Are you here because you’re trying to avoid making some rookie content marketing mistakes? You’re not alone…
Content Marketing is one of the most powerful digital tools at your disposal. It can take so many different forms, has an infinite number of expressions and the power to propel your business into superstardom…
…maybe it’s not always that dramatic. But even so, content marketing is making such an impact that 94% of businesses are investing in it. Plenty of those businesses, however, are making some errors with their strategy, which is costing them serious amounts of time and/or money.
When you get your content marketing right, it is a game-changer. But for someone just starting out, it can be easy to fall into bad content habits and bad strategies that’ll make it difficult to really get the most out of it.
In this article, we’re going to break down some of the biggest mistakes we see with content marketing and give you some top tips on what to do instead.
Content Marketing Mistake No.1 –
Fail to plan…
…plan to fail.
One of the most common content marketing mistakes that people make is not putting the time in to plan their content. It can be easy to get excited about doing a few blog posts and maybe setting up your business Instagram, but the reality is that content marketing requires a critical eye and consistent schedule.
When I first started out, I remember running full steam ahead writing content with no content calendar, no thematic ideas, no idea about keywords to target, no idea about who I was writing for, or why I was producing a particular piece of content.
This is a terrible idea.
Using Customer Personas
The foundation of any great content marketing strategy, is understanding who, what, when, where and why?
Your customer personas need to be in play from the very beginning when producing a content strategy. A customer persona is a picture of a potential client. Who are they, what problems are they having that your business aims to solve?
Once you understand this, your content marketing strategy has a very specific direction and a path that is moulded to the client base you are trying to reach. Then you can plan your content and start making use of a content calendar.
Businesses that make use of a content calendar are 60% more likely to develop an effective content strategy.
60% more likely!
That’s a lot.
Planning out the content release and its distribution will make sure that your content has a consistent schedule and a chance to reach as many potential customers as possible. Calendars can contain everything you need to know about who and what the content is for. It holds you accountable and keeps everything organised – perfect for collaborating with others to bring your content strategy to fruition.
The good news is that nowadays you don’t even need to design your own; there are countless content calendar templates to choose from online. Content calendars can be as simple or as complex as you want them to be and cover all aspects; keywords and topics, blog posts and social media posts can all be managed from a central point. It’s obvious, but it’s genius.
So when you’re getting into content marketing, the main thing to remember is to plan out what you want to do, and what you aim to achieve.
Content Marketing Mistake Number 2 –
Ignoring the Data
The difference between an amateur blogger, for example, and a content marketer is…
…hardcore data. Numerical Evidence.
One of the greatest content marketing mistakes is writing content you think is going to be a hit. You need to look at the hardcore facts; what questions are your target audience asking Google that you can provide answers to?
This can be a hard pill to swallow; sometimes, what you think is going to work, isn’t what people actually need. So many businesses waste lots of time producing content that nobody is actually looking for. It’s not a problem, it’s just a bit of a waste of resources, especially if those resources are in short supply.
So what do you do to move past this?
This sounds like the scariest thing in the world. But it’s not. Basically, you think about the topic you want to produce content for. Then you type that phrase into something like Ubersuggest; it’s a super basic tool that is great for beginners that are just getting started in the keyword game.
Ubersuggest will tell you how many people are searching for that term every month. If the number says 35, then you know that the keyphrase or topic is not going to be an SEO hit unless you can find a way to make it viral.
Conversely, if the number says something like 1700 searches per month, then it’s a topic worthy of consideration depending on your niche.
In addition to this, Ubersuggest will give you a rough idea of how easy it’ll be for you to create content for that keyword or phrase and rank on the first page of a Google search. Sometimes, people are searching for your keyphrase, but there’s already a lot of content that’s ranking really high on Google so it’ll be really hard to get noticed. Other times, the searches are high, but the competition is low.
Do yourself a favour and choose those keywords. High search volume, low competition.
Ubersuggest will give you a little bit of insight, but keyword research can get really complicated. At some point, the free tools won’t provide enough depth, so when you hit this point, don’t be afraid to have a chat with a pro who will have access to more accurate tools and tell you what’s really going on.
In short; use numerical evidence to justify the production of content and don’t go in blind.
Content Marketing Mistake No.3 –
Producing boring content
So you’ve done your customer personas, and you’ve mapped out your strategies for the next few months. Now, it’s time to start writing…so you sit down to get all of your knowledge on paper. Or you pay someone to do it. Then you look over your content, and you realise…
…not even you want to read it.
Producing boring content is almost as bad as creating content without an appropriate level of depth. It’s one of those content marketing mistakes that so many people get caught out doing.
Make sure your content is easy to read and digest. Don’t make your readers work hard to find the information that they need or understand your message.
