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5 Things Marketers Get Wrong When Creating and Deploying Branded Content

BY: Diane di Costanzo
PUBLISHED: 9/15/2023

How Foundry 360 can help your brand avoid costly mistakes—and succeed in building and sustaining a successful content marketing program.

There is a lot of very good content marketing out there. But there’s also a lot of very common errors made by far too many marketers—that are both easily remedied and easily avoided. Here’s what not to do when planning and implementing a content marketing program, along with how we can help your brand get it right.

  1. Publishing content without a clear strategy

    Think of a content strategy as a roadmap, detailing where you’re going, how you’ll get there, and what it will cost. And just as importantly: what you’re hoping to accomplish, the role content will play in the marketing funnel, and how you’ll measure success. Without those written and agreed-upon elements, you don’t have a strategy and—we’re just going to say it—you also don’t have much of a shot at succeeding.

    How Foundry 360 can help: Content strategy is a service we provide, either in conjunction with content production or as a freestanding service. And helping brand’s set KPIs is one of the most crucial elements of our strategy work—so that you can prove your content is working in a measurable and sustainable way.

  2. Favoring storyselling over storytelling

    Put another way, branded content often sounds like advertising, with “stories” that are heavy on promotional language and light on…anything else. True storytelling works hard to entertain, educate and/or inspire your audiences, solving their problems and otherwise meeting their needs. Yes, the brand can be featured as the problem solver, but that’s best done in an organic and unobtrusive way.

    How Foundry 360 can help: An important element of any comprehensive strategy is defining your brand’s content voice—which is related to, but different from your advertising voice and your P.R. voice (as examples). Adhering to your own voice guidelines will help you avoid sales-y copy and produce compelling stories (that also happen to reference your products or services). 

  3. Ignoring (and/or not updating) SEO

    Most obviously, optimizing your content for organic search helps your brand be more visible on search engine result pages (SERPs). But SEO isn’t a set-it-and-forget process. Consumer needs change, language used for search queries changes, the algorithm itself changes. And often overlooked is the fact that SEO best practices go far beyond the use of keywords. The structure of your website and its pages, the sources your content uses, and other factors (detailed here) matter as much—and arguably more.

    How Foundry 360 can help: Embedded in America’s largest digital publisher means that Foundry 360 has a dynamic understanding of how SEO is evolving—and how branded content programs can evolve with it.

  4. Prioritizing content quantity over quality

    This temptation will only grow with the increased use of A.I. Churning out content by the ton is tempting when a quick prompt produces an article in fewer than three seconds—and plenty of brands will do just that. But lower-quality content tends to hurt your brand. Consumers might click through to it, sure, but basic, non-differentiated content won’t serve their needs or earn their trust.

    How Foundry 360 can help: Talk to us about how we use A.I. to create efficient content operations, while still practicing the craft of making engaging, well-researched and brand-enhancing content.

  5. Using YouTube as a dumping ground for video content

    Harshly put, we know. But simply posting content that contains sight, sound and motion to a branded channel is not a strategy. Most audiences favor video over text—and YouTube is the category killer when it comes to serving up how-to-do-anything content. The bottom line is that your audience is on YouTube so your best content needs to be there too, organized in a search-optimized way.

    How Foundry 360 can help: Again, the fact that we’re embedded in Dotdash Meredith gives us up-to-the-minute intel on how and why consumers are searching for video content—as well as what they do after viewing it, whether that’s purchasing a product, booking a trip or any other high-value behavior. 

We don’t have to tell you how easy it is to get some (or all!) of these things wrong. But we can tell you this: With the help of the experts like Foundry 360, any content program can be redirected, refocused and, ultimately, improved. Get in touch and we’ll show you how.

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