Content Marketing Mistakes
I’m sure you probably keep hearing about how content marketing is an extremely effective form of digital marketing – in fact, it might arguably be one of the most effective. You’ve probably also read a plethora of guides, tips and advice for content marketing and yet, your results are not what you expected them to be.
The cause of that could be a simple mistake in your strategy – one that could easily be rectified. In this blog post, I’m going to share the 5 content marketing mistakes I see happen most often that could be holding your small business back.
Mistake #1: No content marketing strategy
This is a biggie, and a mistake that I see many doing, from small businesses to big companies. It’s not at all uncommon for people to just start banging out content with no strategy in sight, but a strong content marketing strategy can have big benefits for your business.
The thing is, when you’re posting great content, you might get lots of shares, likes and so on – but are you getting any conversions? Are you making any ROI from your content marketing efforts?
With a content marketing strategy, you can both improve your content and start gaining better results from it.
First, start by gaining insight into your audience. What kind of content do they like best? What kind of content gets the most shares, retweets and likes on social media? What does your audience like reading about and in what format? What problems do they have and how can you solve them with your content?
The more you know about your target audience, the better – you will be able to create better content that is directly targeted for your audience, which in turn, will help you get better results from the content.
Next, set up your goals from content marketing: what do you want to achieve? Do you want more traffic to your website? To nurture leads and make more conversions?
List the exact goals you have so that you will then know what to focus on in order to achieve them. Make sure that your goals are achievable and realistic and that you can also measure them.
And finally, start breaking down the actions you will need to take in order to achieve those goals.
At this stage, you should also create an editorial calendar listing all the content you’re planning to publish over the coming months. Consider how often you want to publish content with downloadables, in order to boost your conversions. You can create an editorial calendar yourself, or you can use a tool like CoSchedule or like Agorapulse, for your social media calendar.
Mistake #2: You’re only writing blog posts
Another one of the big content marketing mistakes is that people think that content marketing basically means having a blog. And, sure, blogging is a big part of a content marketing strategy, but there need to be more types of content in order to achieve great results.
There are quite a few different forms of content apart from blog posts, some easier to create and some more difficult, but in order for your strategy to be successful, you need to diversify your offering and use other forms of content that will ultimately drive more conversions than just blog posts.
A few examples of other types of content: guides, checklists, images and video, ebooks, infographics and gifographics, social media posts, webinars, interactive content and case studies. Even smaller things, like GIFs, can have their place in a content marketing strategy.
You can also use your competitors to see what types of content they’re creating that generates the most results. Use a tool like Buzzsumo to search for the best content being published in your niche, or a social media management tool like Agorapulse or Hootsuite to monitor your competitors’ social media activity to see which of their content gets the most shares, retweets, likes and comments. This will help give you an idea of what other types of content work well with your audience so that you can diversify your own content offering.
Using different types of content will keep your strategy fresh and interesting to your audiences and it will help boost your engagement and traffic. Not only that, but you can use some of these forms of content, such as guides, checklists and webinars to gather more subscribers and generate more leads.
Mistake #3: You’re not measuring your results
This is another common issue I’ve noticed: businesses are not measuring their results from content marketing. But, without measuring, how can you know what needs to be improved? Or whether you’re spending money for nothing? And how can you know for sure that you’re achieving your goals?
Just like with any other form of marketing or promotional strategies, content marketing requires time, effort and money, so you need to find out if your investments are paying off.
Once you are clear on what your goals are, you can start measuring them. For example, if your goal is to get 10% more traffic, you will need to check to see how the content you’ve published has affected your traffic in a certain period of time. Or, if you were looking to gather 1000 more subscribers in 2 months, you need to check how many conversions you’ve made with the downloadable content you’ve create.
As you measure your goals and your content marketing, you will be able to see what areas need improving. Let’s take the previously mentioned goal example of gathering 1000 new subscribers in 2 months. Here, you will need to look at every piece of downloadable content to see how it performed. You will likely discover that some generated very few conversions, while others got impressive amounts of new subscribers.
You will then be able to get a better understanding of what types of downloadable content you should focus on to get more subscribers in the future and which you can start forgetting about as they are not bringing in any results. It could be because of the format the content is in, or it can be because the subject you covered wasn’t of real interest to your audience. But, by knowing these things, the next time you set a goal for increasing your number of new subscribers, you will be better equipped to reach that goal, or even surpass it.
If your content marketing is not working the way you want it to be, don’t worry yet – it could be that you’re just making some mistakes that could easily be rectified in the future.
The most important thing to remember is that you need to set up goals and you need to measure them to see why you’re not achieving them or if you are, what is helping you achieve them. This is how you can adjust your strategy for better results; well, that and, obviously, providing great content that is targeted to your audience.
What are some of the issues you’re having with content marketing? What do you think is holding you back from achieving success with content marketing?