Nightmare Mistakes In Your Content Marketing
Content marketing is one of the most valuable marketing avenues available in today’s digital landscape – if you get it right. With 84% of consumers expecting brands to produce content that not only entertains but provides solutions, experiences and events, the importance of implementing a well-thought-out and highly strategic content marketing method is undeniable. Content marketing is thought to produce over three times the amount of leads than paid search advertising in most cases – but it can go wrong.
Without the right content marketing strategy in place, you’re unlikely to produce the results that you need. A few simple mistakes can turn into a marketing nightmare, particularly when it comes to brand reputation and even your position in the SERPs. We’ve spoken to our content marketing experts to get the lowdown on the nightmare mistakes you need to avoid in your content marketing.
Common Content Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid
In most cases, common marketing mistakes can be repaired either through an adjusted marketing campaign, through quick fixes or through changing up the content you’re producing completely. Before you can work out what to do to fix the issue, however, you first need to work out what it is you’re doing wrong. The most common content marketing mistakes include:
- Publishing For The Sake Of Publishing
Your content marketing campaign will hardly be a campaign if you don’t have an end goal in place. You need to work out what you want your content to do, and the goal that all of your content will work together to achieve in order to ensure you aren’t just publishing for the sake of it. While having regular updates on your website can capture the freshness factor, if the content isn’t valuable or targeted, it can easily get lost. Users take to Google with a specific search intent in mind, and if you’re simply publishing without a plan to capture that intent, it’s likely that even your teams won’t be sure on your business’s direction.
This can also materialise in a ‘posting everything’ format, in which businesses are constantly posting content that doesn’t easily flow together. For example, home improvement company could jump between posting about interior design, to floral design, travelling, gardening, cooking, lifestyle and more. While all of these topics have a brief link and could be relevant to your business, it’s also likely to prevent loyal audiences from forming. Readers who enjoy posts about interior design could be disappointed to find a cooking or gardening blog the next time they visit your website, thus reducing the chances of forming a loyal audience.
- Not Thinking About What Your Audience Actually Want
Following on from the point above, you need to stop and think about what your audience wants to see. You need to understand who your audience is, what they want to see and what kinds of content are likely to capture their attention. Time and time again, businesses may believe that they’re connecting with their audience when the opposite is true. Over 63% of all consumers don’t feel like brands they love are actually understanding them or their needs and wants and, in these cases, it can be easy to break down consumer-brand relationships.
You need to make sure you’re creating content that your audience wants. You need to get into their heads and utilise everything from data and analytics to relationship building and social media to determine precisely what your audience need from the content you’re producing. Are they looking for the answers to questions? What questions are they asking? By looking at your business from their point of view, you can better determine the right content to ask.
If you’re stuck, why not go directly to your audience and ask? There’s no better place to get an opinion than straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Polls on social media, a trackable search box on your website and email marketing polls for regular subscribers can each offer insight into what they would like to see from your content, and you can begin to target your marketing efforts accordingly.
- Not Being Consistent
When it comes to consistency, you’ll need to focus on two key areas: consistent publishing, and consistency in the quality of the content. When producing any kind of content marketing strategy, you need to make sure that you have a schedule, and that you do your best to stick to it. Without a consistent schedule, customers looking to build up loyalty with your content will be unable to do so quite as effectively. Irregular posting can confuse your customers, while keeping with a regular strategy can help to build credibility, reputation and trust for your brand.
In terms of quality, inconsistency with the quality of your content can produce a sense of disjointedness for your customers, who can be driven to leaving your website and breaking the potential relationship you may have otherwise been building. Inconsistency is considered to be a huge red flag for customers, particularly if they’ve been drawn in by a particular tone that isn’t replicated throughout all of your content marketing.
By offering consistency in schedule and in the tone and quality of your content, you’ll build up a stronger sense of brand for you and your customers. You can produce more meaningful relationships with your customers, both existing and new, which enables you to hit all of the necessary touchpoints and lead to that final conversion.
