Did you know that content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising? And that online conversion rates are six times higher for companies and brands that use content marketing compared to those that don’t? Succinctly put, content marketing generates more revenue.
Chances are high that you’ve considered implementing content marketing already, especially if you have a new e-commerce website, or a new small business website. But regardless of how critical content marketing is to any online entity’s success nowadays, it won’t generate much online traffic or revenue for anyone if it isn’t properly executed.
If you want to ensure your content marketing approach or strategy succeeds and generates profitable customer action, here are ten content marketing mistakes you’ll want to avoid at all costs.
1. Selecting Content Tools and Platforms Haphazardly
Before you start creating content, you need to make sure you have a reliable and robust CMS (Content Management System) that will store your different content files and help you manage them. Some of the most well-known websites are hosted on WordPress because it offers an extremely reliable and secure CMS. Whatever you do, make sure the CMS you select will be able to store and publish the different types of content you’ll want to share.
You should also make sure to select the appropriate tools and platforms for creating and editing the content you need. Think about how you will create your video content, your blog posts, your infographics, etc. and then do your research to select the best content creation and editing software or platforms.
If you don’t properly research the content tools and platforms you’ll be using, you could wind up with content that’s low quality that you can’t publish or share, or published content that you won’t be able to edit or reuse later.
2. Stealing and Lying
While this should be a given, sometimes online content sharers will plagiarize or steal others’ content and pass it off as their own, because let’s face it, it’s easy to do. This includes images an copy. But don’t ever do this. Your online credibility will be jeopardized forever. And if you discover that someone else is stealing your content, file a DMCA notice so that the plagiarizers will be forced to remove your content from their sites.
And above all else, never use false information in your content or knowingly misquote facts and figures. Always do your research and verify the information you find online so that your online reputation is never jeopardized.
3. Getting Combative or Engaging with Trolls
When you host a blog or share content on social media, anticipate getting negative comments and feedback. Unfortunately, this is simply a part of the online world. But regardless of what someone writes, be sure to remain professional when responding to criticism about your website or brand. You never want your target audience (your ideal customers) to view you as combative or unaccommodating.
With that said, however, there are also online “trolls” who will deliberately post inflammatory, rude, and off-topic messages to get people riled up. Ignore them. And monitor comments left by trolls so that you can delete them and mark them as spam.
4. Failing to Research Your Target Audience
Before you create any content, you must research your target audience. You must understand who they are, what they care about, what type of content they enjoy consuming, where they hang out online, etc. If you don’t do this first, your content marketing efforts won’t be successful, as you won’t be able to build a comprehensive and well-thought-out content strategy that is designed for the audience you want to create content for in the first place.
To get started, create buyer personas. And be sure to check out what your competitors are doing. See what type of content they’re sharing and where they’re sharing it online, what type of customer engagement and comments it receives, and whether it’s successful. Then, figure out ways you can differentiate your content from theirs while still offering content that your target audience wants to consume.
5. Forgetting to Plan Your Content Strategy and Content Objectives
Once you understand your target audience, strategically develop content that will resonate with them. According to Content Marketing Institute, the most successful content marketers have a documented content strategy. Those who have increased their levels of success over the course of a year have attributed it to their documented strategies.
A well-developed content strategy will link your content goals and objectives to your business goals and objectives. To generate more revenue, for example, an e-commerce business might create more social media posts to promote specific products or discounts hosted on their website.
Additionally, a well-developed content strategy will highlight what types of content will be shared, what platforms will be used, the frequency at which content will be shared, etc. Read for more information.
6. Forsaking Your Voice, Style, and Brand
Once you know who your target audience is and have a content marketing strategy, you’ll want to create a voice, writing style, and brand that resonates with them. Make sure every piece of content you publish represents this voice, style, and brand. Otherwise, it will be much harder for consumers to identify and trust your content across media outlets. You need to be consistent to build recognition, trust, and rapport with your target audience.
7. Neglecting to Keep a Comprehensive Content Calendar
Your content marketing strategy will help you develop a content calendar. Don’t just list the dates that content will be published. Content takes time to create, so be sure to also include enough time for content development. Identify who will be responsible for developing it and managing it once it’s published. Without a comprehensive content calendar, you will never be able to consistently share varied and targeted content with your audience or keep your content creation and management team on track.
8. Sharing Irrelevant, Poorly-Timed, and Low-Quality Content
Content is successful when it’s timely and relevant to its target audience. For instance, you won’t want to write a blog post about the Christmas holiday season in March. Why? Because the content will be irrelevant to your target audience at the time it’s posted. It won’t receive much engagement.
In addition, your content should always be high-quality. It should be strategically developed and be easy to view and engage with on mobile devices. It should not contain fuzzy images or media that loads slowly. And it should be optimized for all search engines for maximum exposure and effectiveness.
9. Failing to Track Your Content’s Performance
Above all else, you should work to track how your content is performing. Otherwise, you won’t be able to improve your content marketing strategy over time. All your content marketing should include some type of call-to-action (CTA) so that you can track its performance. For instance, your blog posts should have a button so readers can subscribe. Your social media posts should have links to purchase products on your website. And so on.
Analyze your content every month or so to see what type of content received the most engagement or generated the most leads or conversions. Take note of things like who engaged with it, where online they engaged with it, what time of day they engaged with it, etc.
10. Omitting Opportunities to Engage with Your Audience
Don’t forget to engage with the audience that engages with your content. Respond to their comments and concerns, their likes and dislikes. Listen to what they want to hear about from your brand. Otherwise, your content marketing initiatives won’t draw a consistently active audience.
If you want your content marketing efforts to remain successful, be sure to avoid the ten mistakes mentioned above.