Content marketing is one of the best investments you can make in your business.
Unfortunately, far too many businesses make mistakes when it comes to Content Marketing.
They become very salesy, or they disregard SEO.
Today, we’ll go through the top seven content marketing mistakes that cost companies tens of thousands of dollars every year that you’re most likely making and how you can avoid these mistakes.
We’ll examine each of these common mistakes one after the other.
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I’ll give you a thorough explanation for each of these mistakes and the precise steps you take to avoid them all and increase the ROI of your content marketing efforts.
Earlier this year, I took a premium course on Content Marketing (Here’s my certificate). My previous job and my current job involve a lot of marketing strategies, so trust me, I know when I tell you that you need to make sure you’re not making these same mistakes!
The 7 Top Content Marketing Mistakes You’re Making (And How to Avoid Them)
- Not creating customer-focused content
- Being too salesy
- Not using different types of content
- Focusing on going viral
- Not promoting content enough
- Sponsoring every content you make
- Ignoring SEO
#1. Not Creating Customer-focused content
Is your content focused on your brand alone? You need to focus on your customers instead.
55% of people who get content from businesses say it’s not interesting or relevant to them!
How do you fix this mistake? How do you deliver better content to the right person at the right time?
Research customer interests
You can’t avoid the part of researching what your customers are looking for.
Posting content you think is interesting might not impress your audience.
I worked with a business in July and noticed that they were making this mistake. I used to make that mistake too.
For example, let’s say you are selling heels, and your business name is ‘Johanna’s Heels’. The people you want to sell to do not know you and do not know that your name is Johanna. So making content that ALWAYS talks about ‘Johanna Hells’ is a waste of time.
Instead, you can make content around Heels and cloth/bag combinations for your different heels. That is a wiser thing to do!
You must research what content your readers want and give it to them at the right time and through the right platform.
Remember that good content is all about informing your readers. So, you should create content that will educate your target audience.
If your content is not educating, informing, or entertaining your audience, it will sound too ‘salesy’ and will not perform well online.
If you do your research well and know your customers well, pick some ‘theme subjects’ that will interest them and stick to these subjects.
For instance, in Acanbi, I stick to Blogging/SEO, Business Growth, Productivity, and technology.
You’ll not find me blogging about politics, religion, entertainment, fashion, current affairs, gossip, or engaging with these kinds of content on Acanbi.
I know my audience and work hard to give them what they want.
No matter your business, there is a competitive content market. You must identify one audience, fulfill one need, and dig deep to establish dominance.
Stop trying to participate in every social media trend out there. Businesses that force humor around certain social news or world events are making a big mistake, especially if they don’t have an audience in that arena.
If you focus on your customers, you’ll not make the mistake of being everything to everyone. Instead, you’ll focus on giving your customers the quality content they need and deserve.
By answering some questions, you will be able to avoid this mistake.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is the target audience of this content?
- What needs to be included in this content to find what they’re looking for?
- What value does your reader provide to your business?
#2. Being too Salesy
The sale you are looking for will come if you know your customers and give them the needed content.
But if you focus on selling and your content is too salesy, you will lose your customer altogether. Nobody likes to feel pressured to buy.
I talked about how annoying being salesy can be to your customers
But How will you make money or drive sales if you are not ‘being salesy’?
This is an excellent question.
In fact, I’d be wicked if we told you not to mention your products or services at all.
Your target audience are human beings, not robots, and they understand when they’re given branded content, even if they intend to gain helpful information.
The key is to strike a balance.
A good rule of thumb is to save your CTA for the end of the content after you’ve met the expectations of your audience for quality, informative content and, hopefully, genuinely gained their trust.
Keep the CTA short, sweet, and related to the content.
For example, in an article targeting the keyword “best Shopify apps,” it makes sense to add a link to a free trial since the reader is likely in the research stage of the buyer journey and might be looking to try a product before buying.
In this era, people are flooded with content. If you type “what is the best phone” into Google, you’ll get many links ranging from blog posts by companies who make phones to third-party lists highlighting the best ones in the market. How is anyone supposed to stand out in this digital crowd?
Suppose you produce the kind of salesy content that is obviously trying to place your product or service as the top choice out there, you’re already missing out on the chance to capture a possible customer’s attention.
Try to look at it from the perspective of your audience.
