Content marketing is, without any doubt, one of the best ways to generate leads and eventually sales.
In fact, it is a favourite among the marketers for various reasons. For starters, it is effective and doesn’t drain your budget.
So all you need to do is to start churning out content and post on your blog, right?
Content writing is simple alright, but requires more than just writing a couple of blog posts every month. And it is a highly crowded market. In fact, as I write this blog, more than 50,000 have already been posted by now. And the day isn’t even over yet.
Hope now you realise the extent of what you are up against. You have to go to several lengths to get noticed by people in your niche.
Sadly, most people jump into the content marketing bandwagon without realising the mistakes they are doing when it comes to their content marketing processes.
So today I share some hard-learned lessons (most of them come from personal experience) in the form of content marketing mistakes that every marketer is guilty of making (and what should be done to overcome those mistakes).
1. You gotta know what your audience wants
Not researching the type of content your audience wants is something that should give out serious red signals. However, it’s the biggest mistake writers as well as content marketers tend to make, especially when just starting out.
Some people simply read other popular blogs to draw ideas for their own content. But is it really the right way to do it?
No, not even close.
Because everyone has a different audience. The blog you are getting inspiration from has a different audience than you, so how does that help you?
Let’s take an example. Say, your website helps startups grow traffic for their website but you are writing about commercial ads and how it helped huge brands. How does this make any sense?
It may make for an interesting topic but do you really think that fresh startups, that too in the B2B sector, have extravagant funds to splurge on commercial advertising?
A survey revealed that 55% of people say that the content they receive is not interesting to relevant to them.
Does your content fall into the category these 55% people are pointing to?
Then how can you come out of this dreaded list?
- Research what appeals to your audience
Not researching about your customers’ interest is something you can’t forget if you want to excel in your content marketing endeavours. Before writing the content don’t think what’s interesting to you, always make sure that you know what will appeal to your audience.
2. Not adding visual content
A lot of people simply post their content without one single image and no formatting what so ever. And don’t even realise that this might be hurting their content marketing process.
And it ends up looking like this
This looks like a page straight out of some history journal. A large chunk of text with not a visually appealing image in sight, and nothing to break up the text. This lack of visual content is making the text extremely bland.
And by visual content, I don’t just mean adding an image or two here and there in your blog post. That seems okay too, however, it is not nearly enough. Why? Because, while stock images are a good way to break your content, they still are not appealing enough.
What else you can do?
There are all sorts of engaging visual content that you can add with your content including videos and infographics.
In a study, 41.5% of marketers said that original graphics, such as infographics and illustrations, performed best out of all their content marketing strategies.
It’s in human nature to get pulled by something visually appealing and process it better and faster than the plain text.
Have a look at this infographic.
Don’t break out in sweat at the prospect of hiring a graphic designer to make infographics for you. Here’s a good news -you can do it on your own and that too in minutes.
Use free tools like Canva or Venngage. All you have to do is to create a free account and choose an infographic template.
There are a dozen free templates to choose from and the best part is, you can customise the templates by changing its colour, background and more as per your company or content.
So don’t just stick to plain text blog posts or just a couple of stock images. Step up your content marketing game with infographics and videos.
3. Exaggerating facts and figures to suit your narrative
Unfortunately, it is a common practice in content marketing that many writers adopt. In fact, 43.7 per cent of all statistics are made up on the spot. And do we know if this statistic is even true?
It is a known fact that many content marketers simply use some cherry-picked quotations, misquote them and sometimes exaggerate them to simply align with their stories.
But does it help the audience?
Because in the end, your aim is not to write the most appealing content. The aim is to write the content that appeals to the audience and at the same time helps them out.
So rather than giving out false statistics, you should try to quote stats from the credible sources. You can go to the media, educational, and government websites to double-check facts and figures before using them.
For example, check out the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
They provide updated stats on current employment, pay, productivity and other stats pertaining to the country’s workforce.
It’s just an example. There are so many similar reputable sources in your niche, where you can double-check your stats.
The Internet is inundated with fake news and wrong answers, you don’t want to be someone who is included in the list of fake news providers. Because in the end, when people start realising this faux pas, they are bound to stop reading your content altogether.
4. Releasing content at the wrong time
No matter how appealing your content is, releasing it at the wrong time is a simply a no go.
When it comes to social sharing, content marketing is often time sensitive. When you share your content is as important as what you share and where you share it.
For example, you run a tech blog. Your most loyal audience probably fall under the age group of 13 – 25 year old. And this is school/college going millennial. Thus, you have more chances of drawing traffic if you share your content in the morning (before they go out for their schools/universities) or in the evening, after 4 PM (this is when they come back from their schools and universities).
So be mindful of the timings when you share your content.
Saturday is indisputably the best day to share your content on Facebook. It gets nearly twice as many shares like any other day. When it comes to the time, the best time to share on Facebook is in the afternoon. 7 pm is a close second. Oddly enough, posting at 2 am is also highly effective.
Do you know that an average lifespan of a tweet is about 15 minutes, so you have to do your best to make it count. The largest percentage of retweets occurs around 5 pm.
If you want maximum click-through rate, then consider tweeting at noon and/or 6 pm.
5. Not keeping track of your content marketing success
You are spending hours and hours in your content marketing endeavours, but do you know what sort of content is generating maximum end result?
Content platforms like Quora, YouTube etc have their own analytics. If you are using WordPress, it also offers its own analytics to make it easy for you to analyse how your content marketing strategy is working out.
Another great way to check your website traffic is by making a free account on Google Analytics.
With these analytics tools, you can see a broader picture of your content marketing progress or lack of progress. However, if you are going into it blindly, then you are missing out on quantifying your success and failures.
Content Marketing is one of the most effective forms of digital marketing.
It not only helps you out in generating traffic for your website but also builds your brand status and proves your authority in the market.
However, like every other thing, it will work only if it is done right. Simply running after the content marketing process, without understanding the needs of your customer or without analysing your efforts is the wrong way to go about it.
Make sure that you steer clear of the above-mentioned mistakes and even if you are guilty of these anomalies, now you know what you can do in order to overcome them.
What common( or uncommon for that matter) content marketing mistakes are you making? And what steps are you making to rectify those mistakes?
Let us know in the comment section below!