Content marketing is a crucial part of any successful digital marketing strategy, but many businesses are still making mistakes that are damaging their reputation. Fortunately, any marketer can turn things around if they recognize where they’re going wrong. To strengthen your content marketing strategy, here are 13 common content marketing mistakes you should aim to avoid:
1. Carrying On Without a Plan
It may sound obvious, but in order to achieve more of your content marketing goals, you need a clearly defined plan. You should define your short and long-term goals, describe how you’ll achieve them, and establish a few key metrics to track. This will save time and resources and make it easier to assess where you’re going right and wrong.
2. Rushing Content Creation
With more and more content competing for attention, it is harder than ever before to get noticed online. To stand out, you need to deliver high-quality content – content that is unique, valuable, and tailored to your specific target audience. Anything less is likely to be ignored or forgotten. Spend a little more time crafting good-looking, engaging content to boost content engagement and your reputation.
3. Not Harnessing User-Generated Content
Any content that your audience creates can be defined as user-generated content. Why wouldn’t you want to amplify it? It is a great way to build customer trust. For example, encourage your social media followers to submit photos of themselves using your products. Challenge your audience to get creative in some way that relates to your products or services and use a unique hashtag to boost engagement.
4. Inconsistent Branding
Some businesses do not provide employees with clear content guidelines. With a variety of people working on content, this can lead to inconsistencies in the look and style of content across different channels. It’s confusing for consumers and damaging to the brand. Make sure you have a universal set of content guidelines so that everyone on your team stays on brand, uses consistent visuals, and speaks with one clear voice.
5. Trying to Address Every Stage Of The Buyer’s Journey
While it is important to address different stages of the customer journey, you shouldn’t do it all at once. Each piece of content should have a clear goal – whether it’s to build brand awareness, nurture leads, drive sales, or strengthen customer loyalty. When content specifically addresses one stage of the buyer’s journey – the awareness, consideration, or decision stage – it leads to greater content clarity. It also makes it easier to measure content performance.
6. Not Tracking Content Marketing Performance
If you do not regularly analyze the performance metrics of content, there’s no way of knowing what’s working and what isn’t. How much engagement is each social media post getting? How many people shared your blog post? How much website traffic are you getting from that email campaign? When you have the data – such as page views, shares, and click-throughs – you can tweak future content to maximize results going forward.
7. Too Little Promotion
All content needs time to find its audience and reach its full potential. This involves regular promotion – especially in the early stages. Don’t just promote content once and then forget about it. Email your subscribers to announce every new piece of content. Link to content multiple times on social media. And keep sharing it across different channels for a number of days. This repetition is key to maximizing content impact.
8. Forgetting to Add a Call-to-Action (CTA)
To improve overall content marketing results, each piece of content needs a clear purpose. This is especially important if you are constantly trying to generate leads. What do you want your audience to do next? Fill in a form? Subscribe to your newsletter? Visit another page on your site? Whatever it is, ensure you include a CTA that supports a specific marketing goal.
9. Focusing Too Much On Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Obviously, content should include keyword-optimized headings, subheadings, and alt tags. However, don’t ignore the core needs of your audience. Some businesses focus too much on SEO and the content quality suffers. Consider how the viewer experiences your content. The tone of language, readability, design, and structure of your content all play a part in how engaged users feel, and how much they trust your brand. Get these things right and your content automatically becomes more search-engine friendly.
10. Not Using a Variety of Content Formats
Different audiences have different content preferences, so it is important to deliver a range of content formats to please different people. Of course, some people like to read. But many people prefer to watch videos, enjoy the clarity of infographics, or find it more convenient to listen to audio content. Repurpose content into different formats to meet the needs and expectations of different people.
11. Not Revisiting Older Content
Over time, content can become outdated and steadily lose its marketing power. This is why it’s important to regularly review old content and update it. By updating older content with new information and links, you can improve its search engine rankings and make it more visible online. This also gives you an excuse to promote it again across your social media channels.
12. Taking Your Audience for Granted
Don’t make the mistake of assuming what your audience wants. What if you are wrong? Instead of guessing, ask your audience – constantly. What do they care about? What types of content do they want to see? By asking your audience – via social media and email – you can find out, and then deliver more relevant, valuable content.
13. Failing to Provide Sources
Most people like to know they are receiving the correct information. To build trust, it’s important to show your audience the sources for any statistics or data you provide. Including links to trustworthy sources can also boost your search engine rankings.
The Bottom Line
If your content marketing efforts are not bringing you the results you expect, it’s time to review your strategies. These 13 common mistakes are a good place to start, but to make the process easier, tackle one thing at a time. Content marketing isn’t easy for any business, but if you keep in mind these most common mistakes, you can safeguard your reputation, rise above the competition, and benefit more from content marketing for years to come.
If you have any questions, our team would be more than happy to help. Call us today at 215-393-9787.