Top 8 Terrible Content Marketing Mistakes You Must Avoid
Content marketing – it isn’t as easy as it sounds. While creating content, you should know what you are talking about. If the content sounds generic, emotionless, or too salesy, it is your very first content marketing mistake.
“We basically decline 70% of the content being submitted to us because it is being too salesy…”Outbrain Australia, Ayal Steiner
If your content is focused on selling rather than engaging, you are not the alone making this common misstep. According to Neil Patel, the focus of content marketing is to educate first and sell second.
Another generic content marketing mistake is viewing your content marketing strategy as a short-term activity to achieve a short-term goal.
Most commonly made terrible content marketing mistakes:
1. Ignorance of the content planning stage
Content marketing is a practice to create and promote engaging content that provides value and knowledge to your customers. And hence, your content marketing strategy should be more than perfect. Prior to executing your strategy, first of all, have a proper plan in place. Your plan should be in line with your vision and goal. Figure out your goal, set your priorities, and know your audience for better content planning.
Most of the marketers jump upon campaigns without foreseeing its probable pros and cons. If your campaign isn’t targeted to the right audience, hardly there are any chances of getting the desired success.
QL Tech Tip: Create a content back and ensure at least a blog database of three months in advance.
2. Complete ignorance to Buyer Persona
In digital marketing, initially, you don’t know who would be your actual customers. Hence, it may happen that the entire content you write goes in vain because it is not reaching to the audience who needs it. And this is also one of the most common content marketing mistakes done by start-ups. To avoid this pitfall, do audience analysis and prepare buyer persona for each of your products and services.
QL Tech Tip: For a successful content marketing, start with creating buyer persona. Define and develop a buyer persona for your products and services. Accordingly, create content and share in front of your target audience.
3. Incorrect mapping of content with the buyer’s journey
Is it you who creates a lot of relevant and engaging content, but each time fail at the point of conversion? Well, it’s not just you! There are many content marketers who create killer copies but still can’t convert. This happens when you fail to map your content with the buyer’s journey. According to HubSpot, a buyer’s journey is the process buyers go through to become aware of, evaluate, and purchase a new product or service.
You need to know under which stage of marketing funnel your prospective buyer falls. Accordingly, create content they want and dish it out in front of them.
4. Using content marketing as a tool to link building
A digital marketer often confuses content marketing with link building strategy. Of course, quality content builds backlinks. But, don’t just churn out tons of content so that it can be promoted haywire to generate backlinks. To be honest, it will never work.
Healthy link building is a costly and time-consuming process. Your content strategy is a two-edged sword. It can either make or break your entire SEO campaign. Rather than the quantity i.e. amount of backlinks, you need to work on acquiring quality backlinks. For this, your content should sound great and provide value without losing its uniqueness.
QL Tech Tip:
Ensure that your great content passes through below checkpoints:
– Original, unique, and actionable
– Provide value to visitors
– Focus on solutions to users’ problems
– Updated regularly to keep it fresh and relevant
– Cited from trusted sources
5. Lack of storytelling
According to some studies, brains are always hungry for good stories that can connect them emotionally to the context. Most of the content marketers are aware of the importance of storytelling. However, they fail when it comes to delivery. A prime content marketing mistake that is noticed consistently is lack of storytelling art.
According to Sophie Elizabeth Smith, 45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says and how it says it.
A story is nothing but just a narrative constitution that describes either an event or sequence of events. It should involve a two-way interaction between you (as a storyteller) and your audience (as listeners).
QL Tech Tip: For effective storytelling, create a scenario having issues/concerns or problems in the start of your content and over the course of a narrative, end it with a logical and actionable solution.
6. Ignorance to quantity, consistency, and frequency
Content marketers are often unsure about the quantity, consistency, and frequency of content to be published and promoted. This ignorance leads them to commit a content marketing mistake.
If you get rigid about publishing timelines, you might lose focus on the overall quality of the content to be created. Further, it is not always right that the more pieces of content you produce, the more results you can achieve.
Rather than just producing content, its promotion is also important. Your valuable content should reach to the eyes of your prospects on a consistent and frequent basis.
Consistency is posting on a regular (aka consistent) schedule. Frequency, on the other hand, is posting repeatedly during a period of time.
This difference matters a lot in content marketing. Posting (or publishing) on a consistent schedule sets expectations and hence it is a big deal. On the other hand, the frequency of posting (or promoting) content just ensures that it reaches all audiences, all time zones.
QL Tech Tip: Prepare a content calendar, preferably for posting schedules, that takes care of your consistency and frequency both.
7. Zero focus on Headlines
Imagine you have received an email in your Inbox with a subject line that sounds tacky and spammy, will you click on it? Probably not! The first thing a prospective reader notice is a headline. Craft a compelling headline; it is your very first prospect to mark a positive impression on your reader.
Basically, headlines aren’t only important in content marketing; they, in fact, rule the world of content marketing. According to David Lomas, your headlines, in effect, are your first real point of connection with your prospective customer, so you need to get them right.
Content marketers not paying attention to headlines greatly lose on the conversion opportunities. Your headlines should be interesting, relevant, creative, conversational, and insightful. Use a various headline analyzer online tools to check the score, readability, and sensitivity of your headline. According to a study published in The Guardian, headlines with 8 words do 21% better than average and using a hyphen or colon will add 9% to your CTR.
QL Tech Tip: Create more than one headline for each of your content and share it with the different headlines at different timings on different social media network to generate high blog traffic.
8. Promotion in front of the wrong audience
Not promoting the right content, at the right time, in front of the right audience is another common content marketing mistake. As a rule of thumb, don’t promote all the content that you produce. Poor content hurts you more than good content benefits you. It will not only affect your conversion rate but also negatively impacts your brand credibility. According to CoSchedule, consumers don’t take action when you want them to take action; they take action when they are ready.
Therefore, it is imperative for you to promote your content in front of the right audience. Create a content to which your audience can relate too. Use the words your user use to search their answers and accordingly provide solutions to their queries through your content.
QL Tech Tip: Not just do content marketing, rather do actionable content marketing. It is the backbone of your SEO.
These are not the exhaustive list of content marketing mistakes. However, we have covered the most common slips done by most of the content marketers. Take an honest look at the content marketing mistakes you are presently making, and try to fix them. Once you fix the existing issues, you will start noticing a tremendous transformation in your conversions.
If you need assistance on fixing any of the content marketing mistakes or want to highlight anything here, feel free to drop in your words in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you!