Top 10 Content Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Content marketing is a very effective form of getting your message out to the world and become seen by 100s, 1000s, or at times 100,000s of your ideal clients. While content marketing seems like a fancy new term, it has actually been around for ages, well before the internet…
Content Marketing involves two (seemingly simple) elements:
- knowing your audience’s burning desires, challenges, and painsand
- providing the solution they need for those desires, challenges, and/or pain via content and products.
Boost your visibility to the world and achieve more of your business goals by avoiding these top 10 content marketing mistakes and learn how to fix them:
Mistake #1: Marketing Content Without A Plan
If you want your message to be read by your ideal clients – AND you want them to eagerly anticipate your next pieces of content – you need a content marketing plan. Look at where you are now and where you want to go. Then devise a plan of action to meet your goals.
Start by defining and describing your target audience. It helps if you have a crystal clear description of your buying persona, or “avatar,” as some call it. Many of us go so far that we name our avatar (usually based on a dream client we worked with and we’d want more such clients) and even print out a picture of this person (can be a real person, a past client, or a stock photo that gives you a good visual of an ideal client. Then each time you write, you’ll write with this person in mind – this will help you with the types of content you’ll focus on as well as the messages you’ll send to them once they sign up for one of your freebies and get on your list.
Once you have a clear idea on who your ideal client is, use marketing approaches that…
a) are most likely to reach your particular audience;
b) are worded in a way that is most likely to resonate with them.
These marketing methods might include email, social media, content on your blog, Medium, and LinkedIn; video on your LinkedIn and other social media, guest-posting on others’ blogs, partnering and getting promoted by others who have an existing tribe of your ideal clients, etc.
Make a marketing plan that includes the kinds of content you will create, as well as how, where, and when you will promote the content. Your goal is to reach your target market and turn them into customers. Use best practices when marketing to your audience. Adjust your plan based on your audience’s needs and their responses to your content.
Mistake #2: Neglecting to Repurpose Content
If creating new content stresses you out, the good news is that you can repurpose your older existing content. Just edit, update, and release it in a different format, such as turning a report into an eCourse. You may want to do the same with related content and release the items together as a new bundle.
Images qualify as content too. You can turn them into memes by adding quotes, tips, titles, and more. Another option is to add other elements to the images and create product covers.
Recorded webinars can be broken down into images, audio, and text products, which can be converted into a variety of formats and products from checklists to reports with audios.
Everyone has a different learning style and they like having content in different formats. Find out which formats your audience prefers and repurpose your content to meet their needs.
Mistake #3: Not Using PLR Content
Creating content can be very time consuming and overwhelming. This is especially true if you’re trying to create every piece of content from scratch. If you are not using PLR content to help reduce the workload of content creation, you’re missing out on a great resource.
Content with private label rights (PLR) often allows you to take pre-written content and use it for your unique needs. Depending on the seller, the actual rights may differ. But in general, you can edit it to make it more unique and fit your purpose. You can also add to it, bundle it with other content, or make something completely new from it.
Be sure to buy PLR from reputable vendors and read the terms of service. Sometimes the terms change depending on the type of package you get. You aren’t the only one buying the PLR content. For this reason, you always want to edit the PLR you buy. After editing and changing the title, the content should reflect your style, voice, and views.
Click HERE and send a message if you’d like some good recommendations of private label rights content for your specific niche. Make sure to add your topic/s of focus in the message. Please put “MAPS Blog Message” in the subject line.
Mistake #4: Writing The Wrong Content
If you’re not making sales or getting click-throughs, you may have written the wrong content. This can happen when you don’t research your audience enough, understand the problem completely, or misunderstood the solution type/format the audience wanted.
The most important part of creating content is making sure you provide content your audience wants and needs. The best way to accomplish this is to research and study your audience, first.
When you find out what their problems are, create focused content that addresses their concerns, informs them of their options, and invite them to try the solution you suggest.
