It’s official, content marketing is one of the hottest areas in marketing right now. Small and big brands alike are investing time and money into creating compelling content and fostering authentic relationships with their customers. From company blogs run like miniature publishing houses to branded YouTube channels, content marketing is here to stay. For all the successes that a well refined content strategy can bring, a poorly prepared one can lead to lost time, money and a general feeling of frustration. To avoid the pitfalls of poor planning, here are seven common content marketing mistakes to avoid.
1. Over optimised content. You can’t write naturally when you are focused on stuffing your articles with keywords. If you want your content to be successful, stop writing for robots and start writing for people. Over optimised content is rarely engaging and shareable. Focus on creating content that people will want to share with their friends. It’s worth far more than a temporary bump on Google’s search result pages.
2. Content burnout. So you have set up your new company blog, finally figured out how to resize your logo and are ready to take on the world. Happy days. Although it’s tempting to dive in and write like there’s no tomorrow, take a little time and plan. It’s advisable to keep content production regular but not at the cost of quality. Focus on high quality content over quantity. Don’t drain yourself of inspiration by forcing yourself to create content even when you have nothing compelling in mind.
3. Unclear targeting. The first rule of content marketing – know who you are targeting. Starting a blog and writing about things that you think your customers might be interested in isn’t the winning move. Consider your audience, what they like, what they dislike and how you can help them in some way. How can you create a win-win situation with what you are creating? You can increase your business whilst empowering your customer if you take the time to consider their needs and how you can fulfill them.
4. Viral obsession. The content you create can be useful and appreciated without it being the next big viral hit. Being virally successful involves creativity, hustle and opportune timing. Don’t measure your success and hang your hopes on being the next Old Spice campaign. It’s a great way to get discouraged and hang up your content marketing hat before it has had its time to shine.
5. Comfort zone clinging. What has worked before isn’t always going to work today. Creating content is a great opportunity to experiment, see what is successful (or unsuccessful) and tweak along the way. Always be ready to innovate and try something different. If your content isn’t working, change something and keep things moving.
6. Convoluted content. If you really want to alienate your audience, craft your content as if you were preparing the dissertation for your literature degree. This is straightforward advice – keep your writing as simple as possible. Adopt a casual tone, get your message across and drop the fancy language.
7.Back patting. If all you blog about is how great your company is, how wonderfully charismatic your staff are and how amazing your trendy downtown office is, you’re focusing on the wrong things. It’s not about you, it’s about your customer. How can you help them? How can you make their lives a little bit better? Earn your audience’s attention by giving them something of value.
Wade Rimbach works on all things inbound marketing at SportPursuit, the UK’s first sport-specific flash sales website