Did you know that 91% of marketers use content marketing to reach their customers? And 86% of them think that content marketing is key to their strategy’s success?
The strategy behind content marketing is exactly that, to be successful, you need to focus on the type of content you’ll be using and the messages you want to put out.
But we all make mistakes, and these mistakes could cost you. Here are the 15 biggest content marketing mistakes that you should absolutely avoid.
The Content Marketing Lowdown
Content marketing is specifically about the content you will be posting online for your target audience and potential customer. It is a type of marketing that includes the creation of online collateral and sharing of said material on various internet platforms.
The purpose of content marketing is not to create material that just sells, sells and sells. The purpose of your content will be to stimulate interest and engagement from potential customers, to create an interest in your products and services through cleverly written and visually created content.
Having said this, here is a comprehensive list of the marketing mistakes you should avoid when it comes to your content marketing.
1. Not Having a Blog
Not having a blog is a big mistake for brands that are partaking in a content marketing strategy. Your audience needs relevant and informational material to convert them from a quick site visitor, to one that spends more time and can potentially be converted into a customer.
Knowing what blogs to write and what your blog content should be made up of is key, you cannot simply expect to put blog posts up at random and hope for the best.
You need to focus on your topics, what information your audience will want to find and how you’re going to write great blogs.
2. Failure to Use Traffic to Your Advantage
If your website is already getting a large amount of traffic, there’s a bank of potential targets just waiting to be converted into customers.
If your traffic is showing good numbers, then you need to have a plan as to how you’re going to convert these visitors. This is where a subscribe or sign up button can be used to your advantage.
If your site visitor is enjoying the content they’re digesting then you need to seize the moment. Get them to sign up to your mailing list, this way, you’ll have a list of people who’ve already opted in so that they can receive more information. Your sale is already halfway made.
3. Not Creating a Good Offer
Following on from the previous point, once you’ve got members of your audience to sign up, what are you going to give them?
Put some thought into having an incredible, hard-to-say-no-to offer that they receive once they’ve signed up.
If you’re able to capitalize on this quickly, you’ll likely get positive responses. Imagine a site visitor signs up to your eCommerce site, and a few minutes later they receive a voucher for 10% off the first purchase? That’s what creating a good offer is all about.
4. Not Optimizing Lead Generation
Optimizing lead generation is about one thing: call to action. The content you’re sending out, or posting doesn’t ALWAYS have to have a call to action but, you’re more likely to get a purchase out of the recipient if there is one?
What we’re saying is, every Facebook post doesn’t have to say, “Do this now,” but if you’re sending out mailshots and campaigns with information about products and services, then your message needs to end with a call to action.
You need to be telling your reader what they should be doing with the content they’re viewing.
5. Not Optimizing Your SEO
There is literally no point in having content on your website that is not optimized for SEO. Your SEO strategy needs to go beyond your home page, images and product pages.
The content you’re putting on your website needs to be optimized for SEO, this means that keyword stuffing is a thing of the past.
Simply putting in the same phrase regularly throughout your content is not going to make the cut.
Your content needs to not only create attention from your readers but also get Google’s attention.
Your SEO strategy should be built on the foundation of a few key elements:
- Perform keyword research for your products
- Do research on your competitor’s sites too
- Optimize your link strategy
- H1, H2, H3, and title tag optimization
There is more to SEO than just keywords and key phrases, make sure your SEO follows through on your headings, on creating quality links for your content. Consider reaching out to industry experts to guest post on your site and create more expert material for your audience.
6. Focus on Your Headlines
You have but a few seconds to capture the attention of a ‘scroller’. This is where your headlines come in.
There’s a reason that list headlines are everywhere because they get attention, it’s that simple. For example:
- 25 Ways to De-Clutter Your Home
- 7 Ways to Embrace Winter
The simple thing is, list articles work.
Apart from this though, your headlines are like the handshake to your visitor. They say welcome, come read this, we know you want to.
Make sure your headlines are buzzworthy.
7. Being Scared of Experimenting
Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Playing it safe with your content is not the best way to move forward.
Taking risks and experimenting with new styles and formats of content are a good idea. If you have a good idea, try it out and see how your audience reacts. The great thing is that social media content doesn’t ‘live forever’.
