By Kyle Patrick Murphy • January 18, 2017

10 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Content Marketing Strategy

 

Content marketing seems deceptively simple on the surface, but don’t let that fool you. Good marketing seems simple, but may have been meticulously crafted by a team of highly skilled and educated professionals to appear that way. Truly effective content marketing is hard work!  We can all become ensnared in these 10 content marketing mistakes if we aren’t diligently and vigilantly focused on the methods and tactics that provide solutions to avoid them.

Why Your Content Marketing Strategy Sucks

#1 - You Think a Good Idea Is enough

Be user-focused and customer-centric in your writing

Don’t confuse what you want to say with what your audience is looking for. A good idea might be great on the right blog for the right audience, but if a good idea is misplaced, it might not be smart content marketing. Your company blog should be customer centric in that it should revolve around meeting your customers’ needs and be focused on funneling sales leads into sales revenue.

Your content should be relevant to your audience

Considering buyer personas is important when creating and curating content for your marketing strategy. The customer-centric writer considers their audience and speaks to them using their own language.  Although your content may be great, it might not be geared to your intended audience, and that’s where you could lose them. Lost readers are lost leads, and this hurts your marketing ROI.

Content marketing mistakes

Driving results: generating leads

Ultimately you want your blog post to serve your company’s ultimate purpose. Your blog’s ultimate purpose is to drive sales, because your company’s ultimate purpose is to earn profits.  Giving your audience a great read, or covering an interesting topic is not enough. While this can help you to build authority in your industry, the primary focus of smart content marketing is lead generation.  Inbound marketing is all about supplying lead nurturing content. The inbound methodology has also come to be known as Smarketing, or an integration of sales and marketing.

Read: 5 Ways to Get the Best ROI From Your Lead Generation Strategy 

 

#2 - You’re not Optimizing

SEO proofing your lead generation content

This is one of the biggest blogging mistakes made by writers new to content marketing.  SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The key to being found online for over a decade has been optimizing your content to maximize its potential to be found by those who are searching for it. Catchy headlines are for the newspapers. Online headlines are all about clearly labeling your content so it can be found among the billions of documents that swamp the Internet, with multitudes being published every hour.

Use content segmentation to keep your content scannable. Breaking up your content into sections makes it easier to handle visually and makes the reader more likely to stay engaged or find what they were looking for.

Using the right keywords

If you aren’t SEO-proofing what you write, and delving into the keyword research it takes to accomplish systematic targeted content marketing, you’re putting in much more effort than you need to for the small payoff you’ll receive.  Work smarter instead of harder by ensuring your blog posts and articles are laden with relevant keywords to your topic. Maximize and use SEO to drive your inbound marketing strategy.

 

#3 - You’re Trying too Hard

Teaching instead of selling

To inform the consumer is a valuable service that they’ll appreciate and consider during their buyer’s journey. Entice rather than persuade, and do so using real information. Back your claims up with evidence and use facts and figures to convince readers that what you’re offering can solve their problems.  If you truly have the solution they’re looking for, you only have to honestly educate them to convince them they should spend their money on what you’re offering.

 

#4 - You Aren’t Sure what Your Goals Are

Traffic

The whole reason you blog is to help your business grow its profits. The only way to do this is by attracting traffic! The more traffic your website gains, the more potential leads are within reach.  Your number one goal is to grow traffic, and the only way to do that is to increase your visibility.  As long as you’re correcting the rest of the blogging mistakes you make, this one is going to take care of itself.

Visibility

How can potential clients and customers choose you if they aren’t aware of your existence? A strong online presence includes routinely promoting your content on social media and spreading your message as wide as the World Wide Web can take it.

Lead generation

Lead generation is the entire goal of of a content marketing strategy. As you increase your visibility, you’ll see an increase in traffic, which is what you need to generate new leads and funnel those prospects into paying customers.

 

#5 - You Have no Plan

Workflow

To maximize your inbound marketing efficiency, you need to have a content development plan.  Generally you will want to start with a solid outline where you plan what you want to discuss,  then move onto the researching phase.  Once you have collected sources and selected relevant information, then you can begin crafting your original message.  For larger projects in larger organizations, utilizing project management software such as Asana and respecting the chain-of-command can galvanize a team and optimize a project’s workflow.

Content marketing mistakes 

#6 - Your Content Is too Generic

Create niche content

Long-tail keywords are the keys to long-term success in the Internet marketing industry. When you focus on specialized topics within a broader niche, you provide more useful, relevant, and engaging content to your visitors. This helps them, which ultimately helps you.

