20 Deadly Content Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

20 Deadly Content Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

The biggest mistake that I see in #content marketing strategies is when companies think that talking about their products or services is "content". It's not - it's advertising.

A lot of what is billed as "content" is little more than the written version of an infomercial. Just because you write 8 paragraphs describing how your product meets all of the needs you identify doesn't make it "content".

Valuable Product or Company-Centric Content 

Now, that doesn't mean the company can't talk about themselves or their products. Talking about their experiences, their research, the trends they see, the innovative ways their products are being used and how their industry works that is content. That can be valuable to readers.

The Really Valuable Content, The content that consumers are going to find most valuable is the kind that they are already looking for.

Sites like Quora are great for figuring out what your target market wants. What questions are they asking? Can you become a hero and show off your experience by answering their questions?

Google's keyword research tool is also a great resource. See exactly how many people are searching for topics related to your niche. What are they finding, what aren't they finding? What are some of the topics that Google suggests based on your keywords? Could those be good topics to write about?

Creating content based on existing demand means you'll have an audience waiting and can get a foot in the door to introduce yourself, your product and show your expertise in the space.

An Example 

One of your clients sells a micro-niche product - a makeup organizer. When you started with them, they had imagined that you would be getting your guest bloggers to write posts about their makeup organizer.

But, after you talked with them about the strategy they got it

Searchers aren't looking for "makeup organizers". People in general are tuned off to being "sold" products. So writing about a product that nobody is looking for (yet!) isn't really content marketing it's just a blogged version of an infomercial where readers are shown makeup drawers and makeup bags "before and after" the organizer is applied. (Now - those are important parts of their marketing strategy and can be injected into theircontent strategy - but they are not "the" content strategy.)

Their content marketing plan is now about reaching their target market by providing them the information they are looking for.

Your guest bloggers write about things like "How to Create a Smoky Eye" or "Luscious Lips". These are topics that appeal to people who wear makeup, want to try skincare products and probably have bags and drawers full of little tubes and pens that could use some organizing.

The content draws the visitor in. It introduces the visitor to the brand (because the content is posted on their site) and it showcases the organizer on the surrounding page - at just the right time - when the visitor is thinking about the multiple tubes, bottles and jars they'll need to pull of the smoky eye or lip moisturizing technique they came in to read about.

Be a Little Sneaky (Not Deceitful!) 

Look being a good marketer relies on you to "sell" to people without them knowing it. It's a lot like a spider building a web to catch a fly. They don't put up a sign saying, "Hey, flies, get in my belly!"

They build a web up high where the flies fly they make it transparent so that the fly doesn't expect it and they make it out of material that is hard to get away from.

That's exactly how your content marketing strategy should work. Don't expect your audience to respond to "Hey, this is why my product is so wonderful."

Build a content strategy around information that your target market is already looking for, don't make it a blatant sales pitch that they can see from a mile away and keep their attention with good information that they can't help but get sucked into.

One big mistake is not knowing your audience. Most content out there does not contain what the target reader needs to know. It is mostly self-serving - which defeats the purpose of content marketing. Content marketing should be able to provide beneficial information about the product or service for the target market.

There are a lot of mistakes that people make when they start out with content marketing, but I think the biggest one that I see on a daily basis is having a crappy writer create your content.

If you're a terrible writer, your content isn't going to be hugely successful. And that plays into a lot of other areas of content marketing because part of being a good writer is being able to do things like: create a strong voice that people identify with, and create engaging and compelling content that gets people talking or acting.
The biggest beginner mistake is not having a defined measurable goal in mind. By measurable I mean a quantifiable result like being able to attribute 100 new customers to your content marketing efforts or finding 7 new blogs to post articles in Q1.

The next big mistake is not creating a strategy to support your goal. You need to know how you plan to achieve success. For instance, maybe you need 10 articles about 10 related topics to get 100 new customers (or maybe you only need one great article published in the right place).

Set realistic milestones to measure success and get execs to sign off on those milestones so that they understand your efforts won't produce instant results.

Be prepared to revise strategy. If your strategy is under way and it doesn't seem to be working as you cross milestones, revisit the strategy. Were you too optimistic? Was there something you missed along the way? On the flip side, if something in your strategy was wildly successful, can you repeat it?

  • Inconsistency in updating posts
  • Failure to share quality content
  • The too-technical-voice
  • The sell-don't-tell attitude
  • Failure to reply to follower/readers' comments and questions
  • Untimely and senseless content

There's no shame in being a beginner. We all had to start at some point. As you're getting started in the industry though, adhere to these tips and you'll avoid looking foolish.

Educate yourself. Read, read and read! There are many great resources out there for best practices. You can find the best value in influencers with wide and engaged audiences. Be sure not to spend all of your time engulfed in learning-at some point you'll need to stop and put your skills to work.

Ask for opinions of more tenured colleagues. People like giving advice, especially those with credible experience. Before pushing a campaign or publishing a post, ask what others think. Plus, sometimes overexposure to a campaign or idea may result in oversight if not double-checked.

Define clear quantitative and qualitative goals. Work with your team to set goals that match up to our organization. Give sufficient time, but also don't be lax. Real numbers are great for sales purposes, but don't forget quantitative measurements like engaged users and an interested audience.

