Content marketing isn’t hard, but it isn’t exactly easy either. We can’t just blindly whip together some content ideas, throw them into the Internet oven and expect it to come out as a content marketing soufflé. Without proper considerations and strategy, all our hard work is going to collapse in on itself.
Like anything else, content marketing takes continuous trial and error, and a fair few mistakes along the way. So without further ado, here are our “Top 5 Rookie Content Marketing Mistakes” and some quick tips on how to fix them.
1.) Your content is too branded
Overly branded content looks like a traditional advertisement and thus, will be responded too like a traditional advertisement – like you are trying to sell rather than to engage your audience.
Fix: Form ideas around the overall values and objectives of your company, not the brand itself. Content that is presented in a natural way is far more likely to be well received. This doesn’t mean you must omit any essence of your brand, just be subtle.
2.) You don’t have a strategy
We’ve all been there – devoted time and energy into creating a fantastic piece of content, only to realise…you have no idea what to do with it. To get the most out of your content marketing programme and actually build your brand, engage your prospects and customers and drive sales, you need more than activity. You need a strategy.
Fix: Take the time to understand your audience, develop clear conversion goals and decide what types of content to create. From here, you can develop a content map or matrix for all the possible distribution tactics you can use, and tier them based on content.
3.) You’re not getting your audience involved
Content marketing is not a one-way stream of conversation. Don’t talk at your audience, make it an interactive conversation. It will open doors for new customers.
Fix: Craft content that is interactive – allow audiences to click, explore and participate. Comments and other means of feedback can allow your potential customers to interact with your content and feel more connected to it.
4.) You’ve got the facts, but where’s the emotion?
Content isn’t all about teaching and informing; it’s about connecting and experiencing. Content that is both memorable and impactful taps into the thing that brings us together in real life – emotions that ignite empathy.
Fix: Think of your content as a story. What does the information actually mean to your audience and how can you express that? Let your content evoke an emotional response.
5.) Listen to the data – not your gut
Content marketers who have a comprehensive knowledge of their target audience often create content that they personally think is best without considering any outside sources. One of the most importance sources being data.
Fix: By data, I mean your performance metrics. The ones that tell you which pieces of content are being shared and which ones are being ignored. Rather than to assume what your audience likes, know what they like based on the information you’ve collected.
Content Marketing is a hugely effective method of increasing ROI and overall customer engagement. If you’re making any of the mistakes above, now is the time to improve your process.
Talk to Managing Director, Steve Ballantyne for an audit on your content marketing strategy: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you can check out our ebook, The Superheroes of Digital Marketing, which features an entire chapter on content.