In the world of content marketing, it’s not enough to have good content. Instead, you have to have good content and a plan… and execute that plan strategically.
Good content all by itself is like a car without an engine. It looks good, it’s shiny and sleek, and it has all the other working parts. But, the element that makes it fly down the road is missing.
Content is the vehicle, but you have to be in the driver’s seat. Neglecting the other necessary pieces of content marketing will leave you stranded in the middle of the road. After all, can any piece of content really be great if no one ever reads it?
Learn about the content marketing mistakes you should avoid, and discover how to give your content power and velocity. This will help get you in front of your audience so your content makes the impact you need.
Avoid These 7 Road Blocks to Great Content Marketing
Great content doesn’t get noticed on its own – it needs the right marketing to get it in front of the right people.
The following content marketing mistakes are road blocks to watch for. These hinder both the quality of your content creation and the audience you’re able to reach.
1. Lack of Goals/Strategy
Don’t blindly head into content marketing without knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing. You need measurable goals in order to gauge your success. And, in order to reach those goals, you have to have a strategy.
After all, don’t you want to be able to determine if your marketing is working? Without that knowledge, you’re just pouring resources into an unknown – and that could be a huge waste of time and money.
Part of having a strategy is understanding what you want your content to do for you. Do you want it to go viral? Do you want X number of shares or likes? Are you aiming for a goal regarding hits or clicks? Determine what you want, then figure out how to go for it in the most effective way possible.
2. Selling Instead of Teaching
Another big mistake is focusing on your products/services instead of the buyer.
What does this look like? In short, if your blogs and articles are product-centric, you’re probably honing in on selling rather than teaching.
If you’re mentioning yourself and your business constantly throughout your posts, you’re selling. If you forget about the buyer entirely and are zeroed-in on touting the benefits of your products in the best way, you guessed it – you’re selling.
This kind of content is not useful to the buyer. It doesn’t teach. It tells.
Teaching is about learning, while telling is about showing. Think long and hard about what you’re posting before you post it. Does it help the buyer in some way? Is it providing Value? Is it useful? Or are you just playing show-and-tell?
3. Not Taking Advantage of SEO
If you’re not optimizing your content, you’re missing out.
SEO gives you the chance to rank highly in SERPs (search engine results pages) – so why wouldn’t you take advantage? Search engines are one avenue (if not the main avenue) for browsing the web. Ignoring their power is just plain silly, not when there are techniques you can use to make your site and content appeal to the ‘bots.
4. Not Optimizing for Your Information-Sharing Outlet
There are ideal types of posts for every social media outlet. When you share information on various sources, optimize your post according to the standards, limitations, and accepted trends. Each site has different “formulas” for posting that will make your contribution stand out if you follow them.
For instance, a short post with a few fun hashtags will not work on LinkedIn. A long article with no images will not do well on Facebook. And you can’t post on Instagram without a photo.
Share your content on social media the right way, each way. You’ll attract more attention and get more hits.
5. Not Knowing Your Audience
If you don’t understand your audience, how can you create good, useful content for them?
You can’t put the cart before the horse. You have to create your content with users in mind, not the other way around. True, buyer-centric content starts with thinking about their needs or issues.
If you start with content and then go searching for an audience, you’re doing it wrong, plain and simple. Instead, your audience must be in mind from the get-go.
In order to have your audience in mind, you have to know who they are. How do you figure this out? You have to do some legwork. Pinpoint some personas who need/want/have the means to use your services. Research them.
You may narrow down your targets further, but this is good. The more exactly you know who you’re talking to, the better.
6. Providing All Fluff and No Meat
A steady diet of sugar and carbs is a fluff diet. There’s no substance, no nutrition. A diet like this will probably lead to diabetes, at least. At worst, it’s unsustainable in order to live.
Think of your content in these terms. If all you provide is fluff, you’re not going to nourish your readers. And readers want to be nourished. If they can’t get it with you, they’ll look for it elsewhere.
Good, meaty content isn’t timid. It has an opinion. It explores problems in-depth. It has a unique point-of-view and contributes something new to the conversation. All of this adds up and ties back to #2: it’s useful.
7. Forgetting That Content Creation + Content Marketing Go Hand-in-Hand
If you’re separating content and marketing in your mind, pull back and refocus. You cannot separate the two. You can’t do one without the other.
If driving traffic and drawing an audience with your content are your goals, then you can’t create content without thinking of marketing. By the same token, you can’t market without thinking of your content.
Your content marketing process needs to be holistic. To drive traffic, you need to resonate with your readers. To resonate with your readers, you need to appeal to them and provide useful information. To do this, you have to know your audience. To know your audience, you have to hone in on who they are and what they want/need.
As you can see, every piece of the puzzle depends on every other piece. Take one out, and you lose the whole picture.
Content Creation Mistakes Are Easily Avoidable
Content marketing mistakes are easy to make, but they’re just as easily avoided.
Once you understand the basic goals of content marketing, you’ll be set to continue down a successful content creation road. You’ll do it right, which will get you in front of your target audience. This will reveal itself in your ROI.
So, get to it. Make goals, create a strategy, start with the buyer, know them inside-out, and teach, don’t sell. Stay useful and relevant, optimize for search engines, and post your content the right way on social media.
Most of all, remember that your plan won’t work, let alone succeed, unless your content and your marketing are seamlessly intertwined. Just like love and marriage, you can’t have one without the other.
The best way to avoid content marketing mistakes is to work with experts who know their stuff. We understand how all the pieces of content marketing are inextricably linked. If your plan needs a boost, count on Thrive Internet Marketing to rev it up, hit the gas, and help you speed your way to success.
Focus Keyword(s): content marketing, content marketing mistakes, content creation