Content marketing plays a strong role in today’s competitive online world, however despite everyone doing it, there are certain common mistakes everybody makes. It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out, or have been a season content creator for years, we can all admit that the following are among the mistakes we have made, and are still prone to making. So, how can we stop it?
1. Trying To Be An Expert In Everything
This is usually a mistake made by beginners, however it can be very tempting for even the most experienced content writers.
Whenever we see a new opportunity in another niche, or want to show the diversity of your expertise, it might be really tempting to go on and write about a certain topic; but this kind of behavior is what might be sitting between you and a loyal subscriber base.
For instance, you might be an expert in computer programming but might also have incredible cooking skills. However, chances are that a person interested in the former has little to no interest in the latter, therefore completely disregarding it.
Our Solution: There is however a way to overcome the above predicament. Create 2 separate blogs or channels, with each focusing solely on that specific topic. Each channel with have a relevant audience and potentially loyal audience.
2. Not Using “Clues”
You might be an expert in a field and might think you know what your audience “needs to know” but in most cases this might not be the case. What you think your audience needs and what they might actually be looking for could be very different.
Our Solution: Always “listen” to clues left by your audience. These could be hidden in FAQs, most searched for terms in search engines (via the autocomplete feature), questions asked in sites like Quora, questions asked in social media, etc.
Generally speaking, always put your audience first, see what they’re struggling with, and always, always create content in order to help them.
3. Create It & They Will Come
As great as that phrase sounds, the unfortunate truth is that they won't. We often spend so much time creating the best possible post and then publish it online, only to find it got a handful of views.
Our Solution: Creating a piece for a content marketing strategy is only half the story. You will need a well thought out distribution strategy to get that post you worked on so hard in front of the right eyes. Leverage SEO, social media, email, and even paid tactics to boost your content’s visibility.
4. Diving Right To Sales
In most cases, one's ultimate goal is to offer something to generate revenue for their business. While it is tempting to dive right in and make a pitch, it will almost always lead to rejection.
Different people are on different levels of the marketing funnel. Some are just browsing for info, not even knowing what their current pain even is, others have identified that need and are currently seeking for information on how to solve it (but are not yet ready to commit), and only a handful of people are ready to make a purchase to solve their problem.
Our Solution: Understanding where audience lay in the marketing funnel is crucial. Create content that address the needs and wants at each level of this funnel, this way you can start leading your audience on a journey of education, understanding, trust, and ultimately purchase.
Essentially, show them that you are an expert in what you are talking about, that you can help them solve their problem, and lastly that you have the means to provide them a more “physical” solution via your product or offering.
5. Forgetting The Audience
This ties to what was mentioned earlier but it had to be on our list. As much as we hate to admit it, sometimes we completely forget about who we are creating content for, and instead we go ahead to create something we would’ve like to read, watch, or listen to.
While writing about such subjects can be enjoyable and enticing, they often do little in terms of ROI and customer loyalty.
Our Solution: The answer here is simple, again have your audience in mind. Watch out for what they like, what they want to know, what they currently need and focus on helping them. This will show them that you care, which in turn can help build trust, leads, and ultimately ROI.
6. Not Proofreading
A common mistake that happens even to the most season content writers out there. Maybe it happens because you are right before the deadline and don’t have time to read through one last time, you wrote something a while back and forgot you hadn’t checked it, or be it that you are just confident in your writing skills; publishing something that hasn’t been checked is something we have all done.
Our Solution: Whatever it might be, (blog post, email copy, social post, or ad copy,) we here at Social Fusion have a triple check method. Essentially what we do is, we have the initial creator read through the post and correct any mistakes, then a second person would read through the post to clean up any mistakes the former might have missed, and then a third person comes around and reads through the post one last time before hitting publish. This way we have 3 different pairs of eyes looking at one single piece before going out.
7. Setting & Forgetting
Content marketing is all about creating a new high quality piece and then distributing it through a well planned distribution strategy, right? Well yes, but there is also much more that can be done with previous pieces you’ve created.
Many creators fall into this trap of setting and forgetting, completely neglecting the potential hidden in the older content pieces they have created.
Our Solution: For starters, repurposing older pieces of content (especially those that were received very well by audience) is great for saving time and getting even more out of older “forgotten posts”.
An old article for instance can be turned into an infographic, an ebook, slides, a video, a podcast, or even daily tips on social media. Older posts can also be updated with new stats and graphics giving them a whole new look and potential SERP ranking revitalization.
8. Not Having A Goal
There are content creators that just create a piece to fill a gap in their content calendar. While this is fine for one or two posts per month, constantly putting in the time and effort to create a piece of content just for the sake of creating it, is detrimental to your marketing strategy. You need to have an ultimate goal.
Our Solution: As a business owner, your ultimate goal is to generate revenue for your company correct? So, everything you create must play a part in ultimately leading your audience down the appropriate sales funnel.
Be it to get X views, Y likes, Z interactions; offering a free ebook after filling out a form they got via a CTA; or simply signing up for a webinar via your weekly emails. Each piece of content should be a strategic piece in the larger puzzle of your marketing strategy.
9. Quantity Over Quality
In the fast paced world of digital marketing, many content marketers find themselves constantly posting content in order to stay relevant and top of mind. This is especially true in social media where each post only has a few seconds of visibility until it is drowned in the sea of social media messages.
While wanting to be constantly in front of you audience is understandable, how does this impact your relationship with them? Continuous posting of low quality content can actually have a negative effect, as it can be perceived as “spammy.”
Our Solution: Begin by taking the time and look at the content you are posting. See if it is actually offering something valuable to your audience, covering one of their pains, needs, or interests.
Of course this takes time, and might even cause you to post less frequently, but in terms of building strong relationships with those who follow you and consume your content, high quality posts perform much better than quick pointless uploads.
10. Not Standing Out
It is not uncommon that your audience is exactly the same as the audience of one or more of your competitors. Just because they have the same pains, needs, or interests, doesn’t mean that your audience should be offered the same “cookie cutter” content everyone else is giving them.
Our Solution: As a content creator, you need to stand out to have your own voice and character. Of course it doesn’t hurt to see what competitors are doing, and learn from them, but never copy.
Take common pain-points and offer your own unique solution, or your own twist to a solution. Use different graphics, engage more with your audience, focus on offering them something no one else currently is. Differentiation can go a very long way.
If you are now sitting there and thinking that you’ve made some (or even all) of these mistakes at some point in your career, and how negatively you’ve impacted your marketing strategy, don’t be. Mistakes are made by everyone, and instead of seeing their negative side, we should strive to see what we can learn from them.
Did we miss any common content marketing mistakes? Do you have any questions? Let us know!
For more digital marketing insight be sure to check out these links below:
- 9 Steps for Perfecting Content Creation
- Content Marketing - What Does It Really Mean?
- Revitalize Your Marketing Strategy With This 5 Step Content Audit
- Step-by-Step Guide to Content Syndication