Content marketing is a vital part of any well-rounded marketing strategy. After all, you can use content marketing to provide potential customers with informative answers to questions they are asking online. Consequently, this will aid in you serving as an authority in your field, and allow you to build trust with your potential customers, leading them to choose your products and services as a result. However, even though content marketing is important, you can hurt your brand if it isn’t approached correctly.
That’s right, incorrect content marketing can actually cause more harm than good and lead customers to lose trust in you, eventually dropping your website in search engine rankings. Therefore, it’s imperative that you know what content marketing mistakes are commonly made and how to avoid them. Thankfully, we have compiled a helpful resource that will highlight some of the most frequent content marketing mistakes and explain how to avoid them as part of your marketing strategy:
When you post inconsistently on your website, you will frustrate followers/readers. This is because website visitors will come back only so many times to see that no updates have been made before they stop visiting at all. In addition, Google will adjust how often they check your website for updates if you aren't posting regularly or frequently. Fresh content will take longer to be recognized by Google and you won't get results as fast as you'd like.
The easiest way to ensure that you post regularly is simply to create a content schedule and use it to plan your schedule in advance. You might think you can make sure to post on the regular without such a tool, but you will likely get busy with life and forget. Instead, a schedule makes posting new content a priority, something to check off during the day, not something that you will only do if you feel like it, have extra time, etc.
This is a big one. Simply consider this, what are your chances of hitting a target you can’t see? Pretty slim right? Your audience is that target. Therefore, when you post content that doesn’t appeal to your actual audience, you are doing yourself little good if not some actual harm. Ultimately, you should be posting about what matters to your target consumer. Know what questions they are asking and what they are searching for online, and make sure your topics address those issues.
Use data and surveys and other similar tools to learn who your audience is, what their likes and dislikes are, and what they value. Then, cater your content to this target audience. Yes, you can branch out occasionally for some added flavor, just make sure that your primary focus is aimed at your audience. Build a content strategy based on specific keywords that match online search activity around your industry.
Again, how will you ever aim to reach a certain point if you don’t know what that point is? It’s as impossible as hitting an invisible target. To attempt content marketing with no end goal in mind is pretty pointless. After all, how would you ever know if you achieved your goal, are heading in the right direction, or heading way away from the target? Certain content accomplishes certain things as it moves your customers down the buying funnel. Make sure you have a planned strategy of top-of-the-funnel, middle-of-the-funnel, and bottom-of-the-funnel topics that includes appropriate CTAs (calls-to-action) that help readers navigate to where you want them to go.
Plan your content marketing strategy using the acronym S.M.A.R.T. This stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This will help quantify your goals and then as a result help you target your strategies for a special purpose instead of just throwing a bunch of spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.
Another common mistake involving content marketing is posting for the sake of posting, i.e. creating content with no purpose other than to create content. This leads to your posting crappy content that offers little or no value to your readers or audience. As a result of this practice, Google’s algorithm will suppress such websites, burying those sites that rely on quantity over quality for traffic rankings.
Simply aim for quality over quantity while still maintaining a level of consistency. We understand this isn’t the easiest task, and of course, some content will be more valuable to your customers than others. However, you should never put out any content that you know serves no purpose other than a space filler.
This mistake also goes back to not having a goal or at least is similar. If you are not using data to determine what content is working well, what isn’t and what your audience wants to read, you are missing out on some easy cheats. Data will effectively cut out the guesswork of the process and show you precisely what you should be posting content-wise for your brand and your audience.
Make sure you use data to back up your content marketing and ensure that what you are posting is having the intended effect. Thankfully, today there are a variety of tools you can use, like HubSpot or Google Analytics that do most of the work for you, allowing you to simply access the results.
When you write content yourself and then publish it without having another set of eyes look it over in the form of a content approval process, a lot of mistakes can be overlooked. This is because when you are writing, you know in your head what you are trying to say. So, when you are reading over your copy, you will many times read what you “meant to write” instead of what is actually there. That makes seeing our own mistakes extremely difficult even when reading the post over and over again. Also, having only one person in charge of content can mean that the content all begins to read the same.
Enact either a content approval process or appoint a team to oversee content marketing creation. This will allow your team to collaborate, check each other’s work, and even share ideas. Consequently, this will reduce the chances of mistakes ending up in published content and ensure that your content is fresh and applicable representing lots of perspectives.
Some people mistakenly assume that posting their content to the web is all there is to content marketing. However, in reality, there is a great deal more to it, and simply posting content will not get you the results you are after. After time as you accumulate more and more content, Google will respond by ranking your website higher in corresponding search results, but that takes time. It's also not the only way to grow your website's organic traffic. You've made an investment in time and money to have a content strategy. It makes sense to promote it and get as many eyeballs on it as possible.
Content should be promoted on multiple channels, like social media pages and eBlasts, and more. The idea is to let readers know there is new, fresh content to explore. Don’t wait on them to find it on their own.
Today’s mobile viewing is primarily done on smartphones. Gone are the days when desktops or laptops were the main tools to access such content. Therefore, it’s vitally important for you as a modern business in today’s digital society to ensure your content reads well and presents accurately on mobile devices.
Make sure the all content you post is accessible on mobile devices and looks as you intended it to. Always check this and if there is a mistake, parts aren’t loading or it’s difficult to navigate or read, then make changes to correct these issues.
As a thought leader in your field, you should be providing helpful content. Keep in mind, no one likes to be “sold to,” and if readers feel they are just reading an ad, not helpful content, they will stop visiting your site.
Make sure that you are giving your audience helpful content instead of inundating them with promotional material.
The final most common mistake made when it comes to content marketing is not having a consistent voice. When your brand does this, you can confuse readers, leading them to wonder who you really are as a company. Everything and we do mean everything, should point toward your brand. That includes the tone and voice of your blog, topic selection, and even the choices you make in featured images.
Commit to having a clear voice and purpose for your content and stick with that throughout all your postings. Take time to define your voice, clarify your tone and make sure that it's consistent across all mediums.
Content marketing is a powerful part of an overall inbound marketing strategy, provided it's done correctly. Avoid the above mistakes to maximize the power and effectiveness of content marketing for your brand.