Your fanbase, your followers, your existing and prospective customers need valuable content from your business.
However, if this content doesn’t feel natural and isn’t engaging enough, you will experience difficulties achieving your marketing goals.
On the contrary, by honing in on effective content marketing, you will improve brand awareness and loyalty, increase interactions with your audience, get measurable, actionable results, obtain higher search engine rankings, boost revenue, and much more.
Content marketing can take many different forms and be addressed to many audiences, but if we try to identify its most common categories, we can identify the following types of content:
- Written – blog articles, product descriptions, landing pages, email copy, ad copy,
- Video – vlogs, webinars, studio production, on-location video, interviews, product demos, event videos, animations, viral videos
- Graphics – infographics, illustrations, content formatting
- Social – hashtag campaigns, complementary social posts, quizzes, polls, surveys, contests, user-generated content
- Audio – podcasts, recorded interviews, and testimonials
- Emails – newsletters, transactional emails, behavior-based autoresponders
Running content marketing campaigns allows you to accomplish any objective you want to without squandering time and money on transitory strategies or expensive advertising.
However, to ensure that your content marketing efforts will be successful, it’s crucial to avoid most typical content marketing mistakes.
By following the guide below, you will have the in-depth information needed to improve the way you deliver valuable and relevant content to your target markets and thus, achieve the results you need.
1. Not Having A Content Marketing Strategy
A content marketing strategy is a skeleton for your marketing framework. Suppose you start creating and distributing content without developing a strategy.
In that case, such an approach will negatively affect your online reputation (without mentioning that you will not be able to achieve any of your content marketing goals).
In other words, without attracting and engaging a clearly defined audience, it’s unrealistic to generate profitable customer action, and thereby customer success. So, if your content marketing brings you nowhere, it’s time to revise your current ‘modus operandi.’
Here are some starting points that might help you with avoiding this mistake and developing a content marketing strategy in accordance with your business’s goals and capabilities:
- Identify short and long-term term business goals (for example, 25% customer increase in the next three months)
- Determine how the content marketing team can be of use to attain these goals
- Identify your typical buyer personas, which represent the market you are aiming at with your content
- Understand which types of content are most suitable for those personas
- Decide on channels your buyer personas use, like emails or certain social media platforms
- Design a map that shows at which stage of the marketing funnel you expect the increased conversion of your prospects into the customers
- Design clickable calls-to-action and event triggers for analytic purposes to measure your success through your prospects behavior
- Decide on what content marketing tools you can use for coordinating your campaigns.
2. You Don’t Optimize Your Blog Posts
Blog posts are a powerful foundation for your content marketing endeavors.
Here you talk about industry updates and discuss relevant subjects, illustrate how your products address the needs of your targeted audience, and attract prospective customers to your web page or the website.
But creating engaging share-worthy blog posts that convert consumers into customers is only half the battle without SEO – search engine optimization.
With effective SEO, you’ve already got over the hedge of stimulating the reader’s inceptive interest. If you’ve managed to optimize your content faultlessly, organically attracted searchers will already be anxious to consume the content you are offering.
From that point, you just have to keep their interest alive with engaging and compelling content.
It is extremely important for small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs who depend heavily on organic traffic to drive leads and generate sales.
There are a few ways to optimize your blog, like utilizing keyword research, customizing the URL you are using, or writing to rank for featured snippets. Still, for a better understanding of blog posts optimization, we recommend reading this informative article.
3. You Don’t Define Your Target Audience
Detecting your audience and attracting potential customers is the key to success in Content Marketing. It will help you concentrate not only on creating high-quality content but also on creating the right content and establishing yourself as a trusted authority in your industry.
One of the main oversights of early content marketers is to talk about their product (or about themselves) rather than something their audience cares about.
Such inexperienced marketers create content just for its own sake, and that’s why they usually fail to increase conversions because conversions only happen when marketers know their readers’ needs.
So, how to identify your target market? You can begin with asking yourself some questions:
- What problems does my business solve?
- Who are my existing customers?
- Who are my competitors?
- What makes my product or service unique so that it could win over competitors?
Obviously, we all want to ensure that our customers will find our product a useful one, including all its features, and the same approach should be applied to the content.
Answering the questions above will help you create a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer – the so-called ‘buyer persona.’
The most effective buyer personas are based on market research and detailed insights you collect from your existing customer base.
After you create your buyer persona, it will be easy to create a reader persona, so you could picture your audience as you write for them.
Reader persona is used as a marketing tool to help you pivot your content on the right messaging and ensure your audience feels like you are speaking to them and their needs.
This resource will help you to learn how to find your target audience and create the best content that connects.
4. You Don’t Use Email Marketing Tools
During the last few years, some marketers have shifted their content marketing efforts toward social media platforms; however, email still has a higher conversion rate per session than both search and social media combined when it comes to returns.
Just imagine how many adults out there have email accounts.