Consistency in your content can:
- Establish you as an authority in your industry
- Help you connect with audiences on all platforms
- Boost your SEO, as Google favours websites producing fresh, relevant and original content.
- Allow your audience to see you as a reliable source of regular information
- Strengthen your brand identity
- Get more organic and repeat traffic.
Consistency is a vital part of any content marketing strategy, which is why you need to ensure you establish a tone between all of your content producers. From an infographic or blog post to videos and social media updates, this all needs to be consistent in quality and tone to really showcase your brand as one core, consistent and steadfast entity for your customers to rely on.
- Not Including CTAs
Whether you’re posting on social media, directly onto your website or you’ve gone down the email marketing route, the biggest downfall you can reach is undervaluing just how important your call-to-actions are. Not only does a clean, simple CTA button encourage users to take action following the content, but it also provides a clear direction for your content.
You need to have a CTA in mind before you even begin to produce your content. Without a clear desired action at the centre of everything that you produce, both you and your users aren’t going to know where the content is aiming and what it needs to do. You should always create your content around what you want your users to do, whether that’s getting in touch, buying a product, signing up for a service or any other conversion action that suits your business.
Once you have your CTA in place, you can start implementing content around why the user might need to follow the CTA, incentives to completing the action and choosing the best words for the button itself. You need to make your call-to-action a decent size too so that it can be seen on both desktop and mobile without disrupting user experience.
- Only Producing Blog Posts
One trap that marketers tend to fall into is the ease of producing blog posts, and nothing more. Even on social media, their focus tends to be on sharing the posts rather than producing original content that will benefit the user. Where content might be king, variety rules above it, demanding that businesses and marketing professionals alike produce original, valuable and varied content to capture and engage audiences on a wider scale. While 60% of marketers might produce at least one piece of content per day, not all of these posts will reap the benefits of additional content types.
From whitepapers and how-to guides to memes, videos, infographics and gifs, brands should try and step outside of their comfort zones in order to capture wider audiences. These content types include:
- How-To guides
- Short Form Videos
- Long-Form Videos
- Case Studies
Each form of content will appeal to different audiences more than others. GIFs and memes, for example, may captivate a younger audience, while whitepapers, webinars and case studies could benefit a more B2B-style business more. Social media is generally where this will come into play more, particularly on a generational front:
- Generation Z – This generation encompasses younger audiences, below the age of 22 and are typically considered to be a truly digital generation. They’re switched on to most digital content forms, but have shorter attention spans so you’ll need to produce content that can capture attention fast. Short-form video such as TikTok, GIFs, Memes and other visual content tends to work best, but content that can be skim-read is also a valuable way of passing on information.
- Millennials – Millennials are that generation – the one that people put down far too much. Often feared by businesses for their more idealistic demands, they have long been hailed as a difficult generation to market to – but this isn’t actually the case. In fact, millennials simply respond better to brands whose beliefs fall closer to their own. For example, a business that promotes cruelty-free production, or even just a business willing to interact with its customers on a more relationship-focused basis can build loyalty and engagement with Millennial audiences.
- Generation X – Generation X is thought to have the largest disposable income, second only to the Baby Boomers, which is certainly a valuable feature for businesses who’s audience falls into this age group. Most of Generation X is at a point in their life where comfort and more luxurious purchases are becoming their norm, and for this reason, visually engaging and straightforward content tends to work best for these generations. Call To Actions and shareable content tend to perform best.
Baby Boomers – Baby Boomers are less likely to be on social media than any other generation, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there! In fact, it’s suggested that over 91% of all baby boomers have at least one social media account, even if they aren’t regularly active. Generally, their preferences rest in Facebook as a core platform, and they react best to polls, quizzes and other simple but interactive content forms. They also prefer email or telephone when it comes to contacting businesses.
Content marketing can be a tricky avenue to get right but once you do, it’s certainly worth the effort and resource put into it. Whether you’ve been making the mistakes listed above and are looking for a solution, or you’re just getting started with your content marketing strategy, you can contact our team on 0800 088 6000, for more information.