To err is human.
But not learning from mistakes is where the problem lies.
Content marketing can humble you in ways you have never imagined. It can make you doubt your strategies more often than you’d like to accept. Yet, that doesn’t mean you should surrender. Avoiding content marketing will leave your digital marketing hollow.
Instead, learn from these mistakes. Practice makes perfect, after all.
Think of content marketing as a business asset; a long-term investment that brings an improved ROI in the form of high-quality leads and increased website traffic.
No strategies come without a challenge. Hence, you must learn to face these challenges and work towards making your efforts high-yielding.
Yes, content marketing requires a great deal of effort to be high-yielding. There is so much work involved. But the spectacular results towards the end make it worth it.
To keep you moving, it’s important to keep a track of where you are headed and how accurate your plan of action has been.
The more you track, the more you learn about your mistakes. The quicker you learn about your mistakes, the quicker you can improve and make your content marketing blueprint work for you.
So, what are a few of these mistakes that you could be making and should be on the lookout for? Find them all below.
- 1 Common Content Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them
- 1.1 1. Starting Without A Plan
- 1.2 2. Working On Assumptions About Your Audience
- 1.3 3. Not Keeping Your Content Audience-Centric
- 1.4 4. Strategies Circle Only Your Brand
- 1.5 5. Going Overboard With Keywords
- 1.6 6. Offering Poor-Quality Content
- 1.7 7. Re-Inventing The Wheel Too Quickly
- 1.8 8. Inconsistent With Your Efforts
- 1.9 9. Clickbait Is Your Way To Go
- 1.10 10. You Overlook Visuals
- 1.11 11. Not Retargeting Using Content
- 1.12 12. You Don’t Test Formats
- 1.13 13. Not Hiring Well
- 1.14 14. Not Reusing/Repurposing Content
Common Content Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them
These are a few common mistakes that are made by marketers all around. Make sure you keep a check you are not making the same mistakes.
1. Starting Without A Plan
You have only recently embarked on your entrepreneurial journey and have heard people talk about content marketing. The first thing you do is start writing and publishing random content without any plan or goals in place.
This kind of content marketing has higher chances of going down the drain.
Before you begin, chart out your business objectives and goals, followed by working on the action plan to reach the identified goals.
Yes, the end goal of content marketing is growing your brand. However, your tactics must align with your objectives if you truly wish to succeed.
If you are working with an external digital marketing agency that offers content marketing and SEO services, make sure you sit with them and discuss the same. Don’t just assume they know where you want to reach or the product you want to promote more. Communication is the key when working with a different team.
Whatever route you are taking, just be sure it’s well-planned and ready for implementation. Do not just jump on the train because everyone asked you to do it.
2. Working On Assumptions About Your Audience
More often than not, we think we know our audience. As a result, we fail to actually do the work in getting to know the real them.
It’s best to keep yourselves away and safe from these assumptions. They can break your entire action plan in a jiffy. This is because if you don’t exactly know who your audience is, what are their needs, their goals, or what challenges are they facing, you’ll find it problematic to create content that resonates with them.
And if you fail to create content that relates to your audience, your content marketing is bound to fail.
You should not create content to simply attract visitors. Your goal should be to attract the right kind of visitors. This is only possible when you know what the ‘right kind’ is for your business.
Start by creating a buyer persona, a minimum of one at least. Your persona should represent your target group. Yes, every individual is different. Yet, there are individuals with similar tastes and preferences. That’s where your audience lies.
When creating content, keep that persona in mind. It’ll make it easy for you to choose your topics and produce content that’s more engaging and natural for your audience.
If you are trying blogger outreach, you can ask for a persona of the blogger’s website and create content based on that. This will help you gain attention from that blogger’s audience and consequently, improve your website traffic.
3. Not Keeping Your Content Audience-Centric
We have already discussed the repercussions of not knowing your audience before you start creating content.
Often, marketers know who their audience is, and yet, fail to create content for them. This can hamper content marketing in so many ways.
Thus, it’s best to understand a few things to make your content customer-centric.
Firstly, identify your audience’s needs and challenges, understand the kind of information your audience needs to know before making a purchase. You may use research tools like a questionnaire or a survey to find out more and be more precise with your content.
Also, understand where your prospect lies in their consumer journey. This will help narrow down your focus and create content accordingly.
For example, during the awareness stage, your prospect is aware of the problem they are facing but doesn’t know the right solution just yet. What you need to do is help them find different solutions.
