Content Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid At All Costs
By Jabed Hasan | November 23, 2016
Search Engine Journal’s 2016 annual State of Digital Marketing found that 66% of digital marketers believe that content marketing is the most effective aspect of digital marketing.
But many brands and marketers still struggle to implement and track content marketing successfully.
If your content marketing campaign is struggling, then you are making some mistakes. These mistakes are costing you real money.
You have to stop them before they drag down your company to the lowest levels.
Some people will say that a failure can be a learning experience.
Many of these mistakes I am about to reveal here have led to the untimely deaths of many startups. They ran out of money and couldn’t bounce back from their failures.
Why repeat the mistakes of others when you can learn from them?
Wise marketers will learn from other people’s failed campaigns.
Even though I’m going to be talking about these mistakes, I’ll also reveal how you can avoid them and build a successful company for yourself.
So, let’s get started.
#1: Relying Only on The Marketing Team to Create Content
The marketing team should oversee content marketing. That’s the way it is in most organization. I don’t see anything wrong with that.
We tend to forget the reason why we do content marketing in the first place. It’s not to put our products in the faces of prospects.
We do it to connect, entertain and educate prospects.
Content marketing helps prospects learn more about your company. Not just your products.
When content marketing is all about promoting your products, it loses its purpose and power. Don’t make this mistake.
For content marketing to work, the CEO/management and other departments should be involved someway. That’s when content marketing will truly succeed.
For example, Richard Branson is the founder of Virgin Airlines. He’s very much involved in the content marketing campaigns of the company.
Your content marketing must gear toward these goals:
- Customer loyalty and retention
- Increasing product demand
- Driving conversions
Marketing teams are often tasked with improving demand through content marketing.
What about loyalty and retention?
What about conversions?
That’s when it gets beyond just the marketing department.
To increase customers’ loyalty in your company, the marketing team can’t do it alone.
This is when other departments should come in.
For example, the customer service team could join in this area.
The customer service department can help create a piece of content showcasing how they helped a client achieved his/her goals through their amazing service. This improves customer loyalty.
A 2011 report published by the American Express revealed that 3 out of 5 customers were willing to give up a former favorite brand in order to have a better service experience.
Even more telling are the results of the 2010 RightNow Customer Experience Impact report, which revealed that 9 in 10 Americans are willing to spend more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service.
Now, if your customer service department can come up with contents about satisfying a client, it will help more prospects convert.
The management, the engineering and customer service department should all be involved in the content creation process.
When customers see people from these departments creating content, it will only increase their trust in your company.
Therefore, make them part of the content creation process.
Members of each department should come up with some content ideas. Some may become a hit. You never know.
#2: Running Out of Content Ideas
If you’re constantly running out of content ideas for your business, it means something isn’t right with your content strategy.
The truth is great marketers never run out of content ideas.
Look around you. You’ll see content everywhere.
New content getting published on the web every single day.
Content marketers aren’t running out of ideas. Marketers are creating more content these days than ever before.
A whopping 72% of marketers are producing more content than they did the previous year.
For example, HubSpot publishes 20+ new blog posts per week. This is a multi-billion dollar marketing software company.
Moz is another perfect example in the marketing space. They publish 5 new posts per week. That’s like one post every business day.
If big businesses like these aren’t running of content ideas, why should you?
Read Industry News
If you are in an industry where a lot of new things happen every day or week, the news is a good place to get new endless content ideas.
For example, I’m in the marketing industry.
Search Engine Journal is one of the most respected news outlets in the industry.
Here’s just a screenshot of their home page:
Just looking at the SEJ homepage alone, I can come up with some amazing new content ideas to write about.
Subscribe to a bunch of blogs and websites that cover news related to your industry. Doing this will ensure that you never run out of content ideas.
Social media is another place to get streams of content ideas to write about.
I follow many industry influencers on social media and pay attention to things they are sharing with their followers.
Twitter is the perfect place to do that if you’re in the marketing industry.
For example, here is just one of the influencers I follow on Twitter:
Think of ways to repurpose content you’ve already produced.
“Repurposing” could mean a number of things.
You can turn your articles into a video series.
You can start a podcast show where you repurpose your articles into audio formats.
You can also turn your articles into infographics or slideshows.
What about turning your articles into an ebook and offering for free on your company website?
You don’t always have to create something new. Don’t be afraid to repurpose.
Publish Your Customer’s Stories
If you’re regularly gaining new customers, it means you have endless streams of content.
You can always ask your customers to write their stories, or be interviewed for your blog. That means constant unique stories.
