Content marketing has plenty of benefits: It will increase website traffic, qualify your leads, and bring in more customers. But with so many blogs, checklists, and videos out there, content is a crowded market. You’re competing with other small business leaders — and more than 3 million blogs worldwide!
To make your content stand out, you can’t just write a quick blog about how great your product is and hit “publish.” That’s a common mistake many business leaders make — but you’ll learn why you shouldn’t do that in this blog!
Read on for six content marketing mistakes to avoid (and what you should do instead).
Behind every great content marketing plan is a sound strategy. Every piece you create should have a purpose; that means you shouldn’t write a blog just to write a blog! If you’re putting quantity over quality, customers might find your content interruptive or irrelevant. And without a strategy, you’ll get lost in the sea of so-so content.
You can prevent this by better understanding your target audience. Learn what challenges they’re facing, how your business can help them solve problems, and which types of content they prefer. For example, if your best customer is looking for ways to be more productive at work (and you know they’d rather read a short email than a long blog), you can email them with a quick list of productivity tips.
Laying the groundwork with strategy and research will help you create content that’s actually relevant to your customers.
There are few things more frustrating than listening to someone who only talks about themselves. So why do it to your customers? If you start your content by talking about how great your business is, you’ve already lost most of your audience. That’s because people make buying decisions based on emotions, then back up their decisions with facts. You can (and should) show credibility and promote your brand in your content, but that has to come after empathy.
63% of customers don’t feel like their favorite brands understand them. But the content you create should be about them, not you. And customers won’t care about your business until they know you care about them.
You already know the problems your audience has (and how you can help in solving them), but how do those challenges make them feel? What pain points do these problems stir up? Once you genuinely express that you understand what customers are going through, then you can explain why your company has what it takes to guide them.
Evergreen content includes blogs, checklists, and other pieces that keep their relevance — just like evergreen trees keep their leaves year-round. If you’re only creating content based on trends or news updates, it will be dated and irrelevant after just a few weeks or months. But content that’s not time-sensitive will help more customers find and engage with you.
Evergreen content is also easy to repurpose because you’ve already done your research and created an informative piece. Then, you can share the same information through a different medium.
There are multiple ways to repurpose your old content: into a blog, checklist, email, video, quiz, and so on. Writing an evergreen checklist, for example, means you can record a video going through each item a year later. With the same (or similar) message, you’re sharing content in a more visual and engaging way.
Telling customers how great your product is won’t convince them to trust your brand, let alone buy from you. That’s because people don’t turn to blogs, checklists, or videos to hear sales pitches. They’re trying to solve a problem or make their lives easier — and helping them meet their needs should be your ultimate goal.
Your content marketing plan should guide prospects through these three phases:
It’s still important to have a call-to-action (CTA) that guides readers to the “Buy Now” or “Schedule an Appointment” page on your website. Just include a CTA at the end of your blog or video, after you’ve provided helpful how-tos and other information.
So you’ve planned your strategy, done your research, and created empathetic, evergreen content that doesn’t push a product on customers. But publishing a blog or video onto your website isn’t enough; you also need to place it in front of your best customers.
Nigel McHugh once said, “Content is king, but distribution is queen.” If you don’t promote content on social media, you’re missing out on the chance to attract people who are already scrolling online. That’s why experts recommend the 80-20 rule for content marketing: Spend 20 percent of your time creating content and 80 percent promoting it.
By sharing your blogs, videos, and quizzes on social media, you can guide more prospects to the strategic content you’ve housed on your website. You’ll also see who’s engaging with reactions, shares, and comments; they’re most likely to become brand supporters and even customers.
Even though you’ve published and promoted your blog or video, there’s still work to do. If you don’t know if the content resonated with your best customers, you might keep creating pieces that aren’t relevant, interesting, or helpful.
At the end of the month or quarter, go back to your blog, video, checklist, or quiz to analyze its performance. If a piece did well, can you repurpose it into a different medium? Or, perhaps you can write a blog about a related problem customers also have. If your content didn’t perform as you’d hoped, can you pivot with a different overview topic? Maybe all you need is to interview an expert in your company to add credibility.
Asking yourself these questions while reviewing your content’s performance will help you brainstorm more effective tactics. Analyzing metrics like page views, social media shares, and time users spend with your content will also guide you as you improve your future marketing efforts.
By avoiding these content marketing mistakes, you can craft relevant pieces that add value and educate your customers.
But many business leaders don’t have time to plan and execute a content strategy while running their company. A marketing expert can help you create and distribute engaging content, letting you focus on growing your business.
Our marketing protocol has been proven to help companies make more money, filter bad advice, free up time, and eliminate the worry of following ineffective planning.
Treefrog Marketing is a marketing agency focused on small business and located in Lafayette, Indiana. We specialize in strategic marketing and advertising, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO, and more. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.