You open a few links and quickly glance over the content. Each piece belongs to a different business trying to convince you their option is the best. But unless you keep browsing and going on to learn more about the product and its explicitness and see more information that helps you decide, you won’t know if they have the best option for you.
#3. Not Using Different Types of Content
Variety is the spice of life. Once you have different types of content, your audience will notice, and even search engines, too will see and reward you with improved SEO.
We’ve all read one. An online article that has zero images and looks like a page from an economics textbook.
Just adding a picture or two to your content is not good enough.
Why? Because text and pictures alone aren’t engaging enough.
People love to watch videos. Do you know how many watch Instagram reels and Tiktok videos daily? Let’s not go into that.
People view more than 100 million hours of video every week on Facebook.
Why? Videos and graphics are much easier to digest than reading many lines.
Take your content and reformat it to be more actionable and less wordy (that’s the point here, after all!). Be sure to include great images and graphics, too!
#4. Focusing on going viral
Going viral means your content gets liked, retweeted, republished, commented on, blogged about, and talked about — earning more views than you imagined.
This sweet spot is generally difficult to reach, temporary, and unsustainable.
When you focus on going viral, you will not be able to keep creating valuable content because you are under unnecessary pressure.
Some people and content teams get so carried away with it that they create offensive or provocative stuff in the hopes of becoming successful overnight.
It’s not a good marketing plan to want to go viral. Intentionally attempting to get viral might harm your brand’s overall presence.
Instead, what if you focus on producing high-quality material that will be interesting and helpful to your ideal clients and then make every effort to get it in front of them? There isn’t a single drawback to demonstrating to your audience that you value and comprehend their interests and problems.
In a post warning authors about being too concerned with going viral, Dan Blank says, “Why would we dissect a human being’s value to the body part that sees, but not the brain function that analyzes or the heart that cares?”
After all, what does Internet popularity actually mean? Will any of those people remember or think highly enough of you to do business with you? Do views equal purchases or conversions?
When making content to promote your brand or explain your products and services to interested customers, focus on the one set of eyeballs that’s in front of you right now, not the ones you hope you may see later when it goes viral.
#5. Not Promoting Your Content Enough
You can have a fantastic piece of content that you put a lot of effort, time, and money into creating.
But if you do not, for example, promote that piece of content to your email list, it will never live up to its full potential. The time when social media was a public playground has long since passed.
You have to pay to play these days. Prepare yourself to spend money to promote your content on social media and search engines.
Many content marketers make the mistake of exclusively focusing on creating content. However, you need to put the content in front of your target audience repeatedly to have an impact.
You should spend more time promoting their content than creating it. One idea is to follow the 80/20 rule. Spend 20% of the time creating content while using the other 80% to promote it through social media, blogs, email, and other channels.
#6. Sponsoring Every Content You Make
Sponsored content. Paid posts. Partner stories. Whatever you want to call it.
When you have the money, you will be tempted to buy ads to promote every single content you make. But is this the right thing to do? Hell no.
Sponsoring your content by running ads is fantastic. Still, by sponsoring every content you make, it would be hard to measure some critical aspects of your marketing, like your organic traffic, and knowing the size of your organic community.
Sometimes, the algorithm might want to push out your content to reach more users, especially if done correctly. When you pay to sponsor this content, you confuse yourself and might think the results were solely from your ad campaigns.
The process of establishing relationships offline and online is the same. It requires patience, tenacity, and consistency. You risk losing momentum on the slow-building if you focus all your energy on producing one specific item and obsessing about its outcomes.
What do your readers think about sponsored content?
Only 24% of users scroll down “native ad content,” compared to 71% of readers who scroll on “regular material.”
#7. Ignoring SEO is a big Content Marketing Mistake
Search engines drive 10x more traffic to your website than any other marketing channel, so investing in SEO should be a major priority when trying to grow your business.
You can check my Blogging/SEO archives to read articles on SEO.
In conclusion, avoiding these common content marketing mistakes is essential so you don’t lose potential customers.
So, there you have it. These are the 7 content marketing mistakes you need to avoid immediately. Do you think I left out any content marketing mist? Comment below.
If you own a business and need help with Marketing, I have a team with the skills and tools you need to help you grow your business online through content marketing.
We will do all the hard work of creating and marketing your content on your behalf. You get to take all the credit and get the rewards – sales and conversions.
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