With content marketing, these are the 12 common content marketing mistakes you need to avoid immediately.
Whether as a business owner or marketer, we are either consuming someone else’s content or creating content for others to devour.
Therefore, we must avoid falling into these biggest content marketing pitfalls. These are some of the biggest content marketing mistakes that can cause serious damage to your content marketing efforts and marketing campaigns. Let us look at them.
The 12 common content marketing mistakes to avoid immediately
1. No SMART Goal.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you may have observed that I like talking about SMART goals.
Without goals, there would be no way for you to measure your performance. So set your goal(s) and make adjustments where necessary to stay on track.
By setting smart goals you will have a long-term view of your content marketing. You will not fall into the trap of trying to do too much and expecting instant results.
Document your content marketing plan, goals and strategies because according to Cision, when the strategy is only verbal, the percentage of businesses that get results reduces to 32%.
2. You are Not Focusing on the Customer.
According to this post on Content Marketing Institute, Over 90% of websites are still ego-centric corporate brochures.
Another post notes that 55% of people who get content from brands say that it’s not interesting or relevant to them!
Do you make the mistake of focusing your content efforts only on your brand when engaging in content marketing? Instead, you need to focus on your customer.
Do your research to find out what content your customers want and give it to them at the right time and through the right channel.
Remember that good content is all about education. So create content that will educate your target audience.
If your content is not focusing on educating, informing or entertaining your audience, then your content will be too salesy, and you might lose your audience.
If you do your research well and you know your customer well, then pick a topic or two that will interest them and stick to those.
So you’ll not find me blogging about politics, religion, entertainment, fashion, current affairs or gossip. I know my audience, and I strive to give them what they want.
The same CMI post mentioned above notes that broad coverage that pleases everyone might have worked when options were few but with the competitive content market we’re in, you need to identify one audience, fulfil one need, and dig deep to establish your dominance.
The article notes that: brands forcing humour around particular social, news, or world events is a mistake, especially if they don’t really have an audience in that arena.
It warns that anyone who leverages current tragedies or politically false information to promote a brand, product, or service is making a big mistake.
If you focus on your customers, you’ll not make the mistake of being everything to everyone.
Instead, you’ll focus on giving your customers the quality content they need and deserve.
3. Concentrate on the Hard Sell
Effective content marketing strategy doesn’t focus on the hard sell. As mentioned above, a successful content marketing strategy uses content to educate, inform and entertain and not concentrate on the hard sell.
If you know your customers and give them the content they need, the sale will come.
But if you focus on the hard sell, you may end up losing your customer altogether. Nobody likes to feel pressured to buy.
4. No Clear-Cut Call To Action (CTA)
What next step do you want your audience to take after they consume your content?
Make sure you state what you want them to do by providing a call to action.
Your call to action might be as simple as asking them to comment on your post or asking them to subscribe to your newsletter, to watch a video or download an e-book.
Whatever your CTA is, let it be clear and concise. If your CTA is in the form of a button on your web page, let that button stand out from the other elements of the webpage, making it easy for your audience to take action.
5. No Communication
Content marketing is not a monologue. It’s a conversation. It’s communication between you and your customers.
Make your discussions about your content. Don’t make it all about what you have to say. Get feedback from your audience. Hear the opinions, views, and criticisms. Keep an open mind.
6. Content With No Substance
If you’ve started your internet marketing using content marketing, then you’ve had your fair share of making this mistake by now.
When you’re new to content marketing, you want to test the waters. You also doubt your capabilities, and you end up creating content with little or no substance.
I cringe when I look back at some content I created many years ago. But with time, you’re bound to get better, and your content marketing will have more substance.
So take a hard look at your content and ask yourself if you would share it if you were a typical customer. If you would not share it, then how do you expect your customer to share it?
According to this article, proper research is vital for your content marketing strategy, not so much to identify keywords, but rather to identify the topics that your customers are looking for.
If you need help to produce content, contact us. We would be glad to help.Do your research to find out what content your customers want and give it to them at the right time and through the right channel. Click To Tweet
7. No Variety
Variety is the spice of life. So don’t be a one-trick pony. Produce content in various formats.
You can have blog posts, infographics, slide presentations, photos, videos, podcasts, and so on. These days, the list is almost endless.
According to this post, if your audience comprises busy people who think time is money, the best content you can create is a podcast that they can listen to on their way to work. But if your audience prefers reading, then blog posts, social media posts and maybe infographics are for you.
Once you have a variety of content, your audience will notice, and even the search engines will see and will reward you for same with improved rankings in search engine result pages.
These days people love video, especially live video on social media. So if you want to take your content marketing to the next level, then you might want to try your hands on live video.
An excellent way to go about it is to give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your brand.
Showcase the office, your staff, your products, services, quirks and all. Be yourself, and your audience will love you for it.
8. Focusing On Going-Viral
At one point or the other, every content producer dreams that their content will “go viral”.
But nobody can make anything go viral except your audience.
If you create content that resonates with your audience and they like it, they will share it with their friends.
If your audience doesn’t like your content, they will not share it. It’s as simple as that.
Some months ago, I wrote about Why Going Viral Should Not Be Your Goal on Social Media, where I went into more detail about this. You can reread it to learn more.
9. No Proper Planning, Scheduling or Consistent Production
Do you have a documented content marketing strategy? If you don’t, then it’s obvious you’re creating content at random.
That’s like shooting arrows in the dark hoping you’ll hit the target. You need to have a well-documented content marketing plan and content scheduling calendar.
These will also help you to gain consistency in content production. If you produce content regularly, your audience will appreciate you for it.
They would then know when to expect your following piece of content. But if you’re not regular, you stand the risk of losing your audience to your competitor who has some consistency in her content production.
10. Not Promoting Your Content
As much as 60% to 70% of B2B marketing content goes unused, according to SiriusDecisions, so content creators don’t put enough thought and strategy into most marketing efforts.
You may have a stellar piece of content that you’ve invested a lot of time and resources to produce.
But that piece of content will never reach its full potential if you do not promote it. Gone are the days when social media was a free playground.
These days you need to pay to play. So be ready to spend some money to promote your content on social media and on the search engines too.
Content marketing is a serious business, and you need to give it the budget it deserves.
11. Not Creating Mobile-Friendly Content
Mobile is now the first screen, i.e. the first screen your audience will use to experience your brand is usually the screen on the smartphones or tablets.
So, whatever content you’re creating should be mobile friendly. Being mobile-friendly means that it should look good across different screen resolutions; it should be fast and straightforward to download.
It should also be easy to consume by your customers when they are on the move.
12. Not Tracking the Results
Are you measuring your content marketing performance? Tracking and analysing data from your website visitors is vital in preparing and refining your content marketing strategy.
Even getting to know your audience is not possible at all without tracking your analytics data and monitoring your content marketing performance.
So there you have it. These are the 12 content marketing mistakes you need to avoid immediately. Do you think I left out any content marketing mist? Comment below.
One thing I’ve noticed with clients is that they allow their fear of making mistakes to hinder them from engaging in content marketing.
Some procrastinate about having a blog because they don’t want to make grammatical errors or they don’t want their content to look amateurish.
While I understand your fears about making mistakes, you should not allow that fear to prevent you from engaging in content marketing.
If you need help with content creation and content marketing, then you should outsource these to a professional digital and social media marketing agency.
We have the skills and tools you need to help you grow your business online through content marketing.
We will do all the difficult work of creating and marketing your content on your behalf. You get to take all the credit and reap the rewards.
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