Content marketing is a powerful tool for boosting your company’s digital footprint and attracting new prospects – if you know how to do it the right way. Whether you’ve already been doing it for a while with little or no real results or you want to start off on the right foot, addressing the following issues will get you much closer to sweet content marketing success.
Not sharing the same goals
It is not uncommon that different members of the content marketing team can focus on different KPIs (key performance indicators). Without a clear discussion, you can easily end up with a seemingly great content marketing campaign, but geared towards the wrong objectives.
Before launching the campaign, all the team members must agree on what exactly you want to accomplish, and then you should design your content strategy and establish measurements around these objectives to make sure that you’re all working towards the same goals.
Covering topics that are off your audience’s radar is one of the biggest mistakes in content marketing. If you don’t fully understand who your prospects are and how they behave, the chances are you’ll come up with irrelevant content.
You shouldn’t develop content that you want to read, see or hear, but ask our audiences what they want and use relevant data to drive your content strategy. There are different handy online tools (as Answer the Public and Google Trends, for instance) that can help you plan content based on what is currently trending, giving you insights into what people are searching online related to a particular topic.
Not being original
Blatantly copying someone else’s work will not only result in your content resonating poorly with your audience, it will also hurt your SEO efforts quite badly. When SERPs discover that two (or more) sites have the same content, they can’t immediately tell which one is the original and will take them some time to determine which one to rank higher.
If you copy someone, your credibility will also be affected. You want to show the world that you are a genuine expert for the topic discussed, but if you are emulating someone, you’ll end up being described as the exact opposite – a mere plagiarist. If you have to borrow someone else’s idea when developing content, simply link to their website. Later on, you can even turn this into an opportunity to get a backlink from that site in return.
What happens when you publish content regularly for, say, several months, then suddenly stop, not publishing anything for ages, and then start again? You show inconsistency, making your brand look unprofessional and unorganized and showing a lack of interest in your audience and their needs.
Content marketing enables you to portray yourself as an advisor, a person that has the right answers to other people’s problems. You want to constantly let your audience know that your brand is there to help them, not just sell to them. With this in mind, an organized schedule can help you publish content that matters on a regular basis.
Sticking to a single type of content
There are millions of marketers out there trying to produce, more or less, the same content as you. And if you adamantly stick to just one type of content, the mission of improving your rankings in SERPs becomes even less possible.
This is why diversifying your content is a great way to stand out from the crowd. For example, many sites are more likely to link back to a video than a written blog post, and since not that many people are actually making videos (at least compared to blog post writers), there is your chance to steal the spotlight. The situation is similar with infographics, which are generally more shareable than ‘regular’ blog posts.
Email subscribers are also valuable for your business. If you manage to segment the list of subscribers based on their needs, you can tailor your communications to fit all of them. This makes it much easier to get really specific with your content.
Not capturing leads
Perhaps you have interesting content, admirable website traffic and strong domain authority, but if you’re not capturing real leads, all of that may turn out to be futile. Without a serious call-to-action (CTA), you are hardly going to witness substantial conversions, if any.
How should an effective CTA look? It should stand out on the page and be enticing both textually and visually, leading to offers that are relevant to the content your audience is reading. A good CTA should allow you to nurture and foster relationships with your prospects, along with having a positive impact on your bottom line.
Not tracking results
If you don’t know how a piece of content has been performing, you won’t be able to act on it. No matter how informative, creative or even popular your content pieces may appear, everything you create and share is ultimately judged by lead conversions.
Creating a content inventory — a quantitative list of all the assets that you published across content types, channels and distribution formats — is the first step in monitoring and measuring content performance. With the content inventory in place, you should then conduct a comprehensive content audit, a qualitative evaluation of your assets, to see to what extent your existing content aligns with your strategic objectives and your customer needs. AccuRanker and SEMRush are just a couple of many online tools that can help you track results to see what pieces of content are performing well and where there is room for improvement.
If you manage to avoid these mistakes, your content marketing efforts will be much more successful. The more you get your prospects to engage with your brand and consume your content, the more they’ll trust you and want to do business with you.