Like with any new concept, some people can get a little confused when it comes to content marketing, and mistakes are bound to happen. But when it comes to your customers, there are some mistakes businesses can’t afford to make.

Not understanding the content marketing concept
Advertisers sell. Content marketers inform. The idea seems simple enough, but many businesses are more worried about jumping on the content marketing train than actually becoming effective content marketers.

If you create a content marketing blog that pitches your company’s products or services in every post, you’re going to be more disappointed than Mckayla Maroney on the second place podium. The purpose of content marketing is to let consumers make an informed decision based on the information you provide. Trying to bias them towards your business insults consumers and damages your credibility.

Not sticking to a content creation strategy
Remember when you had a paper due and you waited until two days before to even look at the requirements? If you’re anything like me, you went through more tears and caffeine in that 48 hours than all the participants on Toddlers & Tiaras combined.

Well, being a content marketer means putting yourself under those deadlines all the time. Only this time a bad grade means losing customers. To avoid this, come up with a rolling three-month editorial calendar that lists the topic for each blog post, any data you need to gather and when it needs to be ready for publication. Then, schedule time on your calendar to research and write the post. This is key. You can have the world’s most organized editorial calendar, but if you don’t actually write anything it’s kind of pointless.

Publishing content for content’s sake
Consumers come to your company because you give them information they want. So if you start posting random links or blog posts that have no relation to your industry, you’re going to lose followers fast.

It can be easy to get stressed out about a deadline and throw something up just to have it up, but this does more harm than good. If it helps to reduce your posts from three times a week to once a week, do it. You will be able to write more thoughtful, focused pieces and your clients will definitely appreciate it.

Making your customers jump through hoops
Offering consumers downloadables that better explain a concept is great, but making them go through a marathon to get them is not. In fact, the Chief Marketing Officer Council conducted a survey recently that said the number one turnoff in web marketing is tedious download requirements. Downloadables are perfect for email capture, but expecting followers to participate in a 30-minute survey or sign up for a paid subscription is not acceptable.

Not knowing your customers
The purpose of content marketing is to give consumers something they want. You can’t do this if you don’t know who you’re talking to. As a content marketer, you need to do extensive research on your target market before you even start thinking about content. Why would you want to waste your time coming up with content that your followers have no interest in?