Author: Anthony Gaenzle

Anthony is the CEO of full-service marketing agency Gaenzle Marketing and founder of - a top publication for marketing news and advice. He is also the author of Blogging for Business: Skyrocket Your Traffic, Grow Your Readership, and Boost Revenue. as well as The Business of Branding You: Invest in Your Personal Brand, Grow Your Career, and Gain Influence. Throughout his 15+ years in the marketing and multimedia fields, he has worked with companies across a wide variety of industries and disciplines, achieving significant growth in brand awareness, lead generation, revenue, and other critical areas. He also helps  individuals build influence and thought leadership through powerful personal branding. Follow Anthony on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.

By anthony-gaenzle published June 22, 2021

4 Pitfalls That Can Kill Your Content Marketing (And How to Avoid Them)

For all the value and power content can have for your brand, it also can kill your brand.

Lots of brands are guilty of doing content marketing the wrong way and their efforts turn away potential customers and readers. Let’s take a journey through that downside of content marketing and look at how you can avoid those pitfalls that can kill your brand.

Pitfall 1: Have multiple personalities

Your content’s connection to your brand isn’t clear or is totally unrecognizable across the multiple channels where your content is published.

Failing to connect the dots to bring brand recognition to your content viewers – no matter the channel – can have a lasting negative impact. Audiences want consistency in their lives and simply will not connect with brands that don’t have a consistent omnichannel presence.

Whatever your brand’s personality is, make sure to work it consistently into all the content you produce.

Make sure your brand personality works consistently in all the #content you produce, says @AnthonyGaenzle via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet
HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: 5 Steps to Find Your Brand Voice

How to avoid it

To avoid brand content confusion, develop a style guide. It helps the content creation team as they create content for your website, social media sharing, YouTube channel, and any other tactic in between.

Style guides inform your visual content as well as tone and voice, structure, spelling and grammar, brand message, fonts, and more.

You can create separate guides for your visual and editorial components or one giant guide that contains it all. Just be sure to clearly define the sections of the guide so your team can easily flip to the page they need.

Wolf Circus Jewelry takes great care to maintain consistency across its content and avoid multiple personalities across the brand. Its style guide kicks off by defining the brand and its mission. Including this info helps your content creation team understand the why of what they do. It also helps them keep the brand mission and message in mind and work it into every aspect of the content.

On these pages of its guide, you can see how the company presents the instructions to their content creators:

You can check out the 19-page Wolf Circus Jewelry style guide here.

The more thorough the style guide is, without going crazy (no need for 200 pages), the better positioned the team is to create a recognizable brand that connects, no matter where your content is displayed.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: Brand Style Guide Writing Advice

Pitfall 2: Follow Pinocchio’s lead

Too many content creators fail to do their research. They simply copy the numbers from another site that’s already published the statistics.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught inaccurate, outdated, or just plain false statements or statistics in the article submissions from aspiring guest writers on my blog.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught inaccurate, outdated, or just plain false statements or statistics in guest article submissions, says @AnthonyGaenzle via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

If you follow the lead of content that has trouble telling the truth, you can quickly lose the trust of your followers.

Think about it. You tell someone to take a certain action to grow their business, but your recommendation is based on false stats. That person then takes the action you recommended, and it fails and loses them tons of money.

They are likely to then revisit your recommendation, and when they dig a bit deeper, they’ll uncover that what you told them to do was based on false information. Boom. The trust is gone.

And it doesn’t stop there. That person could start telling people about their experience. Word gets around that you crushed their business because of your carelessness, and your reputation will suffer immensely.

How to avoid it

Make sure any advice or information in your content:

  • Is accurate
  • Actually works
  • Is up to date
  • Doesn’t come from questionable sources
  • Isn’t controversial

Don’t cite statistics that are too old to be currently valuable or that you can’t verify through a native source. And definitely don’t cite “experts” who aren’t.

Don’t cite statistics that are too old to be currently valuable or that you can’t verify through a native source, says @AnthonyGaenzle via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Don’t get complacent. One little slip can hurt. It could even crush your brand if the slip causes someone too much harm or associates your brand with a really bad persona.

Don’t be Pinocchio. Be open, honest, and accurate, and your content will thrive.

Pitfall 3: Gate all your content

Every time companies create a piece of content, they ask the reader or viewer to log in or to provide personal data to access it. Creating a barrier for every piece of content severely limits its impact.

Gating all your #content severely limits its impact, says @AnthonyGaenzle via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Going barrier-free for most of your content provides a value to attract and retain your followers, fans, and customers. When we face a problem, we want an answer fast. We want that answer to be easy to access.

Don’t get me wrong, gated content is important in building your pipeline, generating leads, and growing subscriptions to things like your newsletter. Gated content can be a great way to generate business and even build relationships by allowing you to maintain contact through things like personalized emails.

But if all your content is gated, your audience will get annoyed. Chances are your content competitor is only a click away and providing similar value without asking for anything in return.

How to avoid it

Create ungated content to:

  • Attract a bigger audience to your brand’s content
  • Improve your search engine rankings
  • Encourage sharing of blog posts, YouTube videos, etc.

The company that supplies that info in the simplest, most accurate, and easiest to access manner will gain a lot of credibility in my mind.

You also can answer questions in open spaces like your blog or on social media. Join in conversations on forums and talk to your audience directly. While it may seem like you’re getting nothing at first, the goodwill you generate will come back around and ultimately lead to your desired results.

Pitfall 4: Forget to lock it down

Marketers put some of their most valuable content (e-books, white papers, demo videos, etc.) under lock and key, asking for a few simple non-monetary things to open the gate.

