How to Bounce Back from a Failed Content Marketing Campaign

Mar 28, 2018

The moment that you realize you’re not gaining the kind of traction, visibility, and engagement from a content marketing campaign that you anticipated can leave you in a panic.

Having a plan of attack to bounce back is the only solution when you find yourself in this kind of situation.

To maintain your content marketing efforts (and your sanity) when your hard work doesn’t pay off as you had hoped, follow our actionable tips to start getting the results you need.

1) Re-Adjust Your Outreach Approach

Make Sure You’re Maximizing Your Network

One reason why content marketers get disappointed by their outreach response rate is because they focused too much on competitive publications and hard-to-reach journalists.

Get 50 people on your list where you know their name, the last few articles they wrote, a little about their career path, and their interests. Make a spreadsheet, record the relevant information, and track your responses. You’ll be amazed by the increase in response rate when you use this approach.

Focus on your own professional network. There’s always a chance that if your content isn’t directly relevant to them, they could still pass along the word to someone else who would be interested. Also, attending as many networking events as you can and spreading the word about your website and content in person can leave a greater impact in this primarily digital-first world.

Above all, it’s important to stay pragmatic about who you’re contacting. Outreach can feel like a waste of time when you’re only targeting the people/publications that are extremely difficult to reach or selective.

When you scour industry blogs to reach out to, try to find more niche publications (ones you’re more likely to get traction with) and less well known guest blogging opportunities. Don’t underestimate yourself, but also don’t set unrealistic expectations.

Be Conscious of the Time of Day You’re Contacting People

Be mindful about the day and time that you’re contacting people. People are less likely to take the time to read your outreach email if it’s buried in the midst of their morning rush of emails.

If you can catch them in an off moment during a mid-afternoon slump, you’ll probably have more luck getting a response (even if it’s a few words).

Invest the Extra Time (And Research) Into Personalization

Make your emails personalized. By taking the time to do the extra research, you’ll increase your chances of more responses with a smaller outreach email list. When you compliment an editor or author at a publication, make it genuine and specific to them.

You’ll also have a better response rate if you treat your outreach emails almost like cover letters. The stack of cover letters on an HR guy’s desk can’t even compare with the oversaturation of the average person’s email inbox.

Think of a person rushing to sift through his/her inbox. He or she won’t hesitate to hit delete at the first sign of a red flag. On the other hand, if you stand out in a positive way, it can only work to your advantage. The more authentic and interesting, the better.

2) Focus on Telling an Engaging Story

Talk About the Process Not the Outcome

No matter the type of content you’re producing, it’s important to focus on the details of the story you’re communicating. For example, if you wrote a comprehensive case study, focus on the process of how you helped the client get from point A to point B.

Walk through the challenges and break down the steps of the solution, and why you implemented certain strategies to help them achieve the end goal. Instead of glossing over the technicalities, break them down in any easily digestible way.

Entice Your Readers With Different Perspectives

Every piece of content you produce has a story behind it. Whenever possible, provide different perspectives on the story/subject matter.

For example, if you write a case study about how you helped a client increase their sales, talk about the end results/experience of the client’s end customer. Let’s say that sales increased because you helped your clients streamline their customers’ check out process for their ecommerce store.

Spend time talking about how the end customers’ feedback was positive and how it changed their overall experience with the brand. This provides a better picture than just stats about increased revenue.

Seamlessly Incorporate Data

It’s important to realize that even the most data savvy readers’ attention spans will quickly fade if you provide too much data at once.

Evenly distribute statistics and hard data as you’re telling the story or providing instructional content. Not only will it be a more engaging read for your audience but also it will be a lot easier for them to understand.

3) Make the Content’s Format Super Accessible

Ask For An Expert’s Outside Opinion

See if you can get another industry expert’s opinion on your piece. It’s still important to have internal opinions, but a more objective opinion can help you refine the piece.

Even if it’s the framework and formatting (rather than the content itself)that they comment on, a few words of advice from someone else who is familiar with what successful content marketing looks like could be valuable to you.

Additionally, you can approach your outreach by asking experts for a brief opinion. When you phrase your request as genuinely looking for feedback (versus just looking for a link or a mention) the person you’re reaching out to is much more likely to want to help.

Think Ahead On Behalf Of Your Contacts

If your end goal is to get your content in front of more people, make sure that your content is in a format where they can skim it and still gain value from it. Even a text-intensive piece can be reformatted with numbered lists or bullet points to make it easier to read.

It’s easier than you would think to include more relevant images and infographics in your piece. There are plenty of free, user-friendly templates out there. Nowadays you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create something high quality and valuable for your readers.

Take Note Of What Your Competitors

Are Doing Well

Analyze competitor’s work as well and take a note from what they’re doing well. With tools like SEMrush, you can get a full analysis by seeing your competitors’ website and content audits and link building strategies.

These tools allow you to be your own consultant. It will help you come up with actionable tips of how you and your team can improve.

To Wrap It Up…

Campaigns gone wrong are the most educational experiences for content marketers. Although everyone would rather be attributing success than figuring out what caused their efforts to fail, it’s important to make the best of every experience (especially to avoid repeat mistakes).

By having the right tactics to get a campaign back on track, you can take a loss and turn it into something positive and informative for your team.

If you want to integrate your content marketing campaign with your company’s other cross-channel efforts, our team here at Chainlink Relationship Marketing can help you. Using our proprietary platform, the Chainlink Marketing Platform to ensure data-backed success, we can manage your overall digital campaign.

The Chainlink Marketing Platform offers solutions that can help your business seamlessly integrate your social channel platforms and customer data with your other marketing programs and workflows.

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