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5 Content Strategy Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Date published: March 11, 2015
Last updated: March 11, 2015

Content marketing is all about developing trust with potential customers by offering them relevant and helpful (sometimes entertaining) information about your brand. There’s no perfect science to creating and distributing content, and it’s still a relatively new school of thought in the marketing world, so content strategy mistakes are bound to happen. The beauty of that is that failures are often our best opportunities to learn. The following content strategy fouls are commonly committed, but it’s reassuring to know they can be avoided with a little extra thought and practice.

1. Failure to Reach the Right Audience

This is the most commonly committed mistake. Great content with good information becomes ineffective if it is not made accessible to the right audience. Hence, audience analysis should be an integral part of every content marketing strategy and campaign. Here are a few ways targeting your audience could go wrong:

  • The content is meaningful and unique but not presented in a suitable format for your target audience.
  • The content is mismatched with the reading level of the audience.
  • The content does not convey exactly what the audience is looking for.


  • Research your target audience’s preferred format, style, tone and communication platforms to improve the user engagement ratio.
  • Avoid creating mismatched content by knowing your audience and their intelligence level before tailoring for them.
  • Include information in your content that is not only interesting but also capable of addressing the specific needs of that audience.

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2. Sharing Content Outside Your Sales and Marketing Funnel

Your content marketing strategy becomes unsuccessful once you implement it outside of your sales and marketing funnel. Always know the key performance indicator(s) of your content efforts and have well-defined goals. Writing unique, outstanding content with no call to action or direct tie to predetermined goals will be of no use to you.

  • Record visitors’ journeys and experiences on your website and use that data to create content with CTAs that drive the experience you have envisioned for them.
  • Research and collect data based on your previous leads and sales and incorporate those insights as you craft the perfect journey for your visitors.
  • Enlist the help of influencers where your expertise stops and their specialization begins - but only if it’s addressing the core needs and desires of your target audience.

3. No Measurement or Evaluation of Content Effectiveness

If you don’t know how well your content is (or is not) performing, how can you possibly improve it? Figuring out what to measure and how to measure it is a challenge many marketers find perpetually perplexing. The good news is that a defined and documented content strategy has a huge impact on selecting and using the right metrics.

Set goals that you think will drive leads and sales. Establish metrics that gauge progress towards achieving that goal. Monitor these metrics and make isolated changes to keep improving performance.

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4. Judging That Your Motivation is Unseen to Your Audience

Your audience is well aware of the fact that you are a business with the goal of generating profits and revenues. Hence, it is not required to conceal this fact from them. Honesty is always the best policy – in life and in marketing.

  • Be clear and forward about your intentions, goals and what type of actions you want your audience to take.
  • Disclose your motivation in the content; this develops trust and alleviates uncertainty.
  • Don’t disguise products and services as something they’re not (e.g. the answer to all their problems). Instead, offer information to help them develop organic interest in your offerings.

5. Not Planning for Promotion and Distribution

If a marketer defines their goals, documents their strategy and creates great content but fails to plan for promotion and distribution, does anybody ever see it? Slim chance.

For proper distribution of your content among your target audiences, consider all the available channels for sharing such as email, guest blogging, social media, paid media, and PR. Ensure that the sharing and distribution takes place regularly and in accordance with determined goals.

As a digital marketer, you know that successful content marketing is not a one-time investment, but a continuous commitment to your content marketing strategy. By being mindful of these potential mistakes, you increase the likelihood of delivering consistent and high-quality content that meets your goals.

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