Content marketing has reached a point of maturation. Last year, 76 percent of B-to-C marketers in North America were using the tactic, according to the discipline’s Content Marketing Institute. But how well are they doing? While the same proportion say they will produce even more content this year, unfortunately, only 38 percent believe they are effective at the tactic.
Content marketing mistakes are commonplace, but hard to see when you are in the throes of a failure. What do they look like? If you are doing the following, you know you should be trying harder.
1. Taking Too Long
Comparing someone’s attention span to that of a goldfish isn’t fair — chances are, it’s much worse than that. On average, consumers’ attention spans have now declined from 12 seconds in 2000 to just 8.25 seconds in 2015, according to research from Statistic Brain — much less than the fish in your tank.
People live in a fast-moving world of constant stimuli and rapid-fire judgements about the value of content. For marketers, the problem is more pronounced — they have only around three seconds, or about 12 words, in which to capture readers’ attention.
That’s why you no longer have the luxury of stringing out a carefully-crafted narrative. To win readers’ attention, cut to the chase immediately, whether it's a preview image, an article intro or the first few seconds of a video.
2. Sticking With Text
A picture tells a thousand words. The Internet that began life in the 1990s as a low-bandwidth, text-only medium is now a rich, visual one. A recent GumGum survey found 88 percent of marketers in the U.S. believe sight is the most influential of the human senses when it comes to influencing consumer behavior.
When brands think “content marketing," many imagine articles, blog posts and social status updates. But the demand now is for so much more. Marketers can no longer rely on traditional forms of content to capture the hearts and minds of their audiences. Modern audiences expect photos, videos and even interactive landing pages to keep themselves engaged.
Netflix’s sponsored content partnerships — Women Inmates with The New York Times and Cocaineomics with the Wall Street Journal — show how a text producer fired up to add in dynamic creative for dramatic fiction can bring a campaign to life.