Content Marketing: 16 Mistakes You Should Avoid
As a content marketing consultant, I get a lot of questions from companies who want to know what they're doing wrong with their content marketing efforts.
In this article, I want to show you the 5 most common mistakes companies make with their content marketing efforts and how to avoid them. Some of these deal with enthusiasm and some with fear.
Mistake 1. Starting content marketing too soon
Without having properly defined your target group and formulated your goals. It is tempting to think about interesting and fun content and launch your content marketing campaign, but that does not benefit the effectiveness. Moreover, you run the risk that at a given moment you really do not know what you can best share.
Instead, it is important to start with a good content marketing strategy, in which you determine what your potential customer needs and how you can provide for this in the longer term. Translate that strategy to a content calendar of at least half a year to prevent you from getting stuck fast.
Mistake 2. Afraid you give away too much for free
"Do customers still pay for our offer, if we give away valuable information for free?" It is a common question and point of concern.
But you want to establish a long-term relationship with both B2B marketing and B2C. It can start very well with knowledge, products or demos that you give away for free. In most cases it is even recommended, because valuable gifts that are free attract many prospects.
Precisely because your competitors have the same fear, free content strengthens the distinctive character of your brand and confirms your expertise or service. What content marketing does is not give away things unnecessarily, but show that you are a suitable party.
Mistake 3. Too much focus on the tools
This content marketing pitfall is similar to the first pitfall and stems from the desire to quickly get started with new things. Content marketing is mainly applied online and you will soon be tempted to try out all sorts of interesting tools.
However, the tools are only a means. There is a huge amount of choice, but the choice of tools comes after a strategy has been formulated.
Some tools can only be better chosen the moment your company has more experience with creating and sharing content because some wishes and needs only gradually become clear and requirements and objectives are regularly adjusted. The tools you are going to use have to be able to grow with that.
It also takes time to really apply a tool and to get the full benefit out of it. An extra reason to think carefully about the tools that will prove really valuable.
Mistake 4. Thinking that you have too little interesting content
Most companies have plenty of content that is worth sharing. But because they are already so many steps further from their target group, they do not see their own content and its value. Or they have a number of content elements that they regularly share, but see too little how they can make derived content here again.
For example, by casting it in another form: an article can also be cast in the form of a checklist, a Slideshare, Facebook message or short film. The solution is often to let an outsider look at your content and activities with a fresh look. This quickly opens up many new content possibilities and implementation of content marketing can be realized.
Mistake 5. A too-formal tone-of-voice
People do business with people. Therefore, avoid becoming too much like a company. If you do 'coroprate', you create unnecessary distance between your company and your readers and reduce the involvement with your brand. People often prefer informal, accessible companies that can put their own importance into perspective and show character. They want to be able to communicate with a company as if it were a person.
The purpose of content marketing is (among other things) that people who are curious about your company or products can approach you quickly and easily. Make that threshold
as low as possible.
Offer many simple forms of contact, but make sure that every contact is experienced in as pleasant and human way as possible because content marketing is not only about WHAT you bring, but also about HOW you bring it.
By avoiding the above-mentioned content marketing pitfalls from the start, you will get a much better return on your efforts.
Mistake 6. You do not use personas
Forgoing buyer personas is a big mistake. Especially if it is relatively easy to research information about them. For more information, for example, you can interview your sales colleagues or customer service representatives. Or just with your customers themselves!
It's also a good idea to sift through profiles on social media and in forums to gather core demographic and occupational information. Determine what challenges and problems
your personas are struggling with - and what solutions you offer.
Mistake 7. Your content is not helpful
An article can be so beautifully written but if it does not solve a problem and gives no answers, it will give you as much (or little) as a poorly written text.
So how do you increase the value of your content? For this you absolutely need your personas! Look in their heads, find out their burning questions and answer them with your
texts very specifically.
Mistake 8. You sell instead of conveying knowledge
This is the right order in content marketing: first "train" and then sell prospects and customers. Ideally, do not mention yourself and your business at all until the Buyer Persona is at the right stage of the buyer's journey . Your goal must be to teach your readers how to solve a problem and where to look for help.
Mistake 9. You do not know which goal you want to achieve with your content
Do you have a concrete plan for what your content - and I also mean individual blog posts - should do for your company?
Should the latest video make a big round through social networks ? Or should it attract users to a landing page? Depending on the objective, the video has to be conceived quite differently. You can learn more about how to use video in content marketing.
For example, if it rocks social media, it has to be more upbeat and unconventional than if it's built into your corporate website in the long term .
Mistake 10. You ignore SEO
A comprehensive keyword research and carefully selected keywords are essential to ensure that users and search engines reliably discover your content. So dedicate yourself to the topic of on-page SEO, including the right keywords, so that your content can be found and read.
Mistake 11. You do not insert calls-to-action
Calls to Action (CTAs) are a must if you want your website visitors to get started with your information and become active.
What do you want them to do? Fill in a contact form, subscribe to a newsletter, visit another page or share your content? With all these the reader can be given a nudge with a CTA. It would also be sad if having spent all the time and effort creating a first rate content nothing happens once the reader has finished reading the content.
Mistake 12. You neglect your social channels
Sharing content in social media does not work in a sweeping way. Each platform has its own audience, each with different needs. Find out what these are in your case when dealing with your personas. Strewing the same content across all your networks is strategically a zero number. This article shows you how to develop an effective social media strategy.
Mistake 13. You do not use responsive artwork
What do your content look like? Airy, attractive, modern? Or does the user actually only see a single text monster in front of a white background? I hope, the first applies
to your website ... To substantiate the following fact: A post on Facebook gets over 50 percent more likes , if an appealing image is included, as against only text. The
same goes for your blog and website.
Mistake 14. You do not publish regularly
When you publish an article, you do more than just feed the web with new content: you start a relationship with your readers. Break the regular stream of quality content and be in doubt as to whether your entire business may also be faltering. So start with a few, but continuously published content.
Mistake 15. You do not check which content works - and which does not
Do you actually know what your readers really want? If you make an effort to understand your personas and their concerns, you have taken a big step forward. But it goes even further. Measure which forms and contents best deliver.
For example, publish a short, crisp text with only 300 words in one day. And the next day a longer, deeper article.
• What does the statistic look like?
• How many visits do the respective posts have?
• How many times have they been shared and commented, and what is the click-through rate?
Test the reach - and then build exactly the content that really resonates with your readers.
Mistake 16. You do not promote your content
The best blog post, the most perfect white paper, and the most original video will not do any good if they don't get noticed. Content promotion or content distribution is therefore just as important as creating the content itself.
Take advantage of the countless possibilities to disseminate your content to the world (and especially to your target group)! Whether via social media , press releases or as a mailing - if you know where your target group is on the road and how you can reach it, that's half the battle.
Especially in social networks, content can be targeted very selectively to the desired group, for example via paid social ads. But also group postings or a considerable promotion via your accounts can make an important contribution to ensuring that your content flushes the desired traffic to the website.