They want the recipient’s contact details to grow their lead-generation pipeline or email database. Then, they forget to lock down that personal data.

Your brand can be in some serious trouble if hackers get ahold of the data entrusted by these visitors. No matter how amazing and valuable the content is, even if it helped them earn some new clients or solve a huge problem if their personal data is stolen, your brand is in trouble.

How to avoid it

Data security likely is outside your purview. But you should make sure that it’s being addressed to protect your audience.

Follow these steps (or make sure they’re followed) to ensure the data’s privacy and security and keep your audience’s data safe:

  • Acquire an HTTPS certificate.
  • Use a CAPTCHA form for submissions.
  • Use database plugins to increase security.
  • Limit the number of team members who can access the database.

Don’t fall into the pits

Content powers marketing. And it powers the best brands as well.

But it’s not all good if you fall into these pitfalls. To avoid them, you should focus on creating content that:

  • Adds value
  • Ensures accuracy
  • Grows trust
  • Enhances security
  • Is consistent
  • Solves problems
  • Builds relationships

If you incorporate these core components into your content marketing, you’ll forge lasting relationships and build a loyal fan base that is eager to talk about how amazing your brand is.

Use the power of content marketing for good. Use the power of Content Marketing World to expand your skills for good. Sign up today for the virtual or in-person event this September.

 Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

By anthony-gaenzle published February 8, 2015

How to Increase Content Creation Without Hiring More People

Content-Creation-Gaenzle-CoverOne of the biggest concerns facing companies when it comes to their content marketing is how to create enough content to be effective, especially when faced with limitations in personnel equipped to handle such tasks. Growing your content marketing team by taking on another salary can be expensive, not only due to the addition of the salary itself, but also the cost of recruiting, interviewing, and making sure you are selecting the right candidate.

While conundrums like this can bring about tension headaches, some simple solutions can help ease the pain of dealing with such issues. Here are a few ideas to help you increase your production of quality content that connects with your target audience, while avoiding breaking the bank to expand your team.Continue Reading

By anthony-gaenzle published December 19, 2014

5 Ways to Get More ROI From Your Next Conference

Content-Creation-Conference-Conference attendance yields the obvious benefits of learning, lead generation, and sales, but a lot of companies miss the excellent opportunities for content creation and amplification. Similar to breaking news, conferences are current, are mentioned in numerous articles and other types of online content, and tend to generate popular search trends.

Creating content centered on the time leading up to the event, the actual days of the event itself, and even the wind-down period can lead to increased recognition, sharing, and many other sought-after benefits.Continue Reading

By anthony-gaenzle published October 21, 2014

How to Create Cross-Functional Team Synergy for Content Marketing


Recently, I wrote an article about the importance of building relationships for content marketing success. In that article, I focused mainly on relationships outside of your company, but the same logic applies to team members across different departments within your own offices. Collaborating effectively across departments is a critical component of any company’s content marketing strategy. If you don’t have a cohesive effort that crosses departmental boundaries, you risk running into a number of problems.

Continue Reading

By anthony-gaenzle published September 9, 2014

How to Think Like a Local for Global Social Media Content Success

flag with red pin stuck in mapSo, you’ve read a few articles on growing your business by going global, and now you’re ready to reveal your content marketing to the world with a global social media content campaign? Not so fast. Let me stop you right there before you run head-first into certain disaster. Unfortunately, it’s just not that easy.

There are many things you need to take into consideration before promoting your content via social media to markets outside your own country. Rushing this process is not an option‚ but you can take steps that will get you started on the right foot. Here are a few considerations to focus on before you take your company’s social media content on a trip around the world. Continue Reading

By anthony-gaenzle published July 8, 2014

Building 4 Key Relationships Every Content Marketing Strategy Needs

relationship-building-content-marketingWhere are you right now? I’m not referring to where you’re physically located, but rather what point you’re at in your life. Maybe you’re a successful executive at a Fortune 500 company. Or maybe you’re finishing up your undergraduate degree in a subject about which you are passionate. Whatever your answer to my question might be, it’s highly unlikely that you got there without developing a critical skill: relationship building.Continue Reading

By anthony-gaenzle published April 14, 2014

Auditing Your Social Media Audit: 5 Issues to Tackle

keyboard keys-social media iconsI wrote an article recently about there being no such thing as a “quick” content audit, which led me to start thinking about the same process as it relates to social media content. Social media is such an effective method of distributing and amplifying your content that, in my mind, the channels and pages that you use as a part of your social media marketing campaign deserve just as much care and attention.

The same basic principles discussed in my previous article apply when conducting a social media content audit — you simply can’t cut corners and expect to achieve great results. If you are ready to start out on the social media audit journey, bring a bag full of patience, the willingness to listen to experts, and be sure to free up your calendar. Continue Reading

By anthony-gaenzle published March 14, 2014

Why You Need to Conduct a Full Content Audit for Successful Content Marketing

colorful venn diagram-fast-cheap-greatWhile I was conducting my daily browse through the world of LinkedIn’s content marketing groups, I came across a comment that really stood out to me. The original discussion was started by someone seeking ideas for how they might boost the effectiveness of their website and increase sales. As you can imagine, there were a number of creative responses — accompanied by a number of dimwitted counterparts. One of the latter popped off the page:

It referenced a “quick” audit. I can’t recall the exact wording, but the gist of it was that one of the people who responded stated that they had conducted a “quick” audit of the site and then followed that statement by making some random suggestions like, “Add two paragraphs per page,” or “create more content,” etc. It wasn’t necessarily the suggestions that got me riled up, but more the notion that a content audit could ever be a “quick” task in your content marketing processContinue Reading