So, if you have an LMS, your content could circle the benefits of your LMS, a comparison between different software, and more.
4. Strategies Circle Only Your Brand
Yes, you are putting so much effort into content marketing to make sales eventually. But keeping your content all about yourself won’t help you reach where you wish to be.
Today, consumers’ habits have changed. Publishing anything that’s too promotional will make your audience run away from it. Gaining their trust and showcasing your brand’s credibility has become a new challenge today. Above that, if you keep posting content that only talks about you and your business, it can get you into big trouble in terms of retaining your audience.
What you need to do is strike a balance. You can try the 80-20 rule.
Create some (20%) content that circles your product or service. This could include how-to, tutorials, video guides, and more.
The other 80% should only focus on resonating with the audience. This content should entirely be customer-centric. Make this 80% content educational; something that helps solve a problem and adds value to the lives of the consumer.
This will help showcase your brand as an authority and induce trust among your audience. Also, this way, you can become a part of your consumer’s journey from the start. So, when the time comes to make a purchase, they will consider your brand too among others (and that’s a huge deal in itself!).
5. Going Overboard With Keywords
In content marketing, keywords act as a tonic that can help boost the strategy.
However, when it’s not done right, it can equally hamper the user experience, resulting in your audience disowning you, followed by the Google algorithm pushing your website down the ranks.
Thus, you should be adding keywords but in a natural way; a way that doesn’t spoil the reading experience of your audience.
Also, you should identify how your visitors are coming across your page. That’s why you should niche down and choose the keywords you want your business to be known for. Targeting too many keywords can diminish the chances of building a positive reputation for your brand in any niche.
You need a focused and narrow content strategy. When you target a keyword with 100 searches, it will be easier to rank on it and convert, as opposed to the keyword with 10k or more searches.
Hence, you should be adding keywords to your content but after planning it well.
6. Offering Poor-Quality Content
If you spend your time producing more content rather than producing high-quality content, it can lead to a collapse of your strategy.
When you produce too much content, all in the hopes of ranking for keywords you are targeting, you are at the risk of producing similar content. As a result, your content pieces overlap and compete against each other. Your goal is to compete against other websites and not the content being published on your own website!
This can lead to a decrease in website traffic and fewer conversions.
Hence, it’s best to focus on quality over quantity. You should be working on compiling similar topics in one piece. You can consider creating pillar pages and cluster pages on certain topics.
But all this can be done only when you plan your content strategy.
7. Re-Inventing The Wheel Too Quickly
More often than not, I have witnessed brands change their content strategy too frequently.
Yes, Google keeps updating its algorithm guidelines but that doesn’t mean you can’t stick to a strategy that you just created. If you keep changing your content, it will be challenging for you to rank on the SERPs. And isn’t it this rank we all try to achieve with our content marketing plans?
Hence, instead of switching or changing your content strategy, make sure you stick to it and try different tactics to make the same strategy work. Once you have given it your best and it still fails to derive results, only then you should think of switching.
8. Inconsistent With Your Efforts
Consistency is the key. It is this consistency that will take you places.
Yet, many brands start with great enthusiasm but just leave their strategies hanging as the days pass. As a result, their content marketing efforts become inconsistent. Yes, I know I asked you to focus on offering quality content to your audience. However, that doesn’t mean you are neglecting your content strategy for months at a stretch.
Showing up is the only way your content marketing will work for you. The sooner you learn this, the better it will be for you. I’m not saying publish articles every day, but you should have a schedule in place.
When you are consistent with your efforts, your audience will soon start expecting your content to be published. They will wait for it. But if you don’t show up, sooner or later they will start leaving. As a result, when you finally decide to publish another article months later, you won’t really have an audience to share your content with.
Hence, you should first make your content a habit among your audience and then, stick to the schedule. This is the way to keep them interested.
9. Clickbait Is Your Way To Go
Click baits are old-school. And in the modern world today, old-school is not really a cup of your customer’s tea.
In fact, clickbait in today’s time is looked down upon. Your customers don’t want to feel cheated or want to be lured with something that’s irrelevant or wasn’t actually what they thought it would be.
This can lead to your brand’s reputation getting hampered and your prospects just leaving with intentions of never looking back.
Make sure you are truly offering valuable and knowledgeable content to your audience; something actionable.
