Content marketing seems like an easy task, right? Well, it actually isn’t all that simple. In reality, most first-time marketers and business owners make stupid mistakes that could have been easily avoided had they known about them. Here are the most common mistakes beginners make in content marketing.
#1 No Prior Plan or Strategy
One of the biggest mistakes that beginners make is having no prior plan or strategy and going right into the action without knowing what they are doing. You may think that creating content is the same thing as content marketing but that is not true. Content marketing is always based on a strategy that you follow throughout your campaign.
It is very important that you sit down and make a plan for your content marketing. You must have an idea of who your readers and customers will be as well as who you are and what your company is about. Once you know that, you will be able to build your strategy around this information.
#2 No Understanding of Who Your Audience Is
Another very common mistakes first-time marketers make is not understanding who their audience is. According to a study by IBM, 63% of customers don’t feel like they are understood by the brands they like. These are the consequences of businesses not doing proper research to find out who their target audience is.
Once you collect enough data about your potential customers and analyze it, you will need to create buyer personas that will help you understand your customers better. You have to know everything about your readers, from their age to their location to interests to needs. Do your homework properly!
#3 No Regard for The Quality of Your Content
The quality of your content will directly influence the success of your content marketing campaign. If you put out bad or low-quality content, nobody will want to read it. Search engines will notice the low interest in your content and your pages will never rank high. If you want your content to get discovered, you must make it helpful, interesting, and engaging.
Your primary aim should be to solve your customers’ problems. You want to be writing about topics they are interested in. You need to be answering their most burning questions. And along with that, you should be doing it in a form that will be most understandable to them.
#4 Your Focus Is on SEO and Selling
This is directly related to the previous point. If you keep focusing on trying to sell yourself or your products rather than on the quality of your content, nobody will want to read it (or view it, if it is something visual). At the same time, don’t focus solely on SEO either. Keywords are important but not to the extent that you start having keyword stuffing in your articles.
Do proper research and determine the keywords that you want to rank for. Then, focus on these few keywords rather than having dozens in every piece of content you produce. When writing about a certain topic, talk about the matter at hand rather than constantly diverging from the subject to talk about your business.
#5 No Brand Voice or Inconsistent Brand Voice
One of the key goals of content marketing is to establish yourself as a business. You want to project an image of your company and send a message to your audience. You want to give your brand a character. To do this, you need to know what your business is about and develop a brand voice that will make you stand out from the crowd.
Moreover, this brand voice should be consistent with all of the content you produce, whether it is on your website, your social media profiles, your emails, or elsewhere. If you create content in different languages or translate it with the help of an online translation service like The Word Point, then you need to make sure that your brand voice is the same in all languages.
#6 No Variety in Content Formats
You might be creating the best articles on the World Wide Web, but that will not be enough. You should have variety when it comes to your content formats and you need to utilize various channels to get this content through to your audience. Here are some examples of content formats you can try:
- Written: Articles, Blog Posts, Whitepapers, How-To Guides, Checklists, Rants, Case Studies, Lists
- Static Visuals: Images, Illustrations, Infographics, Photographs, Memes
- Moving Visuals: GIFs, Short Videos, Long Videos, Animations
- Other: Social Media Posts, Webinars, Podcasts, Live Streams, Quizzes, Surveys
#7 You Isolate Social Media Marketing
Many marketers and business owners wrongly believe that social media marketing is not a part of content marketing when it actually is. In fact, social media marketing should be an integral part of any digital marketing campaign. If your business doesn’t have social media profiles, then you should create them as soon as possible.
Coordinate the content you publish in a way that will connect all your various channels to complement each other and serve one cause. If you make a new post in your blog, tweet about it and publish a short blurb on Facebook.
#8 No Understanding of Your Topics
The reason why your content has such a low quality may be that you simply don’t understand the topics you are trying to write about. This may cause many issues in the long run, so you need to eliminate this problem early on.
Educate yourself on whichever topics you want to be writing about. If you have a small niche, being an expert in it will give you an edge over your competitors. This is not just for your customers’ sake but for your own too.
#9 You Expect Instant Results
Many beginners believe that content marketing is an easy and fast way to get rich, famous, or whatnot. This is a common misconception which, it seems, should have disappeared by now. The truth is that it takes time to actually establish yourself online and start regularly attracting huge amounts of traffic to your website or blog.
According to eMarketer, 60% of marketers create at least one piece of content every day. This is not a coincidence because the only way to succeed with content marketing and grow your online following is by producing high-quality content consistently and posting regularly.
#10 No Testing or Performance Tracking
Last but not least, you need to test everything before you decide to stick to it, and you should also track your performance once you do start creating something regularly. Not everything works for everyone and you must remember that.
Try different content formats and see which ones work well with your audience. Maybe they will like your webinars or maybe they will love your quizzes. After you settle down with certain formats and a concrete posting schedule, start tracking your performance and see what can be improved.
In conclusion, if you try to avoid these mistakes, you will have more chances to succeed with your content marketing campaign. Start using the tips given in this article and you will be able to eliminate all of the possible ways your campaign could go wrong.
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