18 Content Marketing Mistakes That Always Cause You Trouble
With 93% B2B marketers using content for promotion, you know that the fight for audience’s attention is fierce.
It’s no longer just some other guy with a blog you battle against. Today every single of your competitors produces content that aims to attract customers attention.
YOUR potential customers.
And what’s worse, your competitors seem to be winning.
Their content is everywhere, bringing them traffic, authority and recognition.
Perhaps the problem lies in some errors with your own strategy?
Want to find out? Check out the list below to see if you’re not making any of those mistakes.
Not Having A Proper Content Strategy
Content marketing, just like any other form of marketing must be ruled by a strategy. It should define your content marketing goals, outcomes, expectations as well as a roadmap how you want to achieve them all. Without it, you may end up running in circles and failing to achieve any objectives.
Focusing On A Single Content Type
For many businesses, content marketing is almost equal to running a company blog. Nothing is further from the truth though. A proper content marketing strategy involves many content types, each playing a separate role in the overall strategy. Your content should not only educate your customers but entertain them as well. Moreover, your content should also engage them to take action. And for each of those tasks you need a specific content type to achieve its objective.
Focusing On A Single Channel
A blog is only one of the channels you can employ to promote your business with content. Slideshare, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and many others are available for you to create content for. Moreover, your audience has their preferences for content channels too and will look for information on them only.
Focusing on a single distribution channel then limits your chances for reaching out to your audience.
Not Using Content Personas
Many marketers ignore the audience they suppose to be creating the content for. The trouble is, without knowing who you are talking, you can’t create compelling and engaging content. Content personas help you understand your audience and their needs and deliver content to satisfy them.
For more information on creating content personas, checkout my detailed tutorial here.
Not Regarding The Needs Of Your Target Audience
Similarly to a lack of personas, many marketers don’t regard the needs and expectations of their target audience. Instead, they create content they think the audience will like. Don’t be one of them. Research what topics and types of content your audience is interested in and deliver exactly that to them.
Not Including Keyword Research In The Strategy
Keywords are the backbone of almost all online marketing strategies. Customers use them to find the information they lack. Not including a keyword research in your strategy therefore will reduce your contents options for being discovered in search to a pure chance.
Outputting Content That’s Not Actionable
Not every piece of content you create must change the readers life. But all should help them solve a problem or affect them in some other way. A lot of the content published lacks that actionable element though. It contains rudimentary information no one can do anything worthwhile with.
When creating your content, ask yourself what will the reader get back for the time they spent consuming it. If the answer is nothing, there is some serious problem with it then.
Not Using Calls To Action
Regardless of what content type you use, you have a goal you want your readers to complete after consuming the content. Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter? Download a promotional PDF? Perhaps you just want them to share it?
Calls to action help you communicate your intent with your readers. Lacking calls to action puts the responsibility to figure out your intent on them though. And there is a big chance they won’t do it.
Not Promoting The Content
Content creation doesn’t end when you hit publish. Quite the opposite in fact. In order for your content to achieve its goals, you need to promote it to your audience.
There is a number of ways through which you can do so, from sharing it with your social media audience, SEO, syndication and influencer outreach to advertising. Neil Patel created an amazing resource on the topic, check it out here.
Not Testing Your Headlines
Headline is the most important part of your content. It is often the very first thing your audience sees, be it in the search results, social media feeds, their news readers and many other places.
A headline is what makes them compelled to click and read the copy, or not. It’s crucial therefore that you create the most powerful headlines possible.
But, how can you know what works or not? Simply by measuring and testing your headlines. Using methods like A/B testing you should test different versions of a headline to establish which ones attract the most of your audience.
Not Developing Any Content Marketing Goals
Creating content for the sake of doing so is noble but it won’t make much difference to your business. For your content strategy to be successful, it needs to be based on realistic and achievable goals and outcomes.
Not Measuring The Results
And even if you have those goals defined, you need to continuously measure your efforts. A properly defined system to monitor and report on your progress will help you establish if what you do works. It will also help you spot any problems early in the campaign and fix them before they escalate.
Lack Of Consistency
One of the aims of content marketing is building authority and expert status. But it’s hard to achieve if you constantly change topics you create content on or post in bursts and then create no content for weeks over and over. Sure, your audience might appreciate a bit of variety of content but when what or when you post becomes unpredictable, even the most die hard fans might abandon you.
You need to carefully plan your content and create a routine your audience will become familiar with. The frequency of your posting, topics you post on and channels you use are all play part in making your audience feel associated with your brand through content.
Not Working On Engaging The Audience
Even if your content brings you traffic, it might still fail at reaching your goals. Why? Perhaps because it fails to engage your audience. Your content does not resonate with them. They forget about you the second they stop consuming your content.
One of the reasons might be topics you create content on but another, not using engaging content types.
Creating Only Selling And Self Promotional Content
It’s easy to make an assumption that your readers will want to buy from you. It’s rarely true though. Most of your site visitors are looking for information and the last thing they want to see is a sales message.
Content marketing isn’t about you or your products or services. It’s about educating your audience and slowly gaining their trust. Exactly what self promotional content can hardly achieve.
Lack of Integration with other marketing initiatives
Content marketing is not an isolated strategy. It is part of a company’s larger marketing mix. Moreover, it only works if it fulfils the overall goals of a business. Your content therefore should be integrated with those objectives and become one of the channels utilised to achieve them.
Blindly Following Competitors Footsteps
Your competition is a great source of inspiration, true. Their strategies can for instance suggest which direction you should take your content marketing activities. But don’t follow them blindly. For once, you don’t even know who your competitor targets (and it doesn’t have to be the same audience as yours). You also don’t know their goals and thus, cannot be sure if what they do would work for you.
Spy on your competitors but make sure that you use this intelligence as a guideline but not a complete strategy.
Focusing on Quantity
Some marketers believe that to achieve their content marketing goals, they need to create as much content as possible. And that they need to do so fast. But content generate under such premise usually lacks substance and fails to deliver any meaningful information to the reader.
Like with most things in life, creating content is not about quantity but quality. Post the best content you can at a time frame you can stick to and soon you will start seeing the results of your efforts.
Creative commons image by Alex / Flickr