Content marketing is still king – most of you would agree, right? Over 70% of buyers have said that they consume content during their consumer journey and that they actually prefer it to being on the receiving end of a sales pitch. With more and more content available everywhere and all the time, consumers have become picky about what they want to see about whatever it is they are interested in buying – they appear to be more trusting of reviews from other customers and objective online articles. However, bear in mind that no matter how valuable a resource content marketing is, one unintentional mistake could make it your worst enemy and turn your potential customers off your products. To help you avoid them in 2019, here are the potential content marketing mistakes to look out for.
1) Missing a content strategy
As with all business efforts, having a content strategy is necessary as it helps you determine the direction you want to go in, the means to get there and what goal to expect. In that sense, there are a few questions to ask yourself during the creation of one:
– Do you want to use content to build your brand?
– What message do you want to convey?
– Do you want to inform your customers or solve specific problems, and if so, which ones?
– Who is your target audience?
– What content formats does your audience prefer?
– Will you share your content on Social Media?
– How often will you publish new content?
By answering these questions (and maybe some others), you will get a pretty clear picture of what, to whom, how and when you will need to create in terms of content and you will be able to say that you have accomplished your goals after the dedicated time frame. Having a content marketing calendar will help you immensely with the last point because you will be able to plan better the content you want to publish and prepare it in a timely manner and with high quality in mind.
Moreover, make sure you also include user-generated content in your publishings. Ask your website visitors and customers to leave you honest reviews because you value their opinions. Even if they aren’t always complimentary, reviews will give an objective picture to potential customers and tell you which problems you need to deal with in order to improve the product or customer service, for instance.
2) Not targeting the right audience
You cannot have a successfully delivered content marketing strategy without knowing your target audience. You need to have a clear idea of who to market your product or service to, how, when and with what purpose. Your intended customer will have certain characteristics that will help you determine how you can best approach them:
3) Social status
Once you have all that, you will know which content formats you can use (blog posts, videos, infographics, etc.), which Social Media platforms they use the most and you will need to concentrate on, when are more likely to be active there and which need of theirs your product will have to fulfill. Adjust your content to your target audience – use images or videos in your blog posts, use slang when the occasion calls for it, but don’t overdo it. Do not assume they will be able to understand shop talk just because they are interested in your product. Be clear and to the point, be direct, be aware of what you are saying. Don’t create it just for the sake of creating content, but because you want your audience to understand you and know why they will benefit from buying from you. And then deliver it right to their doorsteps.
3) Consumers not being in the center
Pushing sales must never be in the center of your content marketing efforts. Yes, the end goal IS to increase customer engagement and grow revenues, but that shouldn’t be glaringly obvious in your interaction with your customers. If all they hear from you is BUY MY PRODUCT! and USE MY SERVICE!, your brand will quickly lose all appeal to potential customers. With customer at the center of your content marketing efforts, their interest will be engaged enough that they will find your product or service to be a perfect fit for their needs. Not only that, but they will become your loudest brand advocates and bring you even more sales down the line if you consistently deliver relevant and engaging content.
4) Not considering analytics’ insights
You need to be able to measure everything you do so that you can see how successful you are in your business efforts. That goes for content marketing as well – if you know what your audience responds to the best, you have the knowledge you need to create more effective content. If you are posting links, you need to know how big a part of your audience is actually clicking on them and if those clicks lead to purchases. By using analytics in your efforts, you can measure ROI, validate your actions and justify numbers if needed. That way the effects of content marketing on your business will be quantifiable.
5) Confusing content marketing and SEO
One of the reasons content marketing is still king is because it allows brands to tell stories. Aside from compelling characters (your products or services), there needs to be a good storyline there that will engage your audience. You cannot achieve that by simply stuffing keywords in your content – you need to be able to connect with a real-life person – your potential consumer – and not with search engine algorithms. SEO has its place in helping content reach your customers and you should optimize it, for sure, but make sure you have people in mind and not the machine that is there just to deliver it to them.
Finally, make sure your content is always fresh, well researched, punctuation and spelling-error free and has a clear call to action. With a good strategy, a clear image of your target audience, focus on the customer, with the help of analytics and SEO and a lot of patience, you will be able to get your content to represent your brand properly and get the desired results.