The number one reason your content will fail (& how to avoid it)

A big content marketing mistake is wanting the content you produce for your brand to be perfect. That makes perfect sense. You want the assets to be consistent, you want the messaging to be on-point with the audience, you want all of the assets to come together in a great way that represents your brand.

Everybody wants these things but, especially when you’re starting out, the most important thing is that you’re finding messaging and market fit.

Just like you looked for product-market fit when you were building the business, you need to make sure (1) your market and messaging fit together, (2) what you are saying is resolving the customer need, and that those two things are coming together in your content.

There’s only one way to really do that, and it’s not by spending a bunch of time thinking internally, brainstorming, and being able to come up with the perfect ad to deploy.

#1 — Document instead of create

If you do not have the resources to hire research analysts and focus groups, you need to do the famous “document versus create.” This basically means you go for volume instead of perfection. You push out a volume of content that you have documented like…

  • Your process
  • A day in the life
  • A podcast
  • Customer questions, complaints
  • An email marketing series

There are a million different ways that you can go about this, but you document the day-to-day of your business and you push those out. This could look like putting out four Instagram stories and two posts, one Facebook ad and three posts, a YouTube video, several tweets, and a LinkedIn series every day. However you do it, you distribute what you’ve documented to get as much volume into the marketplace as possible.

#2 — Track signals of success or failure

When you’re putting out that type of volume, you’re going to have lots of signals as to which pieces of content the community engages with and which ones they completely ignore, and that’s good. You want that.

You want there to be pieces they ignore because that allows you to recognize the topics, types of content, and concepts that resonate with your audience and those that don’t. Push aside what doesn’t work and then double down and create more of what does resonate.

#3 — Create show concepts

Once you sweat the assets and push as much as you can out of those documented materials, then you double down and create show concepts. The idea is to train your audience to engage with that content on a regular basis. Learn how to develop a show concept here.

#4 — Upgrade to high-end productions

Only after you’ve (1) documented and created a volume of content, (2) looked for the social signals to know whether something is resonating or not, and (3) developed those higher-performing assets into more developed concepts can you spend the time and money to develop those concepts into high-end productions that may carry you even further as a brand.

There are steps prior to that and if you skip those steps, you’re just doing a disservice to your customer base because you’re wasting their time. You’re not effectively serving them or your brand because you’re spending a bunch of resources and assets on something you don’t know is effective.

So forget about creating a masterpiece. Document what’s going on in your day-to-day business, sweat the assets, and find what works that way.