~ “Traditional marketing talks at people. Content marketing talks with them.” – Doug Kessler ~
Content marketing is the most cost-effective marketing technique. That is if it is done correctly. By now, most marketers are aware of the concept; create great content and get it in front of the target market.
Simple enough right? Well, despite its apparent simplicity, it is easy to get content marketing horribly wrong.
It’s like a piece of art. If one colour, one shape, one brush stroke is out of place, the whole piece is affected. And so, if you feel like your content marketing efforts are not driving the results you expected it might be because there is a piece out of place.
You might be making one of these six pernicious content marketing mistakes.
Selling Too Hard
The main aims of content marketing are, of course, to inform and attract customers. If your marketing strategy is effective, you will drive people to your website; they will see your amazing product and fall in love with your business. However, that’s easier said than done.
For some, there can be an underlying urge to use “oldskool” sales tactics. We have all heard the stories of pushy salesmen, even if we haven’t had first-hand experience.
Whether online or in the physical world, these sales tactics are widely reviled. Self-serving content is one of the best ways to sabotage your content marketing efforts.
These days the most effective way to sell to people is to be less salesy. That can be a difficult concept for many traditional marketers to get to grips with, but this proven effective form of marketing needs to be fully understood.
At the most basic level, you give your target market plenty of high-quality, useful, and non-salesy content, and they become more endeared to your business.
The more you give, the more you get back. That is known as reciprocity, one of the basic rules of human nature, as described in the must read book from Robert Cialdini, Influence.
In some cases, producing more content than the competition makes good business sense. Some audiences expect a regular stream of content to consume, and if this is not provided, they will go elsewhere.
The consumer tech and fitness industries are two areas where the audiences demand huge amounts of fresh content.
In some industries, however, pumping out this avalanche of content could have a detrimental effect on business. Despite the fact that you are providing high-quality, valuable content, your audience may become overwhelmed.
Even worst than feeling overwhelmed, they may begin to view your high-frequency content production as spam.
Avoid these potential issues and find out the ideal amount of content for your target market through careful market research. Your competitor’s strategy might be the best indicator of what you should be doing.
Running Out of Steam
Content marketing is a long game. It can take several months to start seeing any meaningful results. Because of this, many business owners call curtains on their initiative too early.
They begin a campaign full of energy only to become disillusioned after of a couple of weeks not seeing results.
Unlike paid advertising, for example, where you can begin seeing results immediately, content requires the building of momentum. The first few months demand the most effort and, unfortunately for some, this is the time when you will see the least results.
If you can stick to your guns, you will eventually experience the power of content marketing.
One of the great things about this type of marketing is that the work you do today could end up driving customers to your business many years from now.
Take a realistic overview of your resources, budget, and expectations. Then start a campaign that you can sustain for the long haul.
Inconsistent Content Marketing
One of the hardest things about content marketing is staying consistent. However, consistency is one of the most important things. It also goes hand-in-hand with momentum.
If you are inconsistent in your marketing efforts, you will find it difficult to build momentum, and thus not achieve the desired results from your efforts.
Consistency means publishing blog posts on schedule, regularly updating your social media channels, ensuring your marketing message is the same and not fragmented across all your content.
It means maintaining the voice of the business, portraying strong and undeviating company values, and ways sticking to the same level of quality.
Focusing Too Much On the Search Engines
The days of keyword stuffed articles littering the internet are all but over. These days’ search engine algorithms, such as Google’s, are very good at detecting articles which were written just to game the search engines. This type of content is of no use to the reader and as a result, search engines, rightful, devalue such websites.
If you make this mistake, you will most likely attract the attention of the search engines, but it will not be good news for your online business. With that said, however, your content does need to be suitably optimized for the search engines, because the search “spiders” needs to understand what your content is all about.
To make your content search spider friendly, you simply provide relevant information to your audience.
In the process of producing content for the reader, you will ultimately create keywords that the search engine algorithms, which are becoming increasingly intelligent, will understand and rank appropriately.
Focusing On Just the Blog
Your business blog is certainly a big part of your content marketing strategy, but it shouldn’t hog all your attention. Content distribution plays a huge factor in your marketing success.
That does not mean publishing the same piece of content all over the web. But it does mean spreading brand awareness as far and wide as possible.
Pat Flynn from the Smart Passive Income Blog got it right. I don’t think he was the first to adopt this strategy, though. But, he certainly made the “be everywhere” philosophy popular.
It’s clearly something worth taking note of. Pat seemed to have sprung from nowhere in the past few years, and now he is, well, everywhere.
Your blog is important, but expanding your reach to other platforms such as social media, audio, or video will help you to reach more people and establish greater authority and remain at the forefront of your customer’s minds.