For example, a home improvement company like Case Design shares their clients home renovation stories on their website.
Pay attention to what your competitors are doing and create better content that beats theirs.
You have no excuse for running out of content ideas.
Creating Content Only For Your Company Blog
By now, you should know that your company can’t succeed with your blog alone.
Your website is your business digital home.
It’s the place where web visitors should interact with you.
It’s the place they should learn everything they need to know about your company.
But you can’t rely on your blog alone to build authority and reach people who are in dire need of your product.
Think of all the channels where your ideal customers currently hang out.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram are good places to start from.
Your target customers are out there beyond social media.
They are reading other authority blogs in your niche.
By appearing on those authority blogs, you’ll reach a lot of prospects.
Guest blogging is an effective strategy to use.
Established blogs in your niche have the audience you need to succeed.
All you have to do is get featured on them, through guest publishing.
Authority blogs are willing to accept content from other creators in the same industry as long as the content is high quality.
Start reaching out to authority blogs in your niche.
For example, here’s a simple script Neil Patel used to secure guest posts on top blogs in the marketing space.
“Subject: you should blog about [insert your guest blog post topic]
[insert their first name], as an avid reader of [insert their site name] I would love to read about [insert guest blog post topic], and I think your other readers would as well.
Your content on [insert existing post from their website #1, insert existing post from their website #2, and insert existing post from their website #3] are great, but I think you can tie it all together by blogging on [insert guest blog post topic].
I know you are probably busy and won’t blog on it. so I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse. How about I write it for you? Don’t worry, I’m a great blogger and have had my posts featured on [insert previous guest post URL #1] and [insert previous guest post URL #2].
Let me know if you are interested. I already know your blogging style, plus I understand what your readers love… as I am one.
Look forward to hearing from you,
[insert your name]”
You can edit it to suit your needs.
For example, here’s Scott Christ, the founder of the Pure Food Company sharing his story “Quitting My $97K Job Saved My Life” on the Entrepreneur blog.
Established blogs like the Entrepreneur are always looking for new high-quality content to publish on their blogs.
Regularly guest posting on other blogs will generate lots of links to your blog.
These links will help spur your site’s search engine rankings.
As a result, more and more potential customers will discover your website and may, in turn, decide to buy your product or service.
Not Measuring Your Content Marketing Results
Now, you’re creating content. Good!
Is your content marketing campaign really getting the results that you want?
There’s absolutely no way of knowing that if you aren’t tracking and measuring your content results.
Being able to evaluate your content marketing activity, from creation to distribution, is critical to iterating its success.
You can use analytics to identify and address both issues and opportunities in your content strategy.
Yet with this in mind, only 8% of marketers consider themselves very successful at tracking the ROI of their content marketing.
Digital professionals can find the effectiveness of their content difficult to measure, especially if there’s an underlying uncertainty about its role within an overall marketing strategy.
The single most important question a content marketer can ask themselves is this: why am I creating this content?
Are you creating content to increase sales?
Are you creating content to increase customer retention?
If your content isn’t achieving its preset goal, then it’s not successful.
Tracking and measuring your content marketing efforts is very important to your campaign.
It helps you optimize it.
I use Google Analytics to track and measure my content marketing campaign.
Here are some of the key metrics I track in GA:
- Users: this provides the total number of unique visitors to a particular page on your website.
- Pageviews: records the total number of times a particular page on your website, be it a product page, or a blog post, is viewed.
- Unique Pageviews: this metric combines pageviews that are generated by the same user during the same session, so you can gain an insight into the number of sessions during which that page was viewed.
- Location: This can really help to inform your content creation process. For example, if the majority of your blog traffic comes from the United States, maybe you should focus on trying to reach out to prominent American influencers to contribute to your blog.
- Source/Medium: Provides information on what channels assisted with the consumption of your content, so you can create content to complement those channels.
- Mobile: How many users are consuming your content on mobile devices? This will dictate whether or not you should be focusing on long-form content, or formats that are easy to view on mobile, such as infographics or video.
Being able to measure the success of content should be a priority for any marketer, but determining the success of content isn’t as simple as looking at a single conversion point.
Track every metric you think might help you improve your content marketing campaign.
If you can avoid the above mistakes, you’ll be able to create a content marketing strategy that works and moves your business forward.
Repeating the above mistake can have an extremely negative impact on your company.
What are the content marketing mistakes you see being made today?
Tell me about them in the comments.
Thanks for reading and please share this article with your friends on social media.
Thanks in advance.