Statistically, the messages you send via email are 45 times more likely to be viewed and read than your content on Facebook or Instagram. More than 50% of marketers point to email as being their most productive channel for revenue generation.
So, if you haven’t considered using email marketing yet, it’s time to improve your content marketing with the help of marketing automation tools that will help you send the right message at the right time to the right people.
There are numerous newsletter tools out there but finding the right tool with proper capabilities and integrating it in the right manner with your content strategy is foremost important.
Most importantly for your prospective and existing customers, it will improve their experience and significantly reduce the number of contacts, and lead you to burn.
5. You Don’t Create Quality Content
We all live in the digital era today, which means anyone can create basic content, but it takes strategy, planning, and research to develop high-quality content that engages and motivates your audience.
Although “quality” is rather a subjective term, you should know that few criteria can help identify your content as a “quality” one.
- High-quality content focuses on what makes your business, your products, and your services unique and valuable
- It provides your audience with the information they need and expect
- It’s built on original and valid research
- It’s proofread for misspellings, grammar mistakes, and typos
- It has good SEO, which includes the use of keywords, internal and external links, alt text, and more
Creating high-quality content is imperative for implementing a successful content marketing campaign.
Otherwise, you will not be able to provide value for your prospective and existing customers. So, you will not be able to drive traffic to your site, improve sharing of your content, and grow conversions and sales.
6. You Don’t Diversify Your Content
Diversifying your content doesn’t mean that you have to start creating tons of content on various topics in multiple formats for multiple platforms.
It just means that you need to vary what you already have. If you stick to the same specific type of content, your audience will get bored eventually, which will badly affect the conversions rate and sales.
Try to experiment with as many formats as you can, especially those becoming increasingly popular (think of infographics and design podcasts).
By conducting everyday research, you can discover more about competitors and their approaches, promising content formats, and trending topics.
The more options you try to apply to diversify your content, the more new opportunities will appear. With time, by broadening the type of content you use and keeping your social media feed looking fresh, you will be able to stand out as a knowledgeable industry expert and trusted source of information.
7. You Only Care About Selling
The truth is that promotional content simply doesn’t work. Consumers in today’s times are more than fussy. They just ignore any content that is trying to sell them something.
Sadly, there’s still a vast amount of content that is not consumer-focused. It means that thousands and thousands of content marketers keep making the same mistake by picturing their brands as the heroes of their stories, not their customers.
Effective and beneficial content marketing is the one that helps the customer with their needs and problems.
In doing so, you earn your audience’s interest, its attention, and – one day – its respect and trust. This trust is what today makes conversions and leads to sales.
If you want content that works, if you don’t want your prospective customers to go to the competition – create helpful, non-promotional content.
If you want content that gets ignored and turns everyone off, try to promote your business or sell your products.
8. Not Enough Budget
Content marketing is one of the most important tools you can implement for your business. The right content can help you grow considerably.
Whether you’re making the first steps as a content marketer or seeking a way to optimize your strategy, deciding on an optimal budget is one of the things you should take very seriously.
You should establish how much time and money you are willing to invest in your content creation and distribution.
Spending too little will not allow you to produce diverse, high-quality content. Many marketers from different industries recommend assigning 25% to 30% of the entire marketing budget to content marketing.
However, if you’re just starting out, you can stay within 20% to 25%.
Also, we recommend focusing on creating budget-friendly content (think of blogging, infographics, slideshows, videos, etc.) and social campaigns to increase brand awareness and grow your audience.
9. Going Overboard
First of all, you have to have a core home of your content – your primary distribution channel for the type of content you choose to create.
And you should select that channel regarding where your target readers or viewers are – on Facebook, on Instagram, on YouTube, on LinkedIn, on your blog, or website, etc.
After you choose such a channel, you can add one or two more depending on your resources.
Obviously, resources should go to the channels where your target audience spends most of their time. It gives your content the best chance of being read, allows you to measure your results, and fine-tune your content marketing strategy over time.
Trying to show up on every platform and every channel is a mistake. Such an approach is exhausting and leads to nothing but failure.
Your business can build an effective content marketing strategy that creates a real presence and drives leads if you know exactly what you want to achieve with your content.
Having a clear goal is essential, but defining it requires an understanding of what your prospective and existing buyers’ expectations are and how you can effectively fulfill these needs.
Before you write a single blog post or post a story on Instagram, you need to know a lot about the people who will be reading it.
For that, you’ll have to employ analytic tools and create personas.
Once you learn who your followers are and what they are looking for, you can tailor the content type to their specific needs.
If you want to build a successful organic following, the best tools are automated email marketing and social media platforms. SEO plays an integral part in this, but satisfied customers are your top priority.
All of that takes much longer than one day, but it’s absolutely worth investing in if you have the resources.
About the Author
Yash Chawlani is a Freelance Content Marketing Strategist who is known by his personal brand Merlin. He specializes in SEO and Social Media and helps B2B and SaaS companies out there with his top-notch content strategies. In his spare time, you can either find him in the gym or on the football field. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn.