There’s a lot of hullabaloo going on over content marketing these days, everywhere you look someone has something to say about it. What to do and how to do it, blogs and websites are full of content marketing 101 lessons and marketers everywhere are just soaking up every word of every post that they find when they enter the two magic words into Google.
Maybe that’s how you came about this post too, you typed in content marketing and rode on top of Google’s cyber magic carpet.
However, not everything you read on the internet is true, it’s a pity but even today a lot of the material that you find on the web is there to serve a company purpose and not really impart any useful information. It’s because of the existence of such material that marketers have varying views about what content marketing actually is and it’s because they’re unsure about its purpose do they falter in their campaigns and so are unable to get the conversions they deserve.
Aka make these totally common and easily repairable content marketing mistakes. And before I dive into what you might be doing wrong with your content marketing, allow me to first explain what content marketing is really about.
So, stop your content marketing efforts right there, finish reading this post first.
The Truth about Content Marketing
Content marketing is much more than just publishing a blog post here and there, it’s about being a copywriting wizard, combining the art of posts, articles, PR pieces, infographics, landing pages, slide decks, networking and social media quips into one fantastical online presence.
It’s about writing content that you know will get your customers excited and then marketing that same content to your target audience across the globe via all the channels.
This, of course is hard work. And you really need to hit every piece of content on the bull’s eye if you want to get the best results; this means there’s absolutely no room for error.
You might be human, but when it comes to content marketing erring is not a possibility.
The 10 deathly content marketing mistakes
Don’t be shocked if you recognize a bunch of these errors in your content marketing efforts, just fess up and begin anew. I’m sure you’ll do better the second time around.
Mistake #1: You’re too tangled in with SEO
I won’t get into the whole blogging for SEO purposes is dead debate. However, if you’re stuffing your content with unnecessary keywords and back links you are making a gigantic mistake.
Instead of targeting at Google, try targeting your content at your customers, write something they want to read and share with their circle of friends. If you write something that helps even if it doesn’t have creamy keyword stuffing your customers will help you market it across social platforms.
Write something worth sharing and people will share it!
Mistake #2: Self-editing is driving you crazy
Rechecking what you right is a good exercise, however if you are spending hours on end self-editing content that took you hours to write, you need to stop and reason with yourself.
Fluency is the magic word you need if you want to write great content for your content marketing campaign.
Yes, you should edit, but it shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes to do so. If it is, you need to practice and believe me practice makes perfect when it comes to content marketing.
Repetitive self-editing in content marketing is an oxymoron and when you do it again and again you’re just a moron. (see, how I made a little joke there to make you smile!)
Mistake #3: You’re focusing on all the wrong things
The thing that makes content marketing so elusive is the fact that it encompasses a lot of concepts within itself which makes it really easy for marketers to get derailed from the actual purpose and start focusing on things that don’t really matter.
Yes, you need to know how many people commented on your posts and how many people decided to tweet and share it, but don’t lose sight of your ROI and site visits just because you’re bummed about having zero comments on the awesome post you wrote last week.
Mistake #4: More is Less
Even if you write more posts and publish more landing pages than the next guy, chances are you could do better with writing more. That’s the thing with content marketing, more is never enough but you can’t kill yourself over this.
Work out a writing schedule and do all the content brewing for your content marketing in that time, if you’re making yourself sick over writing so much chances are what you’re producing isn’t high quality relevant content and so isn’t really content marketing.
Have a life, go out once in a while and I’m sure you’ll write better content.
Mistake #5: You aren’t branding your content
If you are busy inserting keywords and backlinks in your content and aren’t paying any attention to branding what you write, that might be the reason why your content isn’t getting any love from anyone.
Google takes authorship very seriously nowadays and so do your customers, if you don’t know what AuthorRank is your content may not be getting as many visits and likes as it deserves.
Let’s explain the phenomenon with a simple example.
Which link are you going to click, the one with the picture right next to it? That’s what your customers will do as well.
Mistake #6: There is no such thing as bad publicity
You couldn’t be more wrong. Yes, there is such a thing as bad publicity, it happens when you take things too far to make your content go viral.
Stay away from controversy because it’s a slippery slope, people may have gotten away with it in the past but nowadays with so many channels out there, your mistakes stay engraved on the internet for everyone to see for all eternity.
You think users will easily forget the whole Kenneth Cole tweet thing.
Know what your audience wants. Be clever not controversial.
Mistake #7: Your audience wants mangoes yet all you give them are oranges
Content marketing includes posts, infographics, webinars, slides, articles, social media and landing pages, however, you need to decide in which quantity you are supposed to deliver all these pieces of content marketing gold.
Actually, you let your audience decide, maybe they aren’t that much into reading long posts, so you start focusing more on slide decks, videos, webinars and landing pages. The purpose of content marketing is to deliver your customers content they want to read not something that satisfies your writing fetish.
Give the people what they want.
Mistake #8: Being Irrelevant
Irrelevancy kills all your content marketing efforts. Doesn’t matter how much time and effort you’ve spent on building your landing page if you’ve come up with something irrelevant (which is quite likely if you’ve done no homework before you sat down to build your landing page) your users will not even go near it.
Be relevant; to your company and to your customers.
Avoid confusing your visitors, don’t use too much jargon in your content. Make it easier for your customers to understand and share your content.
Mistake #9: You don’t use customer power
If you aren’t making use of the power of social proof and your customers on your website and landing pages you are making a gigantic mistake.
According to Nielson 90% of modern consumers trust recommendations made by their family and friends aka your customers.
Make use of your customers in your content marketing strategies. Make them happy and they are sure to do the same for you.
Mistake #10: You don’t humanize your content
If your content is coming off as insincere and corporate your customers will have absolutely no interest in it. Make an effort to humanize your content customize your content for your customers.
Use the art of storytelling to woo your customers into listening to what you’re saying. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and write posts that they would love reading and build landing pages whose CTA button they can’t help but click.
Which content marketing mistake are you guilty of making?