Mistake, blunder, snafu. Whatever you want to call it, we all have moments when we’re not at the top of our game. The constantly changing landscape of marketing means that there’s no shortage of opportunities for the occasional slipup.

One area that many small businesses make mistakes in is content marketing. You know that you need to be doing it, but time seems to never be on your side, and it often falls to the bottom of your list.

Content marketing is crucial for your business. It generates approximately 3 times as many leads as other forms of marketing and costs about 62% less. Bottom line, it’s a necessity.

Content marketing doesn’t need to eat up a chunk of your time. To be effective, you just need to do a couple of things well, while avoiding a few mistakes that are easy to fall prey to.

Here are 4 of the critical content marketing mistakes you need to avoid.

Going Too Thin with Content

People have short attention spans. They want content that they can nibble on and quickly digest. So, this means short pieces of content that are no longer than a couple hundred words, right?

Not exactly.

Creating easy to digest content isn’t so much about length, but in how you compose it. In fact, to optimize your content, longer is better. Long form blog posts generate 9 times as many leads than short form pieces.

Content that hovers around 1,000 words generates more leads than 300 words. People might have short attention spans, but they still want something that’s a bit more substantial.

Avoid the temptation to go too thin with your content. Instead of watering it down, break it apart into easy to read and absorb pieces. Keep paragraphs short and interject images and infographics for visual appeal.

Not Targeting Your Audience

You can’t be everything to everyone, and content marketing isn’t the place to try.

The idea that the more people you reach, the better for your business doesn’t always translate to content marketing. You want to reach as many people as possible, but only if they’re the ones who are most likely to convert into customers.

For example, say you operate a home decorating service. You can try to cater to all budgets and styles with your content, but the customer that loves your decorating on a dime tips probably isn’t going to be interested in your piece on the new high-end accent collection.

The key here is to decide who your target market is and cater specifically to them. Find out who they are and what they want. Make sure your content is focused on them, and not anyone else.

Going Crazy with Keywords

Keywords get results. Except when you abuse them.

When it comes to keywords, more isn’t always better, especially in your content.

Here’s the thing. You want content that sounds natural and nothing like a sales pitch. Keyword stuffing makes it nearly impossible to achieve this. Not only does your content come off as insincere, but how much value are you really providing if you’re focused on stuffing in keywords anywhere you can?

Pick a few keywords and use them in natural context within your content.

Single Channel Thinking

You have some great content on that blog of yours. It’s too bad that more people aren’t seeing it.

A huge mistake that some businesses make is limiting their channels for sharing content. Your social media audience is probably larger than your list of blog subscribers, and how many more could you reach through an email campaign? You’re only limiting yourself when you stick to one channel.

Don’t be shy. Share your content anywhere and everywhere that it will be relevant.

A solid content marketing strategy is crucial to your business. Your content is your voice and your image, so don’t let a few snafus ruin it for you. Avoid these 4 common mistakes, and brace yourself for the success ahead.