Content marketing is without a doubt one of the most effective marketing strategies out there. It brings your website invaluable organic traffic over a long period of time. In fact, 53% of marketers believe that blogs are one of the best ways to generate inbound traffic. however, there’s a flipside to content marketing. It is a very, very crowded field. Every day, more than four million blog posts are published online. Does this mean you shouldn’t invest in content marketing and stick to advertising and other marketing techniques?
The answer is a resounding no. Content marketing, if done correctly, can help build your brand and reputation like no other marketing activity. But this extreme competition means you need to be very smart in your approach to content marketing. The key to this is identifying the most common and costly content marketing mistakes and avoid them from day one.
Here are five common content marketing mistakes and how you can fix them
Not putting your audience first
Surprisingly enough many content marketers make this mistake while starting out. It’s one thing to have a vague understanding of your audience, and another to really solve their problems through your content. Most content marketers use prestigious publications or competitor blogs to find topics to write about. And then find themselves with very little traffic.
Another common mistake happens when you have a limited understanding of your audience. Once the content is ready, you have very little idea about how to reach out to prospective readers.
It’s important to use the first-principle approach when it comes to understanding your audience. Use tools like the Facebook Ads Manager or EpicBeat to get insights about your audience. These tools have detailed insights about audiences. See what they like, what they’re interested in, what content they read and share. Use this information to define what your next content piece should be and how you should share it. You can even do a group discussion or one-on-one with a few audience members to understand where they’re coming from.
Just remember that a whopping 55% of people say that they receive content from brands which they don’t find relevant. Make sure you don’t belong in this group.
Some content marketers believe their job is done once the article has been written and shared. However, it is a long journey from content consumer to customer and marketers need to enable that. Experts say that it takes 7 exposures to go from being a website visitor to a customer.
Setting up a follow-up campaign takes time but it’s the only way to go for a truly effective marketing strategy. Luckily, there are some great marketing automation tools like ActiveCampaign, SharpSpring, and LeadSquared that can do the heavy lifting. Your role is to understand the customer journey and create a follow-up strategy accordingly.
Using only one form of content
One of the biggest mistakes today’s content marketers can make is to stick to text-only blog posts. Even the usual blog post with 2-3 images is not enough today. As users spend more time-consuming content, especially on hand-held devices, they prefer more visually appealing content.
Infographics and videos have both made enormous headway in popularity. They can even bring in a whole new audience that doesn’t usually consume long-form content. Infographics are especially useful because they are low-hanging fruit. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to repurpose a blog post into an attractive infographic. You can use tools like Canva and Piktochart to design your infographic fairly easily.
Not having enough evergreen content
Evergreen content is content that literally stays “evergreen”. In other words, it’s not based on recent news or trends that will get outdated soon. Evergreen content is centered around topics that have been relevant for some time and will continue to be relevant in the near future.
Having evergreen content on your website is a very important aspect of content marketing. Creating content that will still be relevant 5 years down the line means that you will get long-term website traffic. You can search for specific keywords on Google trends to see if they can qualify as evergreen content. If so, you can focus on creating content around them.
Not getting enough help
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a content marketer is to try and do everything yourself. There are several kinds of people who find themselves donning the content marketer hat. You may be a blogger who has tremendous writing talent and wants her blog to reach a huge audience. You may also be looking to grow your business through content marketing. Or a professional content marketer setting up or scaling the content marketing efforts at your company.
In every case, doing everything yourself is a bad idea. If you have great writing skills, focus your energy on creating valuable content that your audience will love. Outsource the audience outreach to an expert. Similarly, if your skills lie in audience outreach but you’re not a writer, find a talented writer who matches your brand voice. If you don’t have either of these skills work with individuals or agencies that do.
When you try to do it all yourself, your mind is easily diverted and the learning curve is steep. You will most likely end up giving up on content marketing without giving it a real chance. Stick to your strengths and hire experts as soon as you can.
If you do a Google search for your targeted keywords today, don’t be surprised to find over a million results. That is the kind of intense competition that you will have to deal with in content marketing today. Hence, it’s super important to use the right strategy and avoid the common mistakes discussed in this article. Also, it will be wise to keep the long-term horizon in view. So go ahead and start using the tips discussed above to create a valuable and profitable marketing strategy for your company.