If you are just starting out with content marketing, chances are that you will make every mistake in the book – and you will probably write a few pages of that book yourself. But not to worry – making mistakes is normal and expected because that is how we learn.
Making the same mistakes over and over, however, is not something you want to do.
Constantly crashing against the same obstacles will completely ruin your marketing efforts. Not only will you be unable to successfully get your point across and help your overall marketing objectives, you will probably end up sabotaging them.
So let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes content marketers do and how to close those gaps in your content marketing strategy to ensure that all of the content you put out serves a purpose.
Not Knowing Why You’re Doing It
This is one of the most common mistakes marketers make. They are completely clueless as to how content marketing affects their bottom line. In order to be successful, you have to be able to measure everything you do.
Do yourself a favor and start using Google Analytics to track how many new visitors your content attracts to to your page, how long are they staying there, and how many opt-ins you’re getting for your gated content. That is, quite literately, the least that you can do.
No Audience Focus
Content is hard – everyone who’s dabbled in creating it knows that. What marketers usually do to make it easier is focus on creating the things they want and know. Why? Because it takes little to no effort to write about things and concepts you’re familiar with.
This rarely works. People usually don’t want to read what you want to write. They have questions, and they want answers.
Make sure you know your audience – target personas work great for this – and know what they’re interested in. Use tools such as Ubersuggest to see what people are searching around for in your niche and answer their questions – regardless of how much more effort it takes.
Focusing on One Format – and It Can be the Wrong One
A couple of years ago most marketers were staunch supporters of written content – and they still are, but up to a point. Videos and infographics are among the most shared types of content right now, and if you’re not diversifying, you’re losing out.
Make sure you have a well-balanced content marketing strategy that focuses on all types of content. If you want to add more of something, focus on infographics or video.
It’s more expensive but the rewards are also greater. However, online tools such as Piktochart and Easelly make it a lot easier these days, so give them a try.
Spelling and Punctuation
Never underestimate the power of typos to ruin your content marketing efforts. They diminish your authoritativeness and make you look unprofessional.
But mistakes do happen, and you should not despair if they creep up on you, too. Focus on eliminating as many of them as possible. Before publishing, this article will have gone through two separate proof-editing cycles and also checked by Grammarly. Again, we might miss something, but it won’t be because of the lack of trying to catch every single mistake here.
If your writing is not up to snuff, consider hiring a professional writing service to help you out. Professionals still make mistakes – but so rarely that they are the closest to infallible as you could find.
Creating Walls of Text
People are visual creatures. Nearly 40 % of us learn data from seeing their visual representation, and you dismiss the power of images at your own peril.
We also absorb visuals nearly 60,000 TIMES FASTER than anything else! Use a variety of images and photos to drive your point across, and keep people interested in what you’re writing.
If you’re creating your content as if you were creating a sales letter, it won’t get you too far. People are extremely wary of advertising these days – we’re accosted by it at practically every turn. We’ve learned to smell out thinly-veiled attempts at copywriting from a mile away.
Make sure your content is engaging, useful, and that it offers a solution to the reader’s burning question or need by sharing your expertise. If your content is capable of providing value independent of your product or a service – good for you. If not, start creating content that is.
That said, neglecting to include a good call to action at the end of your content is also a mistake. If your product or a service can help people do something better or faster, by all means, offer it – but only after you’ve detailed all other alternatives.
Not Engaging with your Audience
Not engaging with your audience is one of the largest content marketing mistakes you can make – other than not marketing that content in the first place.
When you publish something, you’re practically starting a debate. You’re asking people to pitch in, inviting them for a cup of conversation. To up and vanish at that point is bordering on rudeness. Make sure you’re nurturing your content, answering people’s questions, and hearing their side. This will help you build authority but might also give you some excellent ideas for future content.
Now, take note of these road bumps, and make sure you don’t hit them too often. Of course, you will be hitting these and more on a regular basis but the more you manage to reduce that to a minimum, the more fruitful and successful your content marketing strategy will be.