Stupid Mistakes That Smart People Make In Their Content Marketing
Properly done, content marketing is one of today’s most effective marketing techniques. Unfortunately, all too often it is not properly done, even by seasoned professionals.
While there isn’t a proven set of rules you can follow that will guarantee you content marketing success, there are a few things you definitely do not want to do and that’s exactly what I want to touch on in this post.
5 Content Marketing Mistakes That Will Undermine Your Efforts
1. Operating without a plan. Content marketing is a confluence of factors. It’s great information shared in places and in ways that resonate with your chosen audience to achieve an end goal. But how do you know who that audience is, where they consume content, and whether or not your goals are being met? That’s where mistakes are made. Many businesses are eager to publish content, but forget to lay the groundwork before they do so. Take time to learn about your audience (also known as your potential customers), develop a strategy, and set goals before you start developing and publishing content.
2. Not thinking beyond the blog post. For many people, content equals a blog post, but more and more that is proving to be untrue and ineffective. Mobile views are up and only expected to increase. Not everyone has the time or inclination to read a blog post, so you’ve got to differentiate your content. Variety is the spice of life and nowhere is that more true than in the world of content marketing. Content can be many things: written, images, audio, etc. Think beyond the blog post and incorporate the following into your content marketing efforts to expand your reach:
How To Guides
Short form videos (e.g. Vine)
Longer form videos (e.g. YouTube)
Social media posts
3. Not understanding your audience. Some of the goals of content marketing include building a following and creating shareable, “worthy” content. Another is for viewers to remember you and return to you when they need the products or services you are offering. None of those things can happen if the content doesn’t resonate with your audience (or really, potential buyers). Be sure to give your audience what they want and need, not what you think they should want, need, or have. If you don’t do this, you’re not connecting with your audience and all of your content marketing efforts will be for naught. Get to know your audience through outreach. Customer surveys, interviews, web and exit surveys can all provide terrific insights into your audience.
4. Publishing without promoting. Posting content without sharing it is one of the classic content marketing mistakes. You’ve got to embrace the “marketing” part of content marketing and promote the heck out of it. That may mean publishing it in several different places and in different formats. This isn’t cheating, it’s actually a really smart and effective way to get the most mileage out of a piece of content. Turn that blog into an infographic or a vlog (video blog). Post it on your website. Share it on social media. Send out an email about the piece. The more places you publish and promote the content, the more effective your reach.
5. Publishing junk. Creating content just for the sake of having content out there is not going to work. Crappy content will give you crappy results. Long gone are the days when you could publish anything and everything but as long as you have the right keywords in the right places with the right frequency, you’d get hits. Nope. It does not work that way anymore. Today, you’ve got to provide quality content that people want. Your audience will not waste their time on junk content and if you do it too often, you are far more likely to lose loyal subscribers than gain them. Take some time to develop really good content that adds value and educates your audience. The rest will follow.
Settle In For The Long Haul
Remember, content marketing is a long-term game plan. You won’t see results overnight, nor should you want to. The idea is to build a solid reputation as an industry resource or expert; to create a strong connection with your followers so that your business is top of mind when they need the products or services you have to offer. Then, when the time comes or a friend asks them to recommend a business…guess who pops to mind first?