content strategy pitfalls

When your business takes off and hits a period of explosive growth it’s the stuff of dreams, right? Not always. A fast-growing business can be just the opposite, if you don’t have the planning and systems in place to cope with the rapid growth. Witness Fuhu – they were number one on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies in the US for two years running and then they imploded.

Marketing and PR are two important components of growing a business. As marketing and branding expert Al Ries said, “PR starts the fire, marketing fans the flames.”

Content has become an integral part of the success of your PR and marketing efforts and several studies show that the planning and implementation of a content strategy is high on the list of priorities for 2017.

  • CMOs at the largest technology companies report that building out content marketing as an organizational competency is the second most important initiative, only behind measuring ROI. (IDC)
  • 64% of marketers identify developing a comprehensive content strategy as a top challenge.(DivvyHQ Content Challenges Report)
  • Only 30% of marketers have a documented content strategy in place. (LinkedIn B2B content Report)

So what are the content pitfalls fast-growing companies need to avoid?

  1. Not researching and understanding the needs of your audience. This is why digging in and doing some data mining of your customers, as well as listening to the conversations about your brand, product and competitors, is so vital. It’s not enough to have a broad description of your ideal audience. Get down and dirty. Figure out the minutiae of their lives. Until you really understand your audience you won’t be able to create content that hits home.
  2. Not familiar with the changes in the digital customer journey. You have to know exactly what steps people take to become a customer. The 2017 digital customer journey is way different from even two years ago. This is essential information to a successful content strategy. You need to know what questions they have and what data they are looking for at each stage of the journey, so you can provide the right content at the right time.
  3. Not utilizing the knowledge and experts you have. Every business has experts, no-one knows your product as well as you do. Tap into the knowledge base in your organization and use it to create compelling content that meets the needs of your audience.
  4. Ignoring the power of influencers. Yes, this is new avenue and many fast-growing businesses don’t know how to find and work with influencers. But this is one of the most important parts of a successful content strategy. They are an integral part of the landscape you operate in and they can be valuable both for insights and spreading the message. There are tools that can help you find the right influencers or you can find an outside resource who can do this for you.
  5. Not amplifying your content. Just creating and posting content is not enough. There is an old saying, “If you invent a better mousetrap people will flock to your door.” That only works if they know you have it and they know where your door is. Brilliant content posted on your website, blog or newsroom will not do the job. You have to let the right people know that you have it and where to find it. You have to make it visible on the web and in search engines. SEO writing is a vital PR skill today.