In last week’s post, we took a look at the 10 habits that separate successful content marketers from the rest of the pack. Today let’s look at the flip side of the coin: 10 Things Successful Content Marketers NEVER Do:
1. Successful content marketers never get snippy.
If you’re getting feedback, both positive and negative, you’re doing something right. So if someone disagrees with you, take the high road and show respect for their opinion when you respond. And if the occasional troll pops up in your comments, don’t sink to his level — just ban the sucker. (Tweet this)
2. Successful content marketers never slack off.
In the content marketing world, consistency is king, and a successful content program runs like a well-oiled machine, regardless of what else is going on. Create some evergreen blog posts and newsletter articles during slow periods so you can sub them in if you’re ever in a crunch. And if you need to head out on vacation, schedule your posts in advance, and have someone keep an eye out for comments and mentions while you’re out. (Tweet this)
3. Successful content marketers never take all the credit.
The biggest mistake I see in success stories and case studies is the brand making it all about them … so it reads like just another marketing piece. But when you make your customer the hero,the story takes on a whole new meaning. Tell it from the perspective of “Wow, look at what this amazing person/team did, and we were privileged to come along for the ride.”
4. Successful content marketers never get sloppy with grammar and spelling.
Proofread, proofread, proofread … and if grammar and spelling aren’t your strong suit, find someone to proof your content for you. I’m an avid content sharer, but if a post contains an obvious spelling or grammar error, it doesn’t make the cut, no matter how brilliant the ideas being expressed. Remember, our goal is to become thought leaders in our industries, and nothing takes your credibility down a notch like a basic writing mistake. (Tweet this)
5. Successful content marketers never violate privacy or confidentiality.
It sounds like a simple thing, but many businesses have gotten into trouble sharing things they had no business sharing. Make sure you’re aware of any privacy concerns among your employees, and make sure to get customers’ approval on anything you share that concerns them.
6. Successful content marketers never let jargon or corporate-speak take over.
Remember, your customers don’t live in your world, and nothing will send them clicking away from your content post like a byzantine chain of unexplained acronyms and insider terms that only you and your team understand. If you must use terminology with which your audience is unfamiliar, make sure to define it clearly on first use. (Tweet this) And don’t assume that you’re only talking to regular readers who are in on the jargon — any one piece of content could be someone’s first impression of your business.
7. Successful content marketers never engage in click-baiting.
You know the posts I’m talking about: “5 Beauty Tips That Will Blow Your Mind” or “This Kid Eats a Peanut Butter Sandwich — What Happens Next Will Leave You Speechless.” Luring readers with sensationalistic headlines is called click-baiting. It’s one of the latest tricks on the social Web, and it sucks. (Read my rant about it here) When you write your post titles, let readers know exactly what they’re getting, and leave the tabloid tactics to the supermarket-checkout mags.
8. Successful content marketers never rely on a single person.
Including a variety of voices — both inside and outside of your organization — will keep your content fresh and interesting by encompassing different points of view. (Tweet this) And if you’re a one-person shop, invite some carefully selected guest bloggers to contribute on a regular basis. (Warning: If someone contacts you out of the blue asking if they can guest blog for you, make sure to vet the person very carefully before you agree.)
9. Successful content marketers never forget who their friends are.
The spirit of karma is strong in the content universe, so always be mindful of the people who are helping get your content in front of a wider audience. Cultivate those relationships by sharing those folks’ content, commenting on their posts, liking their social shares, and if appropriate, inviting them to guest post on your blog.
10. Successful content marketers never let negativity take over.
Yes, our content is a place to show and share our humanness, and part of that might involve the occasional grouse, gripe, or rant. But if that’s all people ever see from you, eventually they’ll get turned off and look elsewhere. Keep the overall tone more positive than negative, and never, ever, gripe about your customers or your team members. (Tweet this)
OK, your turn: what else do successful content marketers avoid like the plague? Please tell us in the Comments — we’d love to hear from you!