Post Thumb

Ask any marketer worth their salt what their go-to marketing tactic is and 9 times out of 10, you’ll hear the answer ‘Content’. In an age of influencers and content creators, brands can’t afford to take their foot off the content pedal and must master content production.

According to Content Marketing Institute research, 96% of successful marketers attribute increased brand loyalty and trust to publishing authentic content.


But you can’t just post anything in the name of content. According to content marketing expert, Zontee Hou (senior strategist at Convince & Convert), you should:

‘Stop posting content for the sake of posting content with no goals in mind’

 What’s more, 3 out of 5 shoppers have purchased something after they discovered it on a blog.


No wonder then that nailing content marketing is vital to succeeding in business. However, I still see brands make a hash of it, making rookie mistakes time and again. Here are five examples of content marketing that backfired:

1. Square pegs in round holes

Tailor your content according to the channel. Keep it visual on Facebook and Instagram, short and witty on Twitter. Similarly, reserve long-form, thought-provoking content for your blog or LinkedIn. At a time when readers have the attention span of a goldfish, make your content skim-able and not dense. Add photos, GIFs, videos to enhance its shareability and get the conversation going.

2. Don’t try too hard

Nobody likes in-your-face marketing disguised as subtle product placement. People can see right through it. Cred roped in celebrities such as Rahul Dravid and Kumar Sanu to advertise Cred points, which was later spoofed by Magicpin. As if that wasn’t enough, Cashkaro jumped on the rewards bandwagon with their #CashOverCoins campaign, which was the definition of cringe. It’s good to stay on trend but audiences prefer originality over lame parodies. So try to have a unique take on a trend instead of blindly copying it.

3. Be mindful of the timing

On the internet, there are no takebacks, so be careful of not only what you post but also when you post it. Burger King’s and Zomato’s recent Women’s Day campaigns were a study in contrast. While both essentially said the same thing, Burger King received a lot more flak than Zomato because they clarified their stance in a subtweet (which many people missed) as opposed to Zomato which included the copy below the controversial headline in the same creative. Unfortunately, this campaign coincided with the ‘Kamaraj’ delivery boy episode and their comments were filled with references to that instead of engaging with the message.



Always be empathetic of the context and the situation around you before coming up with content marketing campaigns.

4. Creating without distributing

 Write less, promote more. Too often, content marketers go off on a creation spree without having a clear plan on how and where to distribute it. Make sure that the content you post is repurposed on all relevant channels. Benjamin Hardy scored 20,000 new followers just by republishing all his blogs on Medium. Eugene Cheng acquired 10,000 new subscribers by recycling his content on Slideshare. And don’t worry about SEO penalties. Repurposing content is not the same as duplicating content, you are trying to increase your brand reach by leveraging new formats (infographics, videos), not manipulating search engines to boost keyword rankings.

5. Using ads unwisely

 With organic reach dwindling, Facebook advertising has become inevitable if you want to reach people en masse in a short time period. Which is why, it’s imperative that you make the most out of the tools Facebook offers, something which Fiat India failed to capitalise on.



Not only does the creative lack appeal — the unflattering image of the car, barely readable car name on the top left, and a lot of space wastage — but also the section at the bottom where you’re expected to lure people to click with a catchy headline is left blank. Facebook’s 20% text rule notwithstanding, this is still a criminal effort and Fiat India should be charged for arson (burning marketing dollars). Long story short, you need to complement your limited organic reach with a paid ads strategy to get in front of more people. Julian Shapiro’s performance marketing guide is a great resource on how to create highly converting ads across Facebook, Instagram, and other social channels.

Content marketing is not easy but it’s not rocket science either. Just keep the above pointers in mind while crafting your next marketing campaign and I’m sure it’ll turn out great.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of and we do not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)