If you really want to gain the trust of your customers, build a relationship with them, and improve conversions. You should steer clear of clickbait. They’ll only lead to an increase in bounce rates.
10. You Overlook Visuals
Many believe in just using the power of words. Yes, it can take you places, but adding visuals to your content helps enhance the efficiency of your textual content.
This is because when you add visuals to your content, it makes your content easier to digest. It divides your content into small bite-sized content chunks that are easier for the consumer to read.
The added advantage of adding visuals is the visibility your post can get in the Google Images search tab. When you are adding images, you can create a more appealing format for your content.
You can turn a long-form into shorter sentences or add bullets to your content while relating them to the images or videos added to your blog posts.
Hence, even though others overlook visuals, you should definitely incorporate them.
11. Not Retargeting Using Content
When a visitor comes across your website, they won’t get converted in just first visit. In fact, out of all the visitors, hardly 2% traffic gets converted (and that too if your content marketing efforts have been fruitful lately).
So, does that mean you let go of the remaining 98%? Definitely not. But that’s something that most brands end up doing.
You should be retargeting your customers instead. Why should you figure out more ways and identify more ideas to bring new visitors when you can turn your initial visitors/prospects into repeaters?
Retargeting is one of the most common practices of any paid advertising strategy. This is the technique that helps you become visible in front of your prospects again and again.
The best thing about retargeting is you can easily target your audience based on where they stand on the customer journey. You can tweak your messaging and work on your ads to retarget different visitors.
Let me give you an example.
Let us suppose you own an eCommerce brand and a prospect adds a few items in the cart but decides to abandon it towards the end. Here, you can retarget that customer and show them they’ll miss out on the products if they don’t purchase soon.
Or, if a prospect just paid a visit to the website, went through a few links, and left, you can retarget them by showing products similar to what they were initially looking at.
Retargeting is magical. It helps you avoid creating new content for new audiences/prospects. Instead, for a few days or months, you can simply keep playing around with your initially collected database. This helps save time and effort.
12. You Don’t Test Formats
Every reader has a certain preference regarding the type of content they would like to read. However, these preferences are easy to overlook.
We have already discussed why you should be writing content that’s customer-centric. Apart from the information you are sharing, the format in which it is shared is crucial too.
For instance, you can use infographics and graphs if your users prefer to read statistics. However, if your audience spends more time watching videos, try using more of this form of content.
Just make sure you are not sticking to one form. You have the freedom to try different types of content and you should definitely leverage that. Test and record the reactions of your audience by analyzing the data you receive. This data is a gold mine. It can help you learn a lot about your audience.
13. Not Hiring Well
Many brands hire a content marketing team just for the sake of it.
Content marketing requires skills, just like any other profession out there. If you hire talent just on the basis of how inexpensive a resource they are, it can hamper your reputation. Or, sometimes can even lead to your website losing its rank and costing you revenue.
This is a possible outcome when you don’t hire specialists. Inexperienced writers and marketers can maybe copy content and cause your website to tank because of duplicity.
Hence, make sure you are well aware of the candidate you are hiring. Learn about their background and experience.
It’s okay if you’re hiring a fresher but make sure you train them well. It’s really important for your marketers to understand your brand well to put everything about it in powerful and impactful words.
14. Not Reusing/Repurposing Content
Businesses find it difficult and time-consuming to create content. This consequently leads to inconsistency in their content marketing strategies.
There’s a beautiful tactic called repurposing content that can help save your time and effort. You can turn your blog posts into a social media post, a social media post into a video, or use a video to transcript converter to transcribe a podcast into a blog post. The possibilities of repurposing your content are just too many.
You can even try your hands on guest posting. You can invite other writers to share content and their perspectives on topics related to your industry.
Or, you can try updating your old content. This will help make your old content remain valuable for as long as possible. This process also helps boost your SEO and take your blog to the top of the SERPs.
Content marketing is a slow but fun and effective process. However, since it’s a long process, you are bound to commit a few mistakes here and there. But that doesn’t mean you should let go of this marketing strategy or don’t rectify your mistakes. Making mistakes is okay but not doing anything to rectify them is where the problem lies.
Just make sure you keep your audience at the center of your content marketing strategy. This method can bring desirable results when done properly and with a well-planned strategy in place.
Sometimes, your content marketing can take longer to drive results, don’t keep changing your strategy thinking it’s not working. Give it your best shot and you will be home.