In general, it is best to avoid content marketing mistakes in order to maximize your ROI on content while securing your SEO efforts.
Content Marketing consists of the creation and distribution of informative content to the target demographic of a certain brand to induce favorable buying decisions. The content may include blogs, videos, checklists, case studies, podcasts, animations, infographics, social media posts, newsletters, and white papers. The strategy behind content marketing should be to provide proper answers to the queries of your audience and build brand loyalty first, instead of pitching in your products and services to the audience directly which would be considered a huge content marketing mistake.
When implemented in the correct way, content marketing can boost your sales, increase your savings and procure loyal customers. According to HubSpot, over 50% of consumers say that they want to watch videos of the brands that they interact with.
Since the millennials have a short attention span, the focus of a business should be to send them marketing messages with informational content that does not appear like another firm trying to sell them stuff. Therein lies the importance of a proper content marketing strategy: to distinguish your brand from your competitors. However, neglecting the quality of content and ignoring the best SEO practices may lead to campaign failure and innumerable content marketing mistakes.
Top Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
Here are the most common content marketing mistakes that you should avoid:
Not Determining Your Target Demographic Beforehand
Defining your readers is crucial if you want your marketing strategy to succeed. You should have clear answers to questions such as:
Who shall read this blog?
What should be included in the blog to make it more relevant to them?
Does this reader provide any value to the business?
When you have the answers to these questions, you can easily create a layout of the article and determine its subject matter. You can research about their tastes, preferences, buying frequencies, and even geographical settings so that you can customize your content. Conduct customer surveys to determine their goals and their questions about your industry. Instead of emailing your customers, you can conduct in-person interviews to understand the type of content that might be relevant to them.
Creating web surveys can be a good means to identify the loopholes in your content and to determine why they are not keen on investing in your products and services. You should give adequate importance to marketing research so that you can extract the most relevant information about the market.
Producing quality content helps you to grow as a brand because your audience shall see you as an authority in your sector. Personalizing your content enables you to further increase brand engagement and cultivate trust. Moreover, your regular readers shall share your content with others thereby enhancing your website’s visibility and attracting other readers.
If your target audience remains undefined, it implies that you would not have sufficient data to determine the most appropriate means of approaching them. For example, if your company deals with Digital Marketing and Search Engine Optimization, then your target audience might be marketing specialists. Therefore, producing blogs with the latest SEO techniques, and infographics depicting the utility of Digital Marketing might help you to draw their attention.
Your content should inspire a community by reinforcing a belief, refusing an opposing argument, and encouraging a passionate discussion. It should reach out to the audience for whom it is created.
Not Creating Content Based on Data
Most firms do not research adequately before creating their editorial calendar. Research is a crucial segment of content marketing. You should first analyze your competitor’s website and check the articles that are fetching them the most ROI. It is essential to determine what kind of content will help your website to outrank it in the browser results. Your research should leave you with the answers to questions such as: How long should the article on your website be? Can you put in more relevant information in a shorter article? How to include a call to action in it? Would your readers find all the information that they require, in your article? How many backlinks should your article have?
Your research should also involve relevant information about the buying preferences of your audience. You should know what appeals to them and what does not. Furthermore, you should use the social sites to check about the topics (related to your industry) that they are talking about on a daily basis, and then add them to your editorial calendar.
Most companies go wrong with content marketing because they only brainstorm the topics that would be relevant to their industry. They skip the research and data acquisition entirely and proceed to the publication of the articles. This approach does not work well because these companies do not have enough data to prove that their audience might be interested to know about these topics. Audience uploads can be a great means to find out the hidden interests of a particular market, search for authors and influencers and even explore new markets.
Not Having a New Approach to Solve the Problems
Most companies research the new problems that need to be solved while ignoring the issues that have been in their industry for a long time. You can try approaching the problem in a different way and come up with better solutions.
Another challenge that most companies face is to keep your content alive long after its publication. Reader enjoyment is the most crucial factor to determine whether the design and distribution of your content are working or not.
