Clear-Cut Content Don’ts: How Campaigns Fail

Content marketing is more than just telling a good story. Every campaign needs careful planning with ROI-focused objectives.

Creative experimentation is a must but not at the expense of limited marking dollars. But still, companies make the same rookie mistakes — over and over. The end result: rotten tomatoes, relentless ridicule, and a whole lot of wasted money.

Run (as fast as possible) and hid e (as far underground as possible) from the following over-the-top marketing #fails. Here are some examples of content gone horribly wrong.

Example 1: Fake Advocates

This summer, fast food chain Chick-fil-A offended more than a few people after president Dan Cathy  voiced the company’s “advocacy of traditional marriage based on biblical principles,” according to Steven Kurlander in the Huffington Post.

Naturally, consumers slammed Chick-fil-A’s official Facebook page with comments. Coming to the big brand’s defense was teenager Abby Farle, who stood up against angry comments.

A fellow commentator pointed out, however, that Farle’s profile was only eight hours old, and her photo? A generic stock image.

As one Facebook user eloquently puts it, “Busted.”

Example 2: Disregard for Context

With content marketing, context is everything. Otherwise, advertisements for pork sandwiches end up on The Jerusalem Post and promos for violent video games show on articles about infants. Somebody is going to be offended.

Content marketers need to make sure that they’re focusing on connecting the dots to form the big picture. Great writing needs a beautiful home, and advertisements need to be relevant.

“Your words might be brilliant enough to make unicorns weep, but if you put them into an ugly, amateurish, or cluttered design, your readers won’t come back for a second date,” wrote Sonia Simone for Copyblogger.

Example 3: Headlines with No Substance

Consider the following headline: “Utah Poison Control Center Reminds Everyone Not to Take Poison.”

No kidding?

“No reason to read any farther,” Newt Barrett wrote in Content Marketing Today. “It states the obvious and doesn’t suggest that we would learn anything more in the article.”

Give people a reason to read, or they just won’t care.

Business is about people, and content is about customer acquisition. Shortcuts to mediocre quality might generate a good laugh, but they’ll ultimately waste money.

Image courtesy of A1Stock/Shutterstock


Get better at your job right now.

Read our weekly newsletter to master content marketing. It’s made for marketers, creators, and everyone in between.

Trending stories