Mistake #5: Not Responding to Questions
Your audience will have questions about products and niche concepts. The questions will be everywhere you go including social media, your blog, and your inbox. When a question is asked, it’s important that you or someone “official” answers or at least acknowledges/redirects it as soon as possible. To keep questions manageable, create a customer support area and redirect all questions there. Add an FAQ to make finding the answers easier for everyone.
While the questions may annoy you at times, they are a great sign! When people ask questions, it means they are reading your content. They’re interested in the topic. They value your opinion and want to know more. Turn the questions into more content that will help others and thank or call out the person who asked the question.
Mistake #6: Promoting Like a Used Car Salesman
Content marketers sometimes sound like a used car salesman. For most audiences, a “hard sell” won’t work. Persuading your audience to buy or act on your recommendations is a much better tactic to use. Your content should inform, instruct, and inspire your audience to take a certain action, based on their trust in your opinion and judgement. To get them to take action build trust. Then show your audience how and why your recommended action/solution has helped others and how it could benefit them too. Don’t pursue, persuade.
Mistake #7: Using Poor Quality Content
While you know to use high quality content, there are times when you can’t or don’t take the time to edit (or create) content as you normally would. If you’ve ever published content that isn’t up to your standard, you also probably felt a little guilty about doing so.
Just because a piece of content isn’t your usual, high quality work, it’s not necessarily poor quality. It depends on how high your standards are and where you draw the “acceptable” line. What may be “acceptable” to one person may be “poor quality” to another.
To help you decide what is “acceptable” and what is not, ask yourself, “Would I pay for and use it, as-is or would I toss it in the trash, even if it was free?”
As far as guest blogging is concerned, don’t accept anything that isn’t at least equal to the content quality that is already on your site.
Mistake #8: Content Not Easily Skimmed
Online and offline readers tend to skim content, whether the content is a short article on your site or a long PDF report that has been downloaded. If you haven’t provided for the easy skimming of your content, you may lose readers and sales.
To avoid these consequences, make all of your content skim-ready. Use whitespace to help break up content. Create headings and subheadings that signify section/topic changes. Add bullet points to identify simple lists. Include relevant images to support written content.
Mistake #9: Failing To Create Compelling Titles
Interesting, compelling titles sell content. Many content marketers just slap on a title that has keywords and a few descriptive words. Then they move on to the next project. This is a mistake.
One of the first things that grabs a reader’s attention is the title of the content. If the title is carefully crafted, it can induce the reader to take a closer look, read more about it, and buy. If the title doesn’t make the reader want to know more, it hasn’t done its job.
To keep this from happening, the title should intrigue, state an attainable promise, express a specific need, or state a fact that resonates with the reader. Make your content titles work harder and sell more content for you.
Mistake #10: Trying to Do Everything Yourself
You have exceptional skills and talents but you also have your limitations. You can’t do it all and you shouldn’t even try. Trying to do everything in your business only leads to a huge amount of stress being added to your plate. That makes things even more difficult.
When your business is still in the beginning stage, it is possible to perform many tasks without the help of someone else. However, learning complex skills that you will only use once or twice is a waste of your time. Web design and things that require highly specialized skills are good examples.
You need to enlist the help and expertise of others. Use your skills and talents to operate your business. You are the only person who can make “owner” decisions and plans. Learn to delegate. Start building your team now and let an experienced professional do all the rest.
These top-10 content marketing mistakes are quite common. If you’ve already made a few of them yourself, you’re in good company. Just be sure you fix the mistakes and don’t repeat them. On the off chance that you haven’t had any of these uh-oh moments, you now know what to watch for and you can avoid them all together.
E.G. Sebastian, is a Business-Development Coach, Corporate Trainer, and founder of Corporate Speaker Academy where he helps coaches, consultants, and authors break into the world of delivering Workshops, Group Coaching programs, or Keynotes to corporate teams. Learn more about Sebastian at www.egSebstian.com and connect with him on LinkedIn.