Content marketing is one of the best ways to bring in new leads.
However, it’s a difficult skill to master. You need to be strategic with all forms of content, whether it’s blog posts, email marketing or social media pieces.
Good content marketing should provide audiences with useful information that answers any questions that they might have. Content that doesn’t meet the customers’ needs is of little use to anyone.
Research shows that 92% of content marketers believe their company regards content marketing as an advantage, and they’re right. Content marketing is an asset, and one that can be extremely effective, but only when it is used intelligently.
Marketers have to get it right, or they run the risk of alienating audiences and falling behind the competition. Here are five common mistakes that many content markers are still making today and suggestions on how to avoid them.
1. Poor Quality Content
Content is king, or so goes the old adage. But on the chessboard of digital marketing, poor quality content is scarcely a pawn on the table.
The golden rule is quality over quantity. Content shouldn’t be created for the sake of it – instead, your content should educate and inform your audience, assuring them that you are the authority in your field.
And of course, the rules of writing still apply; poor spelling and grammar are an instant turn-off for potential customers. An extra spell check never goes amiss, and if you’re an amateur looking to make the most out of your content, it’s good to get a pro to check it over.
Consider also how your writing looks on the page – readers don’t want to trawl through walls of text to find the information they’re looking for. Break it up images, videos and gifs that will entertain and engage your audience, keeping them on the page and helping to inform that instant connection with your brand.
Headlines can be a tricky thing to get right as well – you need to entice readers to visit the post, while avoiding clickbait. Keep it snappy and straight to the point so your reader knows what they’re getting. And of course, remember to give your page a strong heading structure that helps both readers and search engines.
2. Outdated or Insensitive Content
It’s great to have topical content marketing that comments on current events and stays up to date with your audiences interests.
But as well as keeping ahead of the trend, it’s a good idea to balance with evergreen content that isn’t time sensitive and is always going to be relevant to readers. Evergreen content should aim to answer timeless questions in your industry – take inspiration from your own FAQs and use customer engagement to find out what they want to know.
You should also frequently revisit your old content to keep it up to date. Links can break, and domains can expire and be bought out by companies you don’t want to be linking too.
Get into the habit of regularly weeding your content garden so the task doesn’t become too daunting.
3. Not Understanding the Audience
There’s a Grand Canyon of a gap between what customers want and what content marketers think that customers want.
While 81% of marketers believe that they understand their consumers, research shows that 63% of customers disagree, and feel that brands don’t understand them.
Use calls to action to encourage interaction with the reader. When the audience does reach out, whether by leaving comments or on social media, it’s a big mistake to ignore them.
Informative and timely responses will build a better relationship with the consumer, and you can ask them questions in return in order learn what it is that they really want.
There are excellent tools out there to build surveys to encourage audience feedback, and consider installing Google Analytics so you can get better insights about the demographics of your readers.
4. Over Selling
One of the biggest mistakes a content marketer can make is to use a blog post to peddle a product to the consumer. Audiences read blogs for a number of reasons – entertainment, information, curiosity – but non-stop sales pitches is not one of them, so avoid giving them the hard sell.
Readers are becoming increasingly more adept at spotting promotional content, so if your content’s aim is simply to sell a product then not only will it be obvious, but it is likely to have the opposite of the indented effect.
Promoting your products or services through content marketing isn’t an absolute no-no, of course – but there’s a time and a place. Your language and product links should be natural and conversational.
Content marketers are better off putting their efforts into crafting helpful and informative content that builds trust with the reader and shows, rather than tells them, that your brand is the best in the business. Master this, and the sales will come.
5. Overusing Keywords
When content marketers lack fundamental understanding of how SEO works, it can lead to an overuse of keywords.
You need to make sure that you write for your reader and not just for the search engine. Even audiences uninitiated to the world of SEO will be able to spot poor keyword usage if it interrupts the flow of your writing.
Shoehorning in too many keywords will feel unnatural and this will put off your readers – even if they can’t quite put their finger on why.
There’s not only audience enjoyment to consider either! Search engines are now far more sophisticated than they used to be. It’s no longer necessary to cram in as many keywords as you possibly can. Informative and helpful pages will rank highly because of their high quality and usefulness to an audience.
Getting content marketing right can be a tricky task, and crafting the perfect post takes practice. These are just five mistakes that are still commonly being made by marketers so you can work to avoid them in your future projects.
We hope that you found the information informative, and that they will help you in your content marketing endeavours, and remember – content is king, just be sure to use it smartly!