Content marketing has the potential to offer lots of benefits, but none of these will be achieved if strategies aren’t executed correctly. Here are 10 common content marketing mistakes to avoid.
1. Skipping the planning phase
Random content should never just happen. To make sure your content achieves what you want it to, it’s essential to plan before you put pen to paper, and decide what you’re going to create, who it’s aimed at, and the purpose or goal of the content. Without proper planning, your content marketing campaigns will come across as haphazard, and may end up wasting you time and money.
2. No call to action
Your content should have a purpose, and if you don’t provide a call to action, this purpose won’t be fulfilled. Decide what your call to action is before you create your content. Do you want readers to get in touch, make a purchase or share your content, for instance? Your specific call to action should shape the structure and tone of your content.
3. Pushing a sale
Content marketing is about providing your target audience with information that is of relevance and use to them, so that it offers an informative user experience. Of course, by doing this, you want to convert your readers into loyal customers, but successful content marketing achieves this in a subtle way. Mistakes are made when content is published that is overtly ‘salesy’. If you use your content to blatantly push for a sale, your audiences will switch off, and it won’t achieve your aims.
4. Not understanding your target audience
Many marketers fail in their content marketing campaigns because they don’t truly understand who their target audience is, and what kinds of issues are important to them. Content will only be of use if it solves the problems or needs of your target audience, or is of relevance to them.
5. Failing to promote your content
No matter how great your content is, if people don’t know it’s there, you’ve wasted your time. Once you’ve created your content, you need to promote it so it’s visible to your target audience. Engaging in SEO is a vital element to achieve this aim, which includes using relevant keywords and links within your content to boost your search ranking.
6. Ignoring social media
The power of social media is enormous, but ignoring this in your digital marketing campaigns is bad news. When creating content, it’s essential to publish it on social media platforms that your target audiences use, to increase sharing and brand awareness.
7. Infrequent posting
If you want content marketing to work, you need to publish regularly. As part of the planning process, creating a schedule of when to publish content can help keep you on track. Too often, businesses only publish content sporadically, and then wonder why their site isn’t attracting attention. You need to give readers compelling reasons to keep returning to your website, blog or social media pages, and publishing regular content is the key to achieve this.
8. Quantity over quality
Successful content marketing isn’t about churning out any old information. It’s the quality of the content that’s more significant than the quantity. Quality content includes offering something unique, relevant and current, where you can showcase your skills or expertise. It’s also about making sure your prose reads well, is free of mistakes and isn’t littered with broken links. You can also improve your content by mixing it up and offering different styles, such as top tips articles, how-to-use guides, case studies or question and answer formats. Visual media also helps to explain concepts or add clarity to information.
9. Content that isn’t mobile friendly
Mobile apps and devices are increasingly popular, with almost half of all web visits taking place using a mobile device. If you want to maximise your content reach, it needs to be mobile friendly.
10. Not measuring traffic
Many content producers don’t know how many people have viewed their content or if they’ve completed the desired call to action. It’s essential to monitor content and see how effective it has been in generating traffic and call to action responses, so it can be tailored to maximise its potential, going forward.
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