identified that companies experience an increase of 55% in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15.

So it’s about volume, then? Well, not entirely. There is no point in having lots of landing pages if they do not convert. Generating and capturing leads is critical to the sales process. Therefore, converting the traffic on your landing pages effectively and efficiently has to be the goal. These aspects are fundamental to business growth.

Quite simply, if you are going to invest time, resource and money into driving traffic to your landing pages, then you must ensure that…

Review and improve your UX on mobile using the Smart Insights  RACE Planning Framework

Should we be focusing our mobile marketing activities on the device, or the consumer?

Allow me to rewind the clock, briefly, and explain why this matters:

Back in 2004, when I got started in mobile, our expectations about a great mobile customer experience were blinkered by the capabilities of the handset. Nokia dominated the handset market, with 9 of the top 10 best selling handsets that year - some came with a colour display, most provided polyphonic ringtones, (very) basic games, and desktop tools.  But no camera, no Bluetooth.

The ‘mobile internet’ was a tedious affair delivered on a smaller screen, accessed via an even smaller keypad, over patchy 3G coverage, using WAP (‘Wireless Application Protocol’, or ‘WAP is crap’ for short).  Hats off to the brands that tackled mobile then - usually focussing on…

New infographic shows key stats to bear in mind when building your digital marketing strategy

Now that mobile accounts for over half of all web traffic and the mobile web is beginning to mature, it's important that marketers fully understand the ramifications of the seismic shift in device use.

This infographic gives a few quick and useful ideas for getting started. It's based around the idea that the key to success with mobile marketing is to be there, bit quick and be noticed.  These are certainly useful areas to base the basics of your strategy around, although there is obviously a lot more to mobile marketing that that!

If you're currently looking at your mobile marketing strategy, then check out our newly updated 7 steps mobile marketing guide.

Thanks to Katapult…

Free Content marketing strategy template

Solve your Content marketing strategy challenges with our FREE Content marketing strategy template

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Free Content marketing strategy template

Solve your Content marketing strategy challenges with our FREE Content marketing strategy template