Being Too Complex for Your Audience
Do not associate complexity with intelligence and sophistication. Your message should be simple and clear enough for the audience to understand. Simplifying your posts shall ensure that your message inspires your audience in less time.
Avoid using complex language, metaphors or professional terminologies that might confuse your audience and drive them away. Craft your message in such a way that even a layman can understand everything about your business.
Do not employ bombastic sentences that contain unnecessary words. Instead, guide them well and encourage them to indulge in your brand stories.
Add relevant experiences and narrate a story to emphasize your message.
Not Giving Importance to the Originality of the Content
Perhaps the worst content marketing mistake that you can make is to have plagiarized content on your website. Ensure that you cite the sources of the information correctly. Having plagiarized content can damage the reputation of your brand completely and affect its Search Engine Ranking.
Another common occurrence is when brands put too much focus on what their competitors are doing. You should never try to copy what your competitors are doing. Do not try to blend in with your competitors or match your content with their content. The approach that has worked in their case might not work with your brand. Try to be innovative and find out the loopholes in your content. Do not be afraid to experiment with the content and find out what works well with your audience. There are several variables that affect your site’s rankings, including outbound links, internal link titles, grammar, and bulleted lists.
Not Ensuring the Readability of Your Content
When the content on your site is difficult to read and comprehend, it frustrates your audience and causes a drastic reduction in its shares. Therefore, it is vital for you to organize your content in such a way that promotes easy comprehension. Ensure that the style, line height, and color contrast do not disrupt the readability of the article. Highlighting the most significant segments of your article can help your readers to gain significant insights from it.
Do not cram too much content on a single page because it might look unappealing to your audience. Your content should be spaced out in a manner that does not affect its visibility. Your social icons, newsletter signups, surveys and others might distract your users if they pop up at the wrong time.
Not Being Clear About the Objective of the Content Marketing Topics
Most of the buyers like to make informed purchasing decisions. It implies that they would not invest in your products or services until they are totally convinced that they need them. According to the latest report by Hubspot, 90% of searchers do not make up their mind about a brand before beginning their search. The buying process consists of recognition, consideration, and outcome. Recognition pertains to the stage when the buyers recognize their problem. Consideration refers to the stage when they explore their options and try to come up with the most suitable solution. The outcome is the stage when they finally determine the solution to their problem.
The articles on your website should cater to all the stages of the buying process. Therefore, it is essential to determine the stage which your reader is in while reading the post. You should also determine how you will lead your customers from one stage to the other.
Not Paying Attention to the Latest SEO Practices
Investing in Search Engine Optimization is vital to ensure the growth of your business. Web browsers have been proven to drive the most traffic to your business. You should begin first with keyword optimization. Look for the keywords that your customers type while looking for the products or services that you are offering. Since Google’s algorithm changes periodically, even the Medic Update of 2018 affect some industries more than the others.
Ensure that you have an adequate keyword density in your article and avoid stuffing. You should also work on the optimization of the H1, H2, H3 and title tags. Adding a meta-description to your content is helpful because the browsers lay more importance on the content that appears at the top of your webpage and it also aids your audience to understand the subject matter of the article. The segmentation of your content is also crucial to boost its readability. You can do so by adding proper subheadings and dividing the content into small paragraphs. You should also optimize the loading speed of your website because it directly affects its ranking. It can be done by compressing the images and videos and using lightweight themes. Internal linking is a crucial part of SEO and you should use anchor texts that are rich in keywords for these links.
Omitting these SEO practices might defeat the entire purpose of your content marketing strategy. SEO is vital to make your website appear at the top of the Search Engine Result Pages. You have to keep in mind that most individuals only pay attention to the top results when they want to consume a product or a service. Therefore, not implementing proper SEO practices might result in the deterioration of your website’s Search Engine Ranking, thereby affecting your sales adversely.
