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What To Do When Your Content Strategy Doesn’t Work


Nothing is more depressing than watching a content strategy fall flat.

You've spent hours creating (or approving) downloadable offers, blogs, videos, landing pages, emails, and whatever else needed words on it. You've set up all the ads, published all the posts, and promoted all the premium content. You've practically breathed life into the campaign.

And now you watch in astonishment as all that hard work goes down the drain.

No one clicks on your CTAs.

No one opens your emails.

No one likes your Instagram posts.

It’s a slap to the face, especially considering how much effort has been put into it. 


Unfortunately, with content marketing, like speed dating or trying to book a table for 12 at Texas Roadhouse on a Friday night, there are no guarantees.

Content strategies can be misses just like they can be hits. And unsuccessful content strategies can happen to anyone, whether you’ve done extensive buyer persona research and polished your BrandScript or you just pulled a strategy straight off the internet.

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So what do you do when the views plummet and you don’t see an ROI from all that hard work?

You take a deep breath, squeeze a stress ball, and follow these three steps.

1. Find Out What Went Wrong

This may sound obvious — and it very well may be. However, when a strategy doesn’t work, we’re often tempted to trash it and never look at it ever again. As a result, many marketers and business owners often ignore this crucial step.

When your strategy isn’t working, something is off. That something can be any number of things:

The first thing you need to do is to determine where exactly everything went wrong. Was it one particular platform? One offer or blog post?

If so, you should analyze the pieces that are performing poorly to see if a small fix can resurrect the strategy.

Of course, if a majority (or all) of the strategy failed, the problem likely goes a lot deeper. If your ideal customers didn't find the content interesting or relevant, they won't engage with your campaign - regardless of how snazzy your subject lines are. 

Consider re-assessing your buyer personas. Compare the content with your BrandScript. If you still don’t know where you went wrong, interview some past customers to get their feedback. If nothing else, you’ll gain deeper insight into what your target audience cares about and how they feel.

2. Conduct A/B Tests

If you think the problem could be as simple as unenticing headlines or vague CTAs, run some A/B tests. Sometimes, changing the name of an offer or the description of a video can help your campaign get the ROI you need.

A/B testing is the best option to get an ROI from your low-performing strategy because a majority of the content has already been created. By revamping it and re-evaluating its effectiveness, you’ll be able to reuse existing pieces for better results.


3. Try Something Outside Of The Box

Sometimes, it’s not what you’re doing that’s the problem. It’s how you’re doing it.

As content marketers, we can get hung up on the routine. Maybe your strategy always centers on an offer. Maybe it always includes the same kind, and number, of pieces. Maybe it always promotes the exact same topic or pre-existing content.

Whatever your typical routine may be, chances are it targets one specific audience – such as your Facebook followers or email list. By reusing it, again and again, you run the risk of burning out your audience and may even reduce the effectiveness of future campaigns.

Instead of creating another strategy using the same old format, shake things up. Create sales management emails instead of lead nurturing emails. Make an Instagram ad instead of a Facebook ad. Host a live webinar instead of writing blogs.

As is always the case with trying something new, there will be risks. But your current strategy isn’t as evergreen as you might think, and the payout of change can be worth it.

Ineffective content strategies are disappointing, but they don’t have to be the end of the world.

With these three steps, you can learn recover from the failure, learn from your mistakes, and use your new knowledge to create more effective campaigns in the future.


Content marketing is challenging and time-consuming. Doing all your content marketing and running your business? Even more so.

Let our team of marketing experts do the work for you! Schedule a FREE strategy session with ROI Online today and discover how we can help you clarify your message, bring your brand to life, and create content strategies that provide an ROI.

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