If it was a mistake, then you can take the notes, and move forward without that element in your repertoire.
8. Not Focusing on User-Generated Content
User-generated content is content that is created by your users for free. It can be content made of pictures, videos, and even reviews.
Any marketer that decides to ignore user-generated content is making a massive marketing mistake. User-generated content shows one thing: trust. If users are creating content to do with your brand, it means that you’re doing something right.
By sharing user-generated content you’re able to show other potential customers that your product or service is already out there, and already being enjoyed. Harness the opportunity.
9. Avoid Poor Quality Content
If you have a day where you have nothing to post, then don’t just post nonsense. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.
Creating content that is the same over and over again is also a mistake.
Focus on creating content that creates conversation. It should be fun and creative and envoke emotion.
10. Not Being Willing to Learn From the Best
You should always make a plan to review your competitors and other brands from your industry that are doing well online. Competition is a great wealth of information when it comes to content.
You are able to see how their audience reacts to their content, what type of content they’re posting and why it’s working.
You can use it as inspiration to adapt your own content marketing strategy and use certain elements that you think can work for you and your brand.
11. Not Using Your Data Correctly
After having a blog and various social media pages for a long period of time, you’ll be sitting on a bank of data that can be used for your brand. Knowing how to use this data for your marketing is paramount.
You should have a list of email addresses, people, contact numbers and other important information that your brand is just sitting on. This information should be used. If you have a data bank of upwards of 50 emails or more, then use this information to push out more content as you can.
This is where upselling to current customers comes in. Just because someone whose digested your content previously, and has been turned into a customer already, doesn’t mean that they won’t become a repeat customer. Focus on using your data to the best of your ability.
This data should also include demographic information, which leads us to point number 12.
12. Not Knowing Your Audience
Having a content marketing strategy is great. You know what blogs you want to put up, you know what’s going on your Facebook and Instagram page, you’ve tailormade content for your LinkedIn presence BUT, have you done all this with your target audience in mind?
If your brand is a hippy-chic clothing brand focused on 20-something-year-olds, then your content needs to speak directly to that demographic.
Make sure then that your content, both written and visual, is one that appeals to the exact type of customer that will want to buy your product or service.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is my target audience?
- What do I need to include to make sure that the content is relevant and useful for them?
Why make content solely for one demographic?
Well, truth be told, you don’t have to make sure every, single piece of content speaks only to that type of audience. But, for the majority, yes it should.
If you create quality content that will help your audience in some manner, then half your goal is already reached. If you’re reaching the right type of audience, your content becomes shareable and potentially even viral.
13. Not Having Measurable Goals in Place (14. And Being Able to Measure Your Performance)
You need to make sure everything is measurable.
It’s that simple.
Why go through weeks of posting content, of optimizing your website for SEO, and writing fantastic blog posts if your performance is not measurable?
If you can’t tell that your strategy is performing, then what is the point? And how then, do you know if your strategy needs to evolve or change?
Put measurements in place from the beginning.
How many followers do you want to be at by 3 months? By 6 months? And by a year?
What engagement rate do you want to reach and by when?
How many subscribers would you like to reach at each point in your performance measurement scale?
Measuring your goals periodically is a great way to start.
Just because you’ve missed the mark on one or two of your smaller goals, doesn’t mean you should remove them entirely from your content marketing plan.
Your entire plan needs to be measurable. At the end of each measurement period, you should be able to report on every avenue and each type of content, what pieces succeeded and what pieces didn’t.
15. Don’t Expect Instant Results
One of the biggest marketing mistakes that content marketers make is expecting results instantaneously.
If you’ve just started your Facebook page, and you know your content is out of this world, you still can’t expect that you’ll triple your followers overnight.
Content marketing takes time to take effect. So have patience and keep at it.
How To Avoid Marketing Mistakes
Now you know the marketing mistakes that you need to avoid, so ensure that you have a focus on these in your marketing strategy moving forward.
If you know the marketing mistakes you need to avoid, then during the process of creating your content marketing strategy, you’ll be able to pinpoint the areas that need adapting and improving.
Finding a service that can help you with your content marketing is key to your brand’s success.