Compared to other marketing methods, content marketing is a marathon, not a race. At TalenAlexander we realized fairly early on in our content marketing endeavors that “It takes time for a content marketing campaign to deliver ROI.”- Jason Ramsey, The Chief
When it comes to creating highly engaging content, you have to:
- Get a sense of what your target audience expects from your brand’s content.
- Research for the kind of content ideas that fit best in your marketing mix.
- Identify the right channels of communication that will help distribute your content to its audience.
- Identify and plan a marketing strategy that helps leverage the potential of this content.
However, that’s only the beginning! You need to keep fine tuning your strategy to make sure your content messaging is aligned with your business, audience, and their needs. This is a situation tailor-made for errors. That being said, TalenAlexander has identified 9 errors that are an absolute NO-NO if you want to make the most of content marketing.
1.Ignoring Customers in Content
We’ve all heard “Content is King,” but at TalenAlexander we tweak this adage a bit, and say “Customer-Centric Content is King.”
By that we don’t necessarily mean sales material. The obvious goal of a campaign is to promote your brand, but content that blows your own trumpet will never go viral. Descriptions of your product, services, and the brand’s motto can be used in the content, but the primary focus should be on the customers.
Content should satisfy their quest for informative solutions by providing valuable information. Avoid being selfish at all costs– in content marketing, selflessness is a priceless virtue and will help your brand go places.
The process of writing an article or a blog and delivering it to a group of readers needs to be followed with a degree of consistency. Once you have a built a strong following of readers who are looking forward to reading content published by your brand, you can’t afford inconsistencies. Ardent followers or even a casual visitor may consider a blog worthless if it has inconsistent updates or it has been abruptly stopped for long periods.
Content marketing’s biggest failure begins with irregularity. Create riveting content to engage readers and keep going at it. Once the cycle is broken, it takes a long time to fix.
3.The Balancing Act – SEO vs. Audience
Are you creating the content marketing campaign to grab the attention of search engines? Or is satisfying your audience the ultimate goal? If it sounds extremely tough to answer this question, it is obvious that you are not familiar with the balancing act. Our content marketers have recognized the need to walk the tightrope between search engines and pushing out content that its audience will love going through.
Focusing purely on search engines is pointless because an audience loves informative content and not something that is keyword ridden. However, ignoring Google spells instant death for your content marketing campaign. So, find a balance.
4.Be Blunt to Build a Brand
Content Marketing Institute, a premium player in the industry suggests that your content strategy should be precise, focus on a single motto, and must not be afraid to express your views. Experts in any industry will never hesitate to criticize any news/opinion/development, if they find it wrong. Similarly, they may choose to support an idea if they find it credible in spite of hundreds going against it. Playing the diplomat to appease both sets of audience (the naysayers and supporters) won’t win you brownie points. It’s important to take a stand with your content, if and when required.
5.One Size Never Fits All
Content marketing is not an obscure mystery that should intimidate you. Approach it as you would any project– with logic and practical acumen— and you will find all the necessary answers. An important thing we’ve learned on the job is to avoid an assembly line approach, wherein we don’t create content keeping the diverse needs of the audience in mind.
People differ in terms of perspective, taste, and preference. Similarly, the content you create should be different from one another so as to cater to everybody who is a part of your audience. Keep experimenting with your content to attract readers and keep the existing ones happy.
6.Rehashing Similar Topics
In order to build a brand there are products or services you must promote, requiring you to wear many hats. Due to serving your business in a number of capacities, you may be tempted into taking shortcuts to save time and effort. One option you may consider is rehashing existing content with the hope it delivers results. But that’s not going to work. Your target audience is not a fool nor will they appreciate you taking them for a ride. If you keep marketing repetitive content, they will just move away from your brand. After all, they have time constraints as well and a whole world vying for their attention.
Nobody said content marketing was easy, so don’t try to find an easy route to success. There isn’t any.
7.Revising Strategies Often
We’ve said you need to keep refining your content strategy, but that doesn’t mean to continually refresh your approach– revising your strategies all the time results in a lot of confusion. For example, if your blog focuses on collating popular and informative content from around the globe written by industry thought leaders, don’t revise this format. Even if your content marketing strategy does not deliver immediate results, you must remember that it takes time to make an impact on your audience.
Content marketing isn’t fast food; it’s more like a fine dining experience. The latter needs requires seasoning, time to marinate, and thoughtful presentation when preparing food that captures the imagination of the chef and heart of the diner. So, give your content marketing campaign time. Don’t expect results in a hurry.
Content marketing doesn’t only refer to churning out text-based content and making sure it reaches the intended audience. It includes creating and distributing a variety of content in formats like text, presentations, videos, infographics, statistical data, and more. Each one of these mediums serve the same purpose, but vary in delivery method so as to appeal to a wider audience. Experiment with different styles because diversity of formats ensures you don’t put all your eggs in the text basket.
9.Lack of Platform Focus
In trying to keep up with the emerging web on desktop and smartphones, content marketers lose track of their primary platform. The Pew Internet research database provides a detailed and in-depth overview of internet users. According to their reports, mature adults prefer to access internet on a desktop while young adults find smartphones and tablets more convenient. Similarly, women are interested in social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest while men spend more time on Facebook and LinkedIn. Identify where your audience spends most of their time and focus on that particular platform rather than attempting to cover them all.
A content marketing campaign needs to evolve periodically and you need to constantly measure the effectiveness of your content approach. Do not stay fixated on a particular approach just because you are comfortable with it. Evaluate and monitor your campaign all the time so you know where it’s heading and whether it’s delivering the returns you want from it. And lastly, stay away from these mistakes!