With all of the focus on content marketing as of late, it seems like more business owners are diving into the content world than ever before. But, unfortunately, not all of them are getting it right!
Sadly, publishing web content comes with the possibility of a near-endless array of failures, screw-ups, and snafus. Some are bigger than others, but all of them are damaging to your business.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you’re not…
…Forgetting about the big picture
Lots of people blog just to blog. They’ve heard that fresh content is vital to a successful web presence, so they publish something once a day or once a week simply because they’re “supposed to”. They’re not really going out of their way to find unique topics or to provide insightful analyses, but they’re getting SOMETHING published, and that’s all that matters, right?
Like it or not, every single word you publish is going to be out there forever, playing a role in your reputation. If you’re more concerned with getting something published RIGHT NOW than you are about adhering to your own brand and standards, you’ve fallen victim to the biggest content marketing failure there is!
…Disregarding the importance of promotion
The dictionary defines a snafu as “a problem that makes a situation difficult and confusing”. If you’re not promoting every single piece of content that you publish, it makes succeeding with your content marketing strategy difficult — if not impossible. Talk about a snafu!
Remember, it’s called “content marketing” for a reason. You start by creating content that’s interesting and informative, and THEN you go out and market it. You don’t just publish it somewhere and hope that people in your target audience happen to find it. That’s like sending it out into a virtual black hole!
Instead, you’ve got to shout from the rooftops every time you publish something new. Tell your social media contacts all about it, look for syndication opportunities, and share it in places where you know your target audience is going to see it (like on BizSugar or the OPEN Forum, for example). If your content is good enough, people will be happy to pass it along to THEIR contacts, and so on.
…Failing to keep up with new developments
A successful content marketing strategy will establish you as a bonafide expert in your industry. You’ll be the one people turn to when they need information and advice. And, they’ll remember you when it comes time for them to buy something — or when a friend asks for a recommendation.
But if you don’t keep up with new developments, you’ll never experience any of this! You’ll be a content marketing failure, rather than a success story.
Every industry is going to have news and other developments that your target audience needs to know about. If you’re not providing them — and not providing any expert analysis to go along with them — your target audience will never count on you. And, unfortunately, that means they’ll never buy from you. After all, the guy on that OTHER website is always sharing news and breaking down new developments. So, when it comes time for people to buy, HE’S going to be the one that’s earned their trust.
…Putting garbage in and getting garbage out
There are people all over the web who claim that they can write great content right off the top of their head. But no matter how much of an expert you may be, working that way is a giant content marketing screw-up.
Even if you know the subject like the back of your hand, some quick research can alert you to a brand new development or a different opinion that you had never considered before — two things that can truly set your content apart and earn you a reputation as a go-to authority in your industry.
If you’re relying on a professional writer to handle your content for you, you may not even realize you’re putting garbage in! After all, there are lots of people who think they can get quality content for $5 or so. But at rates like those, it’s simply not cost-effective for your writer to spend time doing the in-depth research that high-quality content requires. If this is the way you’re handling your content marketing strategy, you’re failing from the get-go!
…Thinking that shortcuts are the answer
Despite what you may be reading in some corners of the web, there are no templates or automated gadgets that can help you write high-quality content. If you want each piece of content to do what it’s supposed to, the only piece of sophisticated machinery you can rely on is your brain!
If you take shortcuts with your content, your readers will be able to tell. In the end, you’ll be left with a reputation as a corner-cutter — and people will rightfully wonder what else you cut corners with.
…Willing to put up with a few spelling and grammar mistakes
We’re all human. No one’s perfect. So, if you happen to mistake “to” for “too” or talk about “loosing weight”, it’s OK, right?
Your content has to be absolutely perfect every single time. If you let even just a couple of spelling and grammar screw-ups into your content, it will screw up your entire marketing strategy. After all, your readers can only come to two conclusions when they see these mistakes — that you’re uneducated or that you’re just too lazy to proofread. Neither is good for your reputation or your bottom line!
If you’re set on doing your own writing — but grammar has never really been your thing — hire someone to proofread your content for you. That way, you’ll be able to catch mistakes BEFORE they send the wrong impression to your target audience!