The 7 Mistakes you are making with your Content Marketing Strategy and how to fix them
Content marketing reflects how customers shop today. They find products and services online. They research options online. The often buy online. And after the fact, they continue to view content to troubleshoot issues and stay informed and new offerings.
Because of this alignment, content marketing delivers the highest ROI of any marketing method. But you’ll have to avoid the pitfalls to see those returns. If you’re not seeing how content marketing directly influences your bottom line, you’re likely making these content marketing strategy mistakes.
1. You’re Rushing the Content Creation Process
This isn’t to say that you don’t have deadlines. You need to consistently deliver content to keep customers engaged. But many businesses don’t put much thought into the content they produce. They don’t do much research before developing topics. They don’t take time to consider what the buyer intent is when viewing the content.
They end up with a hodgepodge of blog posts and videos with no clear direction. Mediocre results occur.
Clearly define your objectives for each piece of content. Use keyword tools and “listen” on social media to understand what your customers consume and share in your industry.
Plan topics ahead of time and consider how each one aligns with buyer intent and complements other content you produce. Content is most effective when it works together to further the buyer’s journey.
2. Customers Don’t Find Your Content Helpful
Have you ever visited a blog to find topics like these?
- Reasons to Choose Company ABC
- How to Hire an Electrician
While you can give content like this some context that makes sense, this kind of content is generally overtly promotional instead of helpful. It usually demonstrates a very narrow view of what content marketing is.
It doesn’t consider what people might actually search for in a search engine, so it’s useless for search engine optimisation (SEO). And worse yet, customers see right through you. It instantly looks like you’re trying to sell something.
Make “being helpful” the no. 1 goal of your content marketing strategy. Create how-tos that offer actionable tips your customer can apply immediately to get a result. This builds trust.
- How to Unclog a Drain
- Mistakes that Will Lower Your Home Value
- Symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
These are Instantly helpful for the target customers of plumbers, real estate professionals or medical service providers. Avoid direct promotion of a service. Be useful first. Then they’ll come to you when buyer intent is to buy.
3. Your Content Is Boring
Too many who dive into content marketing strategy and SEO expect all content to boost their brand. But customers need to:
A. Want to view the content
B. Enjoy it enough to keep consuming it, share and come back for more.
Unless your target customer appreciates stuffy, academic content, it’s usually not the best way to go.
Instead, create content that reads/sounds more like a friendly conversation. Use a mixture of short sentences to make it easy to follow. Your target audience may have a university education. But during casual content consumption, most people prefer something that a typical 14-year-old would follow. Otherwise, consuming content becomes work.
4. Your Content Isn’t Optimised for Social Media
Even if your goal is to appear high in searches, you need social media to help people find your content so that you can scale the ranks. Many of those dabbling in SEO or content creation fail to create content that’s shareable.
To make matters worse, what excels on Facebook will probably not work on Linkedin. And Pinterest and Instagram are completely different animals.
Start by making sure you understand how your customers use different social media platforms. If you don’t use Instagram personally, then it will hard for you to create the right kind of content. But this may be where your brand needs to be.
Build content designed for success on a specific platform. Track how each piece performs to further optimise the type of content and how you share it.
When you create content, ask yourself why someone would want to share this with a friend. If that’s hard to answer, rethink that content.
5. You Aren’t Investing in SEO
So you’ve been building your blog for 6 months now. You’re starting to think that content doesn’t work. You spend a lot of time and money trying to get your content seen. It’s burning through your budget.
Where’s this big ROI we’ve been talking about.
If your content is well-researched, social-optimised, helpful and interesting, then it should also be findable in search engines. But this will not happen if you’ve not laid the groundwork and begun search engine optimisation from the start.
Understand that the value of content marketing is that — over time — it generates a magnet, bringing your ideal customers to you. 51% of website traffic comes from organic search results, not social media or search ads. 33% of traffic goes to the website ranked no. 1.
To achieve search engine optimisation, you need to do things like:
- Creating a dynamic, easy-to-use, fast website
- Keyword research before content creation
- Link building (internally, externally and links from other websites to yours)
- Promoting content to achieve initial interactions that Google uses to understand the authority, relevance and helpfulness of your site.
- Employing analytics to understand how people interact with your site, improving that experience and evaluating how those efforts impact SEO.
6. Your Content Doesn’t Make a Lasting Imprint
Timely content that references current events, trends, etc. can perform well on social media. It’s an important part of your content marketing strategy. But in order for content marketing to deliver on its promise, it needs to be able to increase its ranking over time. It’s hard for content that has a time limit on it to do that.
Create more evergreen content. This is content that customers find useful today and years down the road.
Re-purpose and update old content. If you created a “6 Home Design Trends for 2018” that got some nice traction, instead of starting from scratch, update it. Re-post it. Re-share it.
7. Your Content Doesn’t Seem Like It’s Created by an Expert
You have a job and don’t have time to create all of your own content. Outsourcing is a great option. In fact, it can help you get the best ROI because it streamlines content marketing. But you may run into issues if a company or individual can only skim the surface when talking about your industry. If your content doesn’t sound like an expert created it, customers and your competitors will be quick to point that out.
Fix Your Content Marketing Strategy & Get Results
Avoid creating shallow content. Cover topics thoroughly enough that a person with general understanding of the topic can identify you as an expert. When working with professionals, make sure they’re producing content that sounds expert even if it’s intended for the average person. Content marketing professionals don’t have to be industry experts, but they should be able to confidently create the helpful content that helps you avoid these pitfalls.