Set realistic Tactics. One day, you may rule the world. But for now, you're a content marketing beginner. If you take on work as such, you'll be fine. Be truthful about what you can manage on a day to day basis. If you're a team on one, map out just a few things to establish initially and move nimbly from there.

I think the most common rookie mistake is the view that content marketing is there to sell as a purpose rather than an outcome.

For example writing content along the lines of 'Why you should buy our product' rather than writing a piece of content that provides value to identified stakeholders which as an outcome motivates people to buy.

Content Marketing is not a virtual salesman. If your content is trying to sell something than it isn't content marketing, it's advertising.

Starting from the very beginning and say that you MUST know your target market/audience/persona. They are all the same thing but for content marketing to work and be effective you have to know WHO to get said content in front of.

You could create world class content and if you are putting it in front of the wrong people then it will more then likely fail.

Example: If I am a CEO or VP of a company I want to see and read content that will help my job and/or life. Something like Top Tips EVERY CEO Should Know immediately gets my attention and will more then likely lead to me opening it, reading it, and so on and so on.

Main point - get the right content in front of the right people. 

Not creating content that speaks or is relevant to your audience. That's why it is important to do research and find out exactly what content your target audience will most likely find useful. This leads to another common mistake which is just writing without a purpose in mind and just aimlessly writing away.

  • No content strategy - therefore goals or ways to measure success
  • Not speaking your audiences language
  • Not adjusting content for use in each channel to get optimal performance
  • Not engaging in dialog with audience, only monolog (blog posts, seeded links in #social)
  • Not being nimble. A content strategy should be revisited often and adjusted as need be.

Many people forget that the promotion of your content requires just as much strategic thinking as the creation.
Having a framework and a deep knowledge of how best to syndicate your content can result in many more eyeballs and potential conversions.

Whether it be for email sign ups, user sign ups or lead generation promoting the content with email outreach, backlink building and syndication is a must.

There are many mistakes that marketers make with content marketing. They too often equate clicks and traffic and downloads as buying signals, which they can be. But they can also turn into nothing if you haven't attracted your ideal customer with the right motivations.

So the first thing to do is really understand your customer. You want to focus your content on him or her. Secondly, you want to appeal to that customer at the right time and then nurture their interest until they are ready to buy and then buy again.

Thus your underlying marketing database system must be able to store their areas of interest, their likely depth of interest, and the capacity for buying. The first two factors help inform what to say or ask next. The last tells you what level of effort you can afford to expend.

More than anything else, you need to get inside the mind of your customer and look very honestly at the most likely journey that customer will make, step by step. Then create content that will attract his or her attention at the right time.

Understanding your customer means going to where they live and appealing to them in the media that they consume and adapting your content to the medium and not the medium to your content.

Ask yourself what the key milestones are as your prospect journeys up your funnel and look at the fall out along the way. What can you do to get more people to say yes? What are you learning about your customer when they say "no" and fall out of your funnel?

Creating content for content's sake with no strategy 

Stopping your content marketing program. Treating content like a campaign. To build trust there can't really be an end date to your content plan.

I believe that social is about building relationships. When I check businesses' #social media platforms, such as Twitter or Facebook, I find their posts very boring. Companies talk only about themselves.

80% of what you share should be about others, not yourself. However, it's very hard to have relevant content but still specific to your niche and not about yourself on your social media platforms. There's a great tool that can help come up with that 80% of content that is not yours but is still specific to your niche.

Not using the content correctly. If you're a marketer or a PR professional, you can't afford to just write something good and say, "Here you go, Google." What you need to do is to optimize in a post-#seo world
So how are search engines determining whether or not content is quality? The answer lies in "social signals". Social signals are the number of likes, comments, forwards, +1's; tweets and so on a particular piece of copy receives. In the eyes of the search engine, this is essentially a third-party validation that says, "I like this content enough to share it with my peers".

Some of the most common beginner mistakes involve underestimating the time and effort commitment a solid content marketing strategy is going to require, and allowing it to fizzle out when immediate results are not evident. Content marketing, done right, requires a slow, steady, consistent build up of high quality content, strategically targeted at the right people and in the right way. Overnight success is not going to happen.

Using an overseas content farm, or a cheap, low quality freelance writer. Find someone who is a good journalist who can do the proper research and write a smart piece, or an expert in the field who is also a great writer

Confusing relevant with interesting 

The most common mistake marketers make without even realizing it is NOT having a clear distinction of what their STRATEGY is apart from their GOAL and TACTIC. You know you are doing it right when you know the difference of the goal, strategy and tactic of the client and you are working according to that.

Targeting the wrong people. 

Understand who your customers are, where they spend their time,and what type of content they are most interested in.

I think its writing epic, sharable and viral content. You can write 10 average articles for 10 different blogs and get 100 new customers but if you write only 3 long, in-depth and sharable articles solving the problems of the readers then you may get even more customers or subscribers as your content will be well received and shared by the visitors.

Not doing your keyword research is a very common content marketing mistake. Here is a video tutorial on how to do your keyword research in order to make sure that your content is discoverable via search.

Original Source: dreamstatedigital.com

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