Is your content marketing missing the mark?

Dan Ratner

Dan Ratner is managing director of branding and communications agency, uberbrand. He has more than 15 years’ experience in marketing, communications and branding and is passionate about branding as an enabler to fulfil organisational objectives. Working closely with uberbrand’s clients Dan works to understanding the current customer perception in the context of business goals and aspirations. Dan works with well-known Australian brands across a variety of sectors including financial services, travel and education.

Does it ever seem like the content you create falls flat on its face or that the leads you’re generating aren’t worth following up?

Creating content that doesn’t engage with your audience is a bit like talking without really saying anything. That isn’t useful if you’re a brand that’s trying to build relationships and convert customers.

The time and money invested in content marketing won’t deliver a return unless that content delivers true engagement with customers and prospects. It seems many brands are looking for the next viral hit when it’s actually more important to create consistent content that resonates with their audiences. A slow build makes a lot of sense when it comes to getting people on board with your brand because you want build true loyalty, not just a flash in the pan boost due to viral content.

So where are content marketers missing the mark?

1. A defined purpose

Often, marketers create content that doesn’t reflect the core purpose of their brand. The content has been created without really thinking about the purpose it serves and what the audience will get out of it.

When creating content, it’s important to stay true to the brand’s values while aiming to create an experience that’s authentic and engaging for the reader. Successful brands tap into their audience’s personalities and preferences while looking to satisfy an emotional reward or satisfy an anxiety.

2. A lack of trust

People aren’t sure where to turn to for credible sources and authentic material. Trust is critical to the success of content marketing. Trust is earned on two levels: Trust in the brand; and trust in the brand as a publisher. Brands can be activists to generate influential conversation and build a strong following along the way.

Consumers expect brands to provide informative, entertaining and diverse content. They don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to all the time, even though they’re well aware of the purpose of marketing content.

3. Individualisation and personalisation

Brands need to understand the value of customer data to personalise campaigns and nurture leads. Many overlook the value of customer communication and feedback, not only for attracting prospects, but also for retaining customers.

Understanding what drives and inspires customers’ means brands can, where their beliefs align, communicate to influence people. This is only possible once the brand has created a personal and real relationship with customers.

4. Relevance

Brands need to make messages relevant and appealing to their larger audience. Otherwise, they risk becoming part of the clutter, especially for small businesses that haven’t got huge marketing budgets to spend. Many organisations make the mistake of trying to reach as many people as possible, which is not the most effective method.

Narrowing down the needs of your consumers at each stage of the buyer’s journey will help you deliver more relevant information, naturally strengthening your relationships with audiences.

There are three key types of content that businesses should use to keep audiences continuously engaged:

  • Hero content is something a brand invests a lot of time and resources in, with the intention of driving and maximising traffic. Whether it’s a video, an ad, or a product announcement, hero content is any big piece of news that showcases and campaigns a perspective. By nature, hero content should be invested in, delivered occasionally, not daily.
  • Hub is ongoing content that’s most relevant to your core audience: in-depth blog posts; regular podcasts; or a weekly video series. Hub content is engaging content for a loyal audience which keeps coming back for more.

  • Hygiene is regular content that keeps the brand active. It can include content like how-to-articles, company updates, or third-party news stories. Hygiene content can increase brand awareness through useful information delivered frequently.


Beyond this, some of the most successful or engaging content comes from quick, savvy marketers thinking on their feet. Creating a witty response to a trending topic or current event can send your brand recognition through the roof. But it’s absolutely essential the response is in line with the company’s brand.

A great example happened during the Oscars: When the wrong Best Picture winner was announced, eyewear company, Specsavers, quickly joined the conversation with a tweet that said, ‘Not getting the best picture?’ along with a photo of an envelope, which read, ‘Should have gone to Specsavers’. The quick-witted response was on point, audiences loved it, and, most importantly, it stayed true to the brand’s values. But this wouldn’t have worked as successfully as it did if Specsavers hadn’t already put in the effort around its brand in the first place.

Content marketing shouldn’t be difficult. When putting a content marketing plan together, it’s imperative to take a step back and think about what the brand wants to say, what the audience wants to hear, and how to create something that’s both interesting and relevant while staying true to the brand.

Tags: content marketing, marketing strategy, brand strategy

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