7 Common Content Marketing Mistakes for Beginners to Avoid
There are not many content marketers out there that are successful every time they implement a strategy. In fact, most have failed at one time or another. However, failures are also meant to be a learning experience, as they provide insight into what you should avoid doing in the future. You can streamline this learning experience to some capacity by knowing what others have made mistakes on so you can avoid making the same mistakes as a beginner. Here are seven of the most common content marketing mistakes that others make so you can avoid doing the same.
1. Treating Content Marketing as Secondary
Content marketing is not something you just tack on to your other marketing efforts. It is an extensive practice that puts together all content initiatives into one holistic and consistent approach. However, if you separate it from your other marketing efforts such as social media, webinars, and white papers, then your target audience will have a fragmented experience with your company. Content marketing is best wielded when everything is pulled together.
2. Not Setting Clear Goals
Documenting your content marketing strategy is one of the most important things you can do. In fact, it has been proven over and over again that when you write down your goals, whether it be content marketing goals or overall goals for your company, you are much more likely to succeed. In fact, if you write down your content marketing goals and the exact plans for how you will achieve them you will be 5X more likely to achieve them then if you do not.
3. Pitching Your Product or Service at Every Stage
Content marketers often make the mistake of coming off as overly sales-pitchy at times when it is best not to do so. There is a time and a place for datasheets and whitepapers, but implementing them at the wrong points in the sales cycle is a grave mistake. Instead, give people what they want, which is interesting content that adds value to their life. There are too many content strategies out there that focus on new features or touting the company or tie-in products in every single piece of content, don’t make the same mistake.
4. Not Responding to Your Customers
The primary content marketing principle is always to answer your customers’ questions. If you do not do that, then you are not using content marketing correctly. Brands often struggle to understand their customers and what they want from them. For instance, a life insurance company may think giving out exercise tips is something that their audience would be interested in. However, the likely case is that not a significant number of people will want work out tips from their life insurance company. Instead, they would be more interested in such questions as “term or whole life insurance” for example.
5. Not Understanding Your Audience
You want to attract your readers, but do you know what it is that draws them in? The very first piece of advice given to content creators is that they need to know who will be reading their content. Due to this, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is not knowing your audience. The majority of content on the Internet does not have what the target reader wants to know. Instead, most content is self-serving, which defeats the entire purpose of content marketing. Instead, your content should be able to provide information that is beneficial to your audience.
6. Not Publishing Enough Content
Those companies that commit to publishing quality content on a regular basis gain the biggest rewards when it comes to their website traffic. In fact, just increasing your content efforts to one extra piece per week can provide a significant increase in your visitors. One study done by Hubspot found that brands that published more than 16 separate blog posts per month gained 4.5 times more leads than those companies that published 0 to 4 posts per month. Bottom line: turn out more content.
7. Not Paying Attention to Distribution
Creating outstanding content is not enough to get your website to the top of search results. Your content marketing budget should be divided in half—50 percent on production and 50 percent on distribution. As you are just starting your content marketing strategy, paying for your distribution is an excellent way to get a start on both your reach and your engagement. Social media resources such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all offer paid distributions. There are also pay-per-click models to look into such as Outbrain, which lets you only pay for the traffic you receive.
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