As content marketing continues to become a larger part of the world of internet marketing, companies are trying harder to come up with effective strategies to boost their business and increase rankings. Content marketing in its entirety can make or break your business. Although it may seem like an easy feat, producing content that is engaging and attracts your target audience is easier said than done. A successful content marketing plan requires more than just writing a blog post and sticking it on your website. There needs to be a consistent strategy established, a research and development process, as well as a process for optimizing content before it hits the web.
Companies with the mindset of “getting a lot of views to our webpage will do the trick” must understand that times are changing and there is a strong need to focus on drawing attention to their brand and generating conversation instead of just traffic. As Google continues to update their algorithm, old strategies no longer work. To keep current with competitors, businesses must join the bandwagon, acquire the resources necessary to successfully execute their strategies, and start creating great content.
Unfortunately, there are many mistakes companies make in their efforts to execute effective content marketing. To help your organization avoid these common blunders, take a few extra minutes to look through this list before publishing content in order to make sure the piece is set up for success.
Mistake #1: Lack of Overall Goal
Content should be produced with a goal in mind. As a company, establishing what you want a piece of content to accomplish and what you want to encourage readers to do will guide the process and ensure that positive results are seen. Consider the following when deciding the goals of your content marketing efforts and develop around it:
Is the goal to have your content go viral or generate conversation? Content that is funny, controversial or simply pulls at the heartstrings of viewers is typically shared naturally. If viewers find it entertaining enough, they will be more likely to hit the share button and spread the message to the social media networks. Content with these goals typically involve other formats than just written blog posts, such as videos or infographics.
Content that is intended to generate conversations typically have similar attributes but tend to be more stimulating in nature to encourage readers to leave a comment and discuss with other viewers. Writing a compelling blog post on a more provocative topic that is related to your client’s desires is one way to generate discussion. Another is to end a blog post with a question to encourage reader response.
Do you want to generate leads? Or is the goal to secure a sale? In the attempt to generate leads, producing free guides or other information that provides more in-depth value to clients creates the opportunity to attach a lead form to the download. Requiring that individuals provide their contact information in exchange for a specialized template or guide also brings attention to the fact that consumers may not know everything about a particular topic and they need your companies help and expertise. Instead of providing customers with what they need to know, a piece of content with the goal of securing a sale should be written to show that a product can solve a particular problem.
Whatever it is, content should be geared towards accomplishing a specific goal by actively creating and publishing pieces that direct readers in the direction you want to lead them.
Mistake #2: Your Content Isn’t Research Based
Simply producing content just to have content on your site is a lackluster approach to content marketing. To avoid creating boring content that will result in your site under performing, consider doing necessary research that will help determine what will attract your audience:
- What keywords to focus on: Identify the keywords that your company wants to rank for and incorporate them into your content.
- Who your target audience is: Each organization has a niche and a target audience. Cater content towards these individuals because they are who will likely be reading it and influenced by it. In addition, maybe you have an untapped industry you’d like to work with as a client, so think about what they would like to read and write to that.
- Current trends and relevant topics: Look at what your target audience is talking about online. Also, current industry trends will provide a foundation of what topics to create a topic around to join the conversation.
- The approach of competitors: If your competitors are engaging in content marketing, look at their tactics and content that’s already on their site to let you know what type of content is already out there and how you can build upon it from your own perspective.
- Where your target audience is looking for content: Know where you customers are looking for content. This shows you where your content should be shared.
Mistake #3: Quantity over Quality
When a company first starts out on their content marketing venture, it’s easy to get burnt out. Producing content day after day can cause ideas to fizzle out and results in decreased quality. There is no need to post a new piece of content every single day. Why? Because your readers probably dont have time to read all of it and your resources will begin to run dry. As content marketing is not a quick-fix strategy, improvements will be seen over time. But, in the meantime, the goal should be providing quality, relevant and unique content to your readers. Depending on the resources your company has, this can range from once a week to 3 times a week, but it is important to stagger posts, avoid burnout and keep the topic ideas flowing.
Mistake #4: Forgetting a Call-To-Action
Calls to action are one of the most important pieces to the content marketing puzzle. This conversion method is an element of content marketing that should not be forgotten as it’s the easiest way to encourage readers to take action, whether it is to sign up for a newsletter or purchase your product or service. Without a CTA, your business is missing a critical opportunity to grab the attention of readers and direct them to related information on your website. The purpose of content is to drive business and gain exposure for your brand, without plainly stating, “Buy Now.” Providing a way for readers to get more information while conveying the positives of your brand and what you have to offer raises the probability that they’ll keep coming back for more.
Mistake #5: Only Publishing Blog Posts
As mentioned before, there are many different ways to reach your audience and methods for reaching specific goals. The term “content marketing” encompasses many different types of content. Blog posts, articles, datagraphics, infographics and videos are all ways to engage consumers. Limiting yourself to only written blog posts, does not provide much variety of your readers as many individuals prefer a visual or interactive approach when absorbing content online. Varying the types of content that gets published not only keeps customers engaged, but also helps to ensure your content goals are met. With a content calendar, you can easily lay out when more detailed pieces of content will be published in order to plan ahead and maintain the steady flow of content on your site.
During the content planning process, keep these common mistakes in mind. By doing your research and maintaining a creative approach to content marketing, you can give your content pieces what they need to succeed and ultimately produce positive results for your business.
Although these are common errors, they are not the only ones companies make. What other content marketing mistakes have you seen frequently? Tell us in the comments below!