Not Taking Time to Analyze Content Performance or Refurbish It
Checking the performance of your website is imperative to determine whether your content marketing strategy has been successful or not. When you check the performance of your website, you get to know the number of people who view and click on your website on the browser. It might also help you to track the exact keywords which the customers use to reach your content. You need to keep on checking the progress of your website. You should also check the coverage from time to time to see if the pages from your site are causing any errors or warnings. You should ensure that the browser is able to index your page. Otherwise, it will not rank for anything
Checking your site’s performance helps you to fix and refurbish the content that is not doing well and emphasize the content that is performing well. You should always compare the previous performance of the site to its current performance. Check the total website traffic, sales, leads, the marketing channels driving the highest ROI and the type of content that appealed the most to your visitors. Then update your website accordingly.
Even if your page ranks number 1 on the Search Engine Result Pages, it does not necessarily guarantee traffic increase. Websites with high rankings are also prone to losing traffic over time. According to its 2017 Ranking Factors 2.0 study, SEMrush found that 18% of the websites ranking well did not contain keywords in their content.
Not Investing in Mobile Responsive Design
Most people browse the internet from their smartphones so you should invest in Responsive Design. It ensures the mobile-friendliness of your site so that it fits all screens irrespective of their sizes. If your website is not optimized for different devices, you may lose visitors who might get frustrated due to unnecessary zooming, scrolling or resizing. The buyers tend to avoid such sites that are difficult to navigate. Therefore, your focus should be on building such a site which can adjust itself to the screen size of the device.
Since the number of mobile users is greater than that of desktop users, you might lose out on a lot of customers if your site is not responsive. According to research conducted by Google, 72% of consumers want sites to be mobile-friendly. Over 82% of people use their smartphones for business activities.
Being Haphazard While Implementing the Content Marketing Strategy
You should update your content regularly. Your audience might start losing interest if your content delivery is irregular and disorganized. If you stop posting completely without any explanation and then start posting again after a long time, it will seem forced and artificial. Remember your content marketing strategy should include engaging your audience and building your credibility. The Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines lays importance on expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
Registering a strong online presence does not imply that you must be present on all channels all the time. Instead, pick one social site and make it your forte by posting engaging content there. According to a survey published by Forbes, 2 billion people are active on Facebook, Makin it the largest social media platform. So, you should narrow down your audience and post on a single social site such as Facebook. Having a broad audience base might decrease the appeal of your content.
Not Picking the Right Influencers for Marketing
You should understand that content marketing is not limited to the articles and blogs on your website. Businesses that overindulge in self-promotion seldom draw the attention of their audience. Therefore, you should collaborate with such influencers who promote your brand in the right way to boost your revenue. Since influencers have a large number of followers in their social media and are considered to be experts in their industries, their recommendations can go a long way in enhancing the credibility of your brand. Instagram has become the most important and impactful channel with over a million users.
However, picking the correct influencer for your business can be a challenging task. Collaborating with the wrong influencers can cause irreparable damage to the reputation of your brand if they fail to produce content that does not resonate with your brand. Therefore, inform them beforehand about your brand. Help them to come up with new posts if you do not like their concept. Remember that directly rejecting influencers might decrease their loyalty towards your brand. Moreover, some common content marketing mistakes that brands tend to make with influencer marketing include: not sharing that the post is sponsored, posting such content that does not appeal to the audience, and using bots for boosting follower counts. Also, since measuring and tracking the results are difficult, most companies tend to make mistakes with influencer marketing.
