Content marketing can be an extremely effective and powerful marketing tool when it’s used right. But for many businesses, content marketing ends up draining marketing funds without producing any measurable results. If you’ve started content marketing and have yet to see results from it, chances are you’re making at least a few of the following mistakes.

You’re not using the right tools

If you have a smaller business and you or an employee is trying to create and share content all alone, you’re not going to be as effective as you could be without the right tools. Platforms like HootSuite, Zoho, Buffer, Active Campaign, MailChimp and BuzzSumo are easy to use and can help content marketers automate some of the processes involved in creating and sharing content. They can also give additional insight into the effectiveness of various content channels and what competitors are doing.

You’re not promoting it

The disembodied voice in Field of Dreams that tells Kevin Costner’s character “If you build it, they will come” clearly didn’t have any experience in marketing. Business owners of all people should know that simply having a great product or service doesn’t guarantee success. The same goes for content marketing. First-time content marketers often think that if they’re publishing good content, people will come seeking it. While some might accidentally stumble across it while searching for keywords that are in a particular blog article or YouTube video, most potential content consumers will never see your content if you don’t promote it. Your existing customer base is a great place to start. Use existing marketing channels like SMS or email that you’re already using to stay in touch with your most loyal customers and encourage them to check out your company blog or your YouTube channel or your Facebook page or any other platforms you’re using to share content. They in turn can share your content with their friends and family that they think might be interested and they can be excellent (and free) advocates for your content.

You’re not testing and adjusting

If your content marketing efforts aren’t working in their current form, it’s not the end of the world. You can make adjustments. But you won’t know which adjustments are working and which ones aren’t if you aren’t keeping a close eye on the metrics as you experiment. Create multiple landing pages and see which ones lead to the best conversion rates. Do some A/B split testing with different headlines to see which ones attract the most clicks. Write up a few different versions of opt-in forms to see which ones get you the most SMS or email subscriptions. Getting permission to text or email people directly gives you another channel for sharing content with those people. Never stop testing and adjusting; your content strategy can always improve.

content marketing

You’re not striving for high quality content

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that people aren’t going to keep reading/viewing the content you’re sharing if it’s not particularly good. Every single minute, another 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. Every day millions of new blog posts are published online. Most of that content is mediocre or flat-out terrible. You can greatly increase your chances of people following your content channels if you take a lot of pride in the creation of content. Promotion of content may get you a lot of unique visitors but it won’t get you a following unless you’re publishing content that is high quality. High quality is a difficult term to define but the easiest way to put it is that your content should be offering real value to people who view or read it.

You’re not studying the competition

The effectiveness of your content marketing will depend in large part on what your competition is doing, and more specifically, what you’re doing to differentiate yourself from the competition. However niche your industry, there are other companies that are in it and doing content marketing and their audience and your target audience probably have a lot of overlap. Keeping an eye on your competition can help you see what they’re doing content marketing-wise to be successful and it may give you some insight into something they’re not doing that you can do to entice some of their audience to follow your brand.