Every business is unique. They all offer different products and services and have different target personas, segments, and require different strategies to reach your ideal customers. When it comes to content marketing, however, there are some general ground rules that we believe every business should follow.
Content marketing is different from traditional marketing. Your content can include e-books, blog posts, videos, webinars, or even graphics. Content marketing is supposed to answer any specific questions your audience has and provides them with the value only your business can offer. No matter how common your product or service is, this is the best way to differentiate your business from the competition.
Content marketing is a way to prove why customers should choose you! Your overall goal for content marketing should be to reach your target audience. You want to earn their trust and loyalty to your business, strengthening your customer relationships and, in turn, increasing profits.
Here are 10 of the biggest mistakes when it comes to content marketing:
1. Not defining your target audience before creating content
Content marketing isn’t about your business or the products and services you offer. It’s actually about your audience! Before creating any form of content, you should define your target demographic, what value you want the person consuming your content to get from it, and what action you want them to take afterward.
2. Creating content with the goal of going viral
Going viral is not a bad thing if it’s for the right reasons. However, it should never be your top priority when creating content. The purpose of your content should always be to educate, to provide useful information, and to create engagement between your customer or client and your business. If you’re only focused on going viral when it comes to content marketing, you may lose sight of the value you can offer to your customers or clients authentically.
3. Assuming your audience will find your content
Did you just post a new blog? Upload a new YouTube video? Publish a new e-book? Great! Now it’s time to share it on all platforms that you use for your business. Sharing the new form of content only on the platform it was posted on is not enough. Your Facebook followers might not check your website often, and your Instagram followers might not be subscribed to your YouTube channel. By sharing the new content on all platforms, you’re ensuring as many people as possible are consuming it.
4. Getting too personal
This is one of the biggest mistakes that we see in content marketing. The majority of your audience is following your business to stay updated, connected, and ultimately receive some sort of value. Your personal life should not be used for content! However, there are “personal” business things you can share. For example, you can wish an employee a happy birthday, or share a personal feat such as a conference you’ve attended, as long as it relates back to the business.
5. Forgetting to review content performance/analytics
Have you noticed that some of your content performs better than others? Your audience may prefer a specific type of content that you share. By not reviewing analytics to see which type of content you produce performs the best, you could be missing out on guaranteed engagement with your audience and therefore, conversions for your business.
6. Not having a strategy
It is best to have an outline or calendar of content marketing ideas. This helps to prevent feeling “stuck” when it comes to creating content. Also, this will help you to stay consistent.
7. Not paying attention to SEO
By optimizing your content for search engine optimization, your business can improve online visibility. One of the most important elements of SEO in content marketing is keywords. Your business needs to research the keywords and phrases that your target audience is using to find businesses like yours. By creating content around these keywords and phrases, you can improve your rank on the search engine results page.
8. Not utilizing user-generated content
Does your business receive user-generated content, such as testimonials or images sent to you by customers? This is content that you can repurpose – for free!
Tip: If using a customer’s photo, make sure to ask for permission beforehand!
9. Don’t leave your audience hanging
You may have heard the saying, “Consistency is key!”. It’s true! Make sure you have a consistent content schedule. This may look like posting three times a week, or even seven times a week. Whatever it is, remain consistent. If a potential client or customer looks at your main business page and sees you haven’t posted in months, they are less likely to contact your business because they are not updated on it.
10. Check your sources
When doing research for content or sharing articles that are relevant to your business, make sure the sources are fact-checked and you are using accurate information. Spreading false information can make your business appear untrustworthy.