Answer real questions

Everyday, real people type real questions into their favorite search engine. Studying a search engine’s “suggested searches” and drilling deep into the keyword research surrounding your industry can unveil actual questions that your readers want answers to. Use these questions as titles for your blog posts, then proceed to supply the answers your readers crave.

Share your expertise to build authority

Tell them something they don’t know. Answering real questions is going to open the traffic floodgates on your blog, but to really impress them you should teach them something they didn’t even know they didn’t know. When you express your knowledge in a helpful way that readers can utilize, they begin to trust you and your expertise, and you’re on your way to becoming an authority in your field.

 Content marketing mistakes

#7 - You Don’t Use Visuals

Infographics

The power of visual content to relay information is greater than the power of text alone. An “infographic” displays data in an easy-to-digest visual manner, and remains in the expert marketer’s arsenal as a keen means of conveying statistics, facts, and figures.

Pictures

Everyone loves pictures. Looking at photos online is a multi-billion dollar industry.  Illustrations or photos enhance the readability of your content and signal to search engines that you’re supplying valuable content to viewers.  Very few websites succeed without using pictures in one way or another, and supplying fresh visual content is as easy as finding public domain images, using stock-photos, or for some jobs you may consider hiring a graphic designer.

Video

Video marketing is an especially powerful content marketing strategy that has been shown to increase user engagement by an order of magnitude over photographs alone. Inbound video marketing is the future of online marketing, so the longer you wait to embrace this phenomenon the less success you’ll see.

 

#8 - You Aren’t Distributing Your Content

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

SEO isn’t the only way viewers can find you.  You’ve got to actively promote your content and get it out there where it can be shared and seen easily by others!  Social media plays a key role in spreading lead nurturing content.

Newsletters

Newsletters are an excellent method of building a long-term audience and cultivating relationships with potential buyers.  If you aren’t building an email marketing list, you’re dropping the ball.  Newsletters let you stay in touch with those who have shown an interest already and expose them to new content as you produce it.  On average, you need to touch base with a customer 3 times in order to achieve conversion.

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#9 - You Don’t Edit

Proofread before you publish

You hate reading typos.  You should hate publishing them even more.  Typos and other careless mistakes cause your reader to tune out from the message when they’re distracted by a misplaced apostrophe.  Misspellings are an indicator to Google that you aren’t carefully curating your content and may result in a reduced Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ranking.  Tighten up your writing by reducing any excessive punctuation, and turn long sentences into 2 separate thoughts to keep writing clear and concise.

Style and readability

Conversational tone is most popular online, but many content marketers make the mistake at some point of letting something get published that sounds too academic, or something that’s hard to follow because it doesn’t flow enough. Try reading your writing out-loud to make sure you’re coming across in a friendly-yet-informative way that doesn’t take a rocket scientist to decypher. If you are writing for a rocket science blog then just use your best judgement.  Remember that a little humor goes a long way towards helping your reader stay interested.

Be reader-friendly and cater to your target audience

Consider buyer personas and relate to your reader by sending your thoughts through the filter of who you’re talking to. Find the balance between over-simplification and technical jargon that suits your target audience best. You might be writing to appeal to highly specialized industrial professionals, in which case an appropriate amount of industry lingo will naturally come into play. If you’re writing for a broader more general audience, however, swap out some of the technical talk for more everyday words and you’ll see a lower bounce rate and increased reader retention.

#10 - You Are not Disciplined

Be consistent

Consistency is key to growing your reputation online and rising in the ranks in the search engines. Fresh quality content released on a regular basis is the single most important ingredient to growing your reader base. Expanding your presence on the web is impossible if you aren’t diligently keeping a routine.

Use an editorial calendar

Following an editorial calendar is good method of staying consistent in your publishing schedule. An editorial calendar helps control the process of creating content from brainstorming on through to publication. Combine an editorial calendar with good project management software and your team will be on its way to success!

By implementing these solutions to your blogging mistakes, you will see an increased marketing ROI, and your trickle of traffic will flood to become a raging river of revenue. With millions of blogs online, you want to do everything you can to stand out and be heard. Use our advice on how to remedy these 10 mistakes to propel your marketing and sales. Cater your content to your audience, share your knowledge, and build trust. That’s the magic formula for increased visibility and growth potential.

 

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