Content marketing is all about providing relevant and valuable content to help attract and retain customers. But content marketing doesn’t come without its challenges. There are lots of mistakes that can be made when carrying out content marketing. But what are these mistakes and how can you avoid them? Let’s find out…
The Importance of Content Marketing
Content marketing, when done right, is a great way to build trust and engage your customers. Whether it’s blog posts, videos, infographics, or long-form content, a successful content marketing strategy can lead to long-term business growth.
No matter what stage a potential customer is at in the buyer’s journey, content marketing is vital. It can help increase web traffic, generate leads, and help convert those leads during the decision stage.
By providing relevant and valuable content that helps solve your customer’s pain points, you can form connections that were never previously possible with traditional marketing. Tailoring your content and experiences, as part of an inbound marketing campaign, helps provide even greater value.
As well as being extremely important for your customers, content is one of Google’s top-ranking factors. Not only will you be helping to give value to your customers, but a successful content marketing strategy will help your search engine rankings too!
74% of businesses experienced an increase in the quantity and quality of generated leads. Through successful content marketing, your business could be achieving 27% higher win rates and 18% higher quota attainment.
But with 82% of marketers using content marketing, there’s no room for making mistakes. To be successful, you need to get it right. Otherwise, you risk resulting in low traffic, fewer quality leads, and unengaged customers that may go to your competitors instead.
If you are just starting out, or finding your content marketing efforts haven’t had much success, here are some common mistakes where you could be going wrong and how to avoid them.
Content Marketing Mistakes
1. Not Knowing Your Customers
One of the most common content marketing mistakes is developing content without knowing who your customers are. How can you know whether you are addressing your customer’s pain points if you don’t know what those pain points are?
Now knowing who your customers are and who you are creating each piece of content for, can lead you into the trap of churning out material that means nothing to your customers. It’s a mistake made all too often, with 55% of customers receiving content from brands that are not relevant to them.
The solution is to develop your buyer personas. A semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer, a buyer persona will provide you with important details about your customer’s goals and challenges, their online habits, and traits such as behavioural and demographic.
To obtain this information, you’ll need to do some research. Using your analytics and information about your customers, combined with surveys, will give you all the information you need to tailor content and avoid creating content that doesn’t appeal.
2. Not Having a Clear Content Marketing Strategy or Goals
What do you want to achieve with your content marketing? If you can’t answer that question, you’re potentially making another mistake.
Not creating a clear strategy is like entering a dark cave without a torch. You won’t have a clue where you’re going. Simply coming up with ideas ad hoc is not an effective way to do content marketing.
You should always base your content marketing strategy on data. Data is the key to success. No content marketing strategy should be based on your gut instinct, but on the insights you gain through your data from previous interactions and feedback.
Once you have gained insights from your current data, you can start to craft goals for what you want to achieve with your content marketing strategy. These should be SMART; specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timebound, for greater clarity and focus.
You also need to regularly check and review the performance of your campaign. By doing this you can find out which content items performed well and which didn’t. You’ll also be able to see if you reached your goals and calculate your return on investment.
3. Creating Content That’s Too Promotional or Sales Focused
Another content marketing mistake is being too promotional and trying to push sales of your product or service. Trying to sell something every time you publish a new piece of content is a big mistake and a bore for your target audience.
Apart from the fact you are not providing relevant and valuable content, people have become very clever at blocking out promotional messages. Pushing content to directly increase sales is obvious and often has an adverse effect.
When you develop content don’t think about what your business can get out of it. Instead, think about what your potential customers can get out of it.
The golden rule here is always to consider how the piece of content you are developing will help your customer. If you can’t answer that question, you need to reconsider. Promotional or sales content is advertising, and that doesn’t give value to your customers.
The 80-20 rule is good here. Consider posting 80% of content that is helpful and useful to your potential customers, while 20% openly promotes or publicises your business. That way, you don’t run the risk of putting people off.
4. Not Developing Content for Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey
Another content marketing mistake you could be making is not creating content for each stage of the buyer’s journey.
You may be creating content that does a great job of increasing awareness and attracting potential leads, but then failing to create content that moves these leads further along the sales funnel. Without continuing to provide content that nurtures these leads, you’ll fall by the wayside.
To avoid making this mistake, consider these content options at each stage of the buyer’s journey:
- Guides and eBooks
- Interactive social media posts
- Product comparisons
- Case studies
- Product literature
5. Using the Same Form of Content
Is your business putting out a new blog post every few months or updating social media once a week? If so, you are making another content marketing mistake. The content you develop should range between written, image, and audio based.
There are so many different forms of content that extend beyond just posting a new blog post or updating social media with a standard post. Many businesses make the mistake of thinking content marketing is all about updating a blog when there are many other avenues to pursue.
Blogs are a great way to drive organic traffic and boost your SEO, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. We’ve all probably created a blog post about something that may have worked better as a video or infographic.
When developing content, you should consider the range of types available:
- Blog posts
- Guides and e-books
- Videos (both short-form and long-form)
- Case studies
- Images and GIFs
- Interactive social media posts
- User-generated content
Think about the different content forms when planning your next piece of content and try something new.
Creating a successful content marketing strategy is not easy and will take time to get right. But being aware of some easy content marketing mistakes and how to avoid them can get you on the right path.