Content marketing has been all the rage in 2012, and content marketing will continue to wield significant influence next year. Why not commit yourself and your company to content_marketing_bad_habits_inbound marketing_2013some content marketing New Year’s resolutions? There are common bad habits practiced by content marketers. Although they all have solutions, some may take more time and effort to correct than others. According to Pamela Vaughan of HubSpot, companies that maintain blogs get 55% more website visitors and 97% more inbound links and have 434% more indexed web pages than companies that do not maintain blogs. High-quality business blogging has real value, so start 2013 off with bang by kicking your bad habits and taking your content marketing to the next level.

6 Content Marketing Bad Habits

1. Infrequent Blogging

The more often a company blogs, the more traffic and leads it will be able to produce. Businesses that update their blogs at least 20 times per month generate over five times more traffic than businesses who blog less than four times per month. Businesses that blog at least 20 times per month also generate 4 times more leads than those that do not blog.

2. Poor Planning and Coordination

You need a clear content marketing plan that everyone at your company follows. Your website, social media activity, press releases, newsletters and email marketing should all be coordinated and tailored to each of your various vertical markets and channels around a unified, targeted message. In all your content marketing, you need to communicate the unique value your company can provide in solving problems and finding solutions for your prospective clients.

3. Not Using CTAs

Always include a call to action (CTA) in your blog posts. Providing high-quality premium offers will increase engagement and help move prospects down the marketing funnel. Informational offers, such as ebooks, whitepapers and webinars, function well, because people reading your blog are likely to be interested in more free information from you.

4. A Lack of Variety

Your blog should focus on a wide variety of relevant industry topics. Variety in content form is important as well. While traditional blog posts are necessary and important for driving traffic to your website, there are other forms of content you can employ to add some variety and freshness to your content marketing. It is easy to fall into a content creation rut—producing the same types of content over and over. Here are some other forms of content that you can feature on your blog to ensure variety and freshness: infographics, webinars, SlideShare presentations, video tutorials and cartoons.

5. Poor Engagement

It is important to treat all your content marketing as a communication channel that provides you with the opportunity to reach your target audience. You should always respond to comments and questions posted to your published content in a timely and friendly manner.

6. Not Having a Social Sharing Game Plan

You should have a concrete strategy for sharing and promoting your content. Avail yourself of all opportunities. Syndicate your content on sites like Business 2 Community and Social Media Today; share your content on all the major social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Leverage your content with social networking. Who are the top influencers and thought leaders in your industry? If you do not know, you should figure it out and start communicating with them. Comment and ask questions across all available channels, including links to your content, when it is appropriate. This will add to your online credibility and status. Klout is a good site to explore and identify influencers.

Resolving not to make the mistakes listed above can increase your reach and incite increased traffic, higher lead generation and more new business. Get organized, and be strategic about content marketing in 2013.

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