What To Do When Content Fails

Analytics will tell you whether or not your content is being viewed, but what it won’t tell you is why it is not being viewed when it isn’t.

Creating fresh content always contains an element of risk. In fact, creating content that actually draws the attention of any kind will always be risky. Sometimes these risks generate handsome rewards and sometimes these risks fail epically. In other cases, however, content falls flat simply because you did not actually take enough risk. So what do you do when your content either fails to connect or fails to produce the desired results? Here are the two main reasons content will fail and what you can do about it.

When content fails to connect

Analytics will tell you whether or not your content is being viewed, but what it won’t tell you is why it is not being viewed when it isn’t. That’s where you have to do some research. Sometimes the problem can be a technical one, such as content being unavailable on the hosting site, failing to load or requiring some type of viewer or player the majority of your users don’t have. In other cases, people are watching the content, they just aren’t connecting with it.

Technical issues are far easier to fix than understanding why viewers aren’t connecting with content. If your content is a professionally shot video you spent a lot of money on or a key part of your marketing strategy, you might invest a bit more to determine why it’s not connecting. For most other content, however, you might want to just simply let it go and try something else.

One thing to keep in mind about content is that its main purpose is not to sell it is to connect. As much as human beings love to pretend we only act with our heads and not our hearts, every content creator in the world will tell you it’s just not true. Human beings are emotional beings and the content we view again and again and again makes us feel something. It makes us laugh, it makes us cry, it makes us angry. The emotion itself doesn’t really matter, but when content triggers a strong emotion, we can’t tear ourselves away from it. Conversely, however, if the emotion content brings up is too strong, we can’t get away from it fast enough.

If your content is not connecting, here are some common issues:

  • Content is too “salesy
  • Content incites too powerful of an emotion, which makes the audience uncomfortable
  • Content does not incite enough emotion

When it connects in a negative way

Sometimes, the most innocent elements in a marketing message have a way of suddenly taking center stage and igniting a firestorm of controversy. This is not always a bad thing since, as the old saying goes, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”. Invariably, thanks to humans being humans, what tends to outrage one sector of the population also tends to utterly delight another. While you may not want your brand is aligned with the market segment that ends up being delighted with your message, there is no denying it can have a powerful effect on your bottom line. In some cases, you may simply need to pull your content, in other cases, you may need to actually bring in a reputation management firm to help heal the damage. Ultimately, however, a broad range of companies large and small have all managed to weather unfortunate content so there is a good chance you will too.