Use videos, pictures, and compelling text to keep readers engaged. Include plenty of ‘white space’ – basically, use shorter paragraphs and sentences that get straight to the point.
Weave the personality of your brand throughout your content; if you consider your business to be super fun and upbeat, don’t produce content like you’re writing for a legal paper. Keep it appropriate for your customer base.
Content Marketing Mistake No.4 –
Not Optimising Your Content
What on earth does that even mean? Imagine you’ve written a killer piece of a blog post. You read and think…”I am so proud.”
You publish it, and you wait.
You wait some more…
…”Google will notice it any day now…”
6 months have gone by, and 3 people have read your article.
Sometimes, the content is excellent, but it needs tweaking so that Google’s bots can scan it for the right keywords and index it correctly. When this happens, Google makes sure that your content ends up in front of the correct eyeballs that are looking for it, rather than leaving it in a dark virtual cave, never to be seen again.
Here are some top tips to optimise your content to perfection…
- Include your keywords in the title – make sure it still makes sense; Google bots can spot when you’re just using them for the sake of it.
- Include your keywords in your meta description, i.e. the text you see below the search engine result that tells readers why they should click to find out more.
- Write good content that’s well written. We’ve discussed this – Google will know if you’ve just thrown some keywords together on a page.Produce content that clearly identifies you as an authority on the topic.
- Include the Keywords in subheadings and throughout the body of the text. Don’t spam though, otherwise, Google will penalise you. Just keep it frequent, but natural.
Content Marketing Mistake No.5 –
Not Tracking the Results
One of the biggest content marketing mistakes. Forgetting to set up the Analytics. Tracking the results of how your content performs is a hugely necessary part of building a picture of what content works and what doesn’t.
I know it sounds daunting; I’m not a data person…I literally think in colours and feelings, so the idea of even looking at Google Analytics can be so discouraging. However…
…it’s a necessary component of any content strategy. In order for you to double-down on producing content your customers love, you need to know…what they love. Data analysis will help you do just that.
Each platform normally has an inbuilt analytics section that enables you to get an overview. It’s better to decide what metrics you actually want to track as early on in the planning stage as possible. Do you want to track how many people go from your blog post to purchasing a product? Find out how to set this up in something like Google Analytics or get a search expert to do it on your behalf.
There’s nothing more frustrating than committing 12 months of your life to a content strategy only to find out that you can’t prove what worked and what didn’t.
Content Marketing Mistake No. 6 –
Not Promoting Your Content
Organic traffic is great. But ultimately there’s so much competition for our attention, that sometimes, the eyeballs you need your content to be in front of need a little guidance. That guidance can come from sharing your content on your social platforms, which might be sufficient if you already have an engaged social media following. There are some other alternatives to discuss as well…
Paid Ads for Your Content
If you are in the process of building a community, then getting some traffic via paid ads on various different platforms might be something that could really help you out.
Again getting started with paid ads can be a little overwhelming, but it’s easy enough to get your head around the basics, particularly on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. The tricky bit is learning how to target your ads correctly, so the right audience sees it. The niches are endless.
You’ve got the option to experiment and do some testing to see what works and how many leads are generated, or you can find a consultant to help you out.
Additional content distribution techniques include:
- Send an alert to your email subscribers.
- Answering related questions on forums like Reddit and leaving a link for people to get more information – don’t be spammy or just leave a link – you need to be an active part of the discussion.
- Emailing influencers who would be interested in your content and asking them to promote it on their social media channels.
Whatever you decide to do, within your strategy, there needs to be a way to promote and distribute your content. So feature that as a part of your planning process!
Content Marketing Mistake No.7 –
Not Suggesting Complimentary Content To Your Existing Readers
Last but never least, one of the more subtle content marketing mistakes that businesses make is not giving their readers more content to enjoy. Think of your content as Wikipedia; it’s an Alice in Wonderland treasure trove of knowledge. You’ll be writing articles around specific topics which should hopefully all link together in some way in a complimentary web.
So the chances are, that as you read this article, there will be at least 3 more articles on this blog that I could suggest to you that will compliment what I’ve explained here. This is one of those content marketing mistakes that’s easily fixed – you can insert links for suggested posts into the body of the text, or you can have them appear at the bottom of the page or at the side of the article.
Either way, you’ll definitely be missing a trick by not linking relevant articles and keeping those potential customers interacting with your content.
For wider reading in relation to this article, can I suggest the following:
See what I did there?
So there you have it! 7 Content Marketing Mistakes we can guarantee you do not want to make when embarking on your content marketing adventure. Following these tips straight away will ensure that you save yourself a lot of time and a whole lot of stress.
If you are building your strategy and you’d like a helping hand, then you can always book a free meeting with one of our consultants.