Not Paying Attention to the Tone of the Content
Your content should cater to the language, culture and other forms of your target audience. When you are using humor, ensure that you are not spreading fake news or negativity through it. Do not force humor against particular strata of the society, world events or even political issues. Your posts should not talk down to the audience. Doing such a thing is a waste of time, efforts and money. Moreover, it might scare your audience away and harm your brand. Ensure that you tell your story respectfully. According to Kenneth Manesse Sr., “Quality in a product or service (or content) is not what the business owner puts into it only. It is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for. A product is not quality because it is hard to make and costs a lot of money, as most business owners typically believe. This is incompetence. Customers pay only for what is of use to them and give them value. Nothing else constitutes quality. IMO”
Not Using Reactive Marketing as a Part of Your Strategy
Reactive marketing refers to the content that is based on news and current events. It requires comparatively less planning than conventional marketing strategies. A lot of exposure can be generated from this type of content provided the execution is done timely. However, the content produced can also be risky and prone to negative reactions from the audience. Since offensive marketing can lead to immense damage to the brand image, it is essential to protect your brand against any mishaps. According to a report by Contently, the two most dangerous types of humor for brands are pointing out differences and stereotyping and outrageous interruptions. Stereotyping and ridiculing social norms can be an offensive inhomogeneous population. Outrageous interruptions in the form of extreme irony and gross exaggerations may be risky for brands.
You should find out opportunities for reactive marketing by researching what is trending on social media and the online conversation around your brand and your competitors. Since reactive marketing largely relies on comic timing, it is essential that your posts are humorous as well as insightful to your audience. Ensure that you produce content that your audience cannot find anywhere else: your take should be unique when you are adding posts, commentary, statistical data or even videos.
One of many serious content marketing mistakes that brands commit is when they avoid using reactive marketing because of the risks associated with it. However, when done correctly, it could boost your traffic more than mainstream content. Proper reactive marketing stunts can add immense value to your brand.
Ignoring Voice Search Trends
You should keep in mind that voice search is one of the most impactful tools currently in use.
According to a report by Canalys, more than 1.6 billion voice assistants are expected to be used via smartphones as well as smart speakers like Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Home by 2022.
According to a Backlinko study of 10000 results from Google Home, 75% of voice searches were among the top three positions for the searches.
So, you should definately be using voice search optimization for your digital marketing.
Not Encouraging Your Audience to Be a Part of Your Brand
You should motivate your customers to write guest blogs, quotes or even feedbacks for your brand.
Although these articles may not be professional or famous, they will attract the attention of other buyers who might require information on whether the product is helpful for individuals like them.
Read our blogs to get ideas on how to get more user-generated content for your company.
Not Paying Attention to Networking and Collaboration
You should understand that reaching out to brands that have a large audience can help you to procure more trustworthy customers for your brand, especially when you are new to the industry. When you are featured on big sites, it will automatically make your brand trustworthy in the eyes of your audience. Collaborating with big brands can help your business to secure a stable position in the industry.
Not Giving Importance to Other Forms of Content
While investing in content marketing, you should understand that content is not restricted to prose. Therefore, you should use multimedia to deliver your message. Find innovative ways to integrate multimedia into your blog posts to make them more interesting to your audience. Remember that a huge chunk of text will not be as effective as a small post with a video, image or gif between the paragraphs.
You can also use animation to create comics that reflect your brand values. It will help your audience to understand what you are trying to convey. Use visual assets freely to reach out to potential customers.
Not Publishing Alternative Versions of an Article
One of the content marketing mistakes that we run into time and time again is remixing and republishing articles. If you are running out of content for your website, you do not necessarily have to look for new topics. You can refurbish your blogs and articles with new information, add multimedia to them and then republish them. It might fetch you more viewers than it did in the last time.
Focusing Too Much on the Word Count of the Text Rather Than Information
The last major content marketing mistake is the notion that lengthy content is more valuable. If you want your content to generate more qualified leads, do not focus on having more text in an article or blog. You should focus on the production of content in a length that is appropriate for you to convey the entire message without any disruptions.
Final Thoughts on Content Marketing Mistakes
Avoid the aforementioned content marketing mistakes to ensure the success of your content marketing campaign. Your focus should lie on creating good quality content for the users. Ensure that you filter out all the unnecessary things from your content before posting them on your website. Proofreading and editing are significant segments of your content marketing campaign, and they shall help you in minimizing content marketing mistakes. Moreover, you should avoid filler content while creating a blog because it does not give any information to your audience and reduces its effectiveness considerably. Follow the points listed in this article to be successful in your content marketing campaign.
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