In the almost limitless universe of the Internet, the art of content marketing can be tricky. You have to know your target audience and what they want, and always be one step ahead of the competition. Add to that the constantly emerging new channels for your content, and you have a pretty challenging task ahead of you.
However, before you launch into this war of words, here are 11 pitfalls to watch out for:
1. Not doing the legwork
You can’t build a skyscraper without laying the foundations. What is the purpose of your content? Who are you directing it to? Is it in line with your brand personality? If you don’t brainstorm these questions and come up with a concrete plan, you may fail before you even start. It also helps to double check your content and see what you can do differently than the competition.
2. Not having a clear conclusion
Humorous pieces of fluff are fun to read on the internet, but don’t let their popularity sway you. Good content needs a strong conclusion: a message that was previously unavailable to your readers. Offer them something new through your content and they will be hooked on your every word.
3. Not having a call to action
A final paragraph is strong, but a call to action (CTA) is stronger. Each piece of content should spark something in the reader at the end, whether it be curiosity, happiness, or even fear. Give your reader an action to take after they’ve read your content; it could be liking, sharing, commenting, or accessing your hotline or website to learn more about your product. Whatever you do, just don’t leave the reader hanging at the end of your piece.
4. Choosing quantity over quality (or vice versa)
Content marketers today are still faced with this question: produce more content faster, or deliver full content less often? In our experience, a healthy mix of the two is the best long-term strategy for content marketing. Don’t be pressured by the speed and frequency of new posts on the Internet; simply produce the best and most timely content that your marketing plan allows.
5. Not optimizing your content (SEO)
Do you want your content to be the first thing people see in a quick Google search? So don’t let search engine optimization (SEO) be an afterthought in your content marketing plan. Create some strong keywords and strategically distribute them throughout your content. Get this right, and you’ll see your content climb right up the list of search results.
6. Write long paragraphs
Let’s face it: Online reader attention spans have plummeted in recent years. Long paragraphs are a chore to read. On the other hand, dividing your content into shorter paragraphs or bullet points increases the readability of your piece. Each paragraph and bullet point also acts as a placeholder in the minds of readers, which they can refer to at any time.
7. No internal or external links
Don’t you want a visitor to your website to stick around and learn more about your product? Internal links to old content are a good way to ensure audience retention, increased interest in your brand, and better optimization for search engines. External links to related topics also add ranking power to your content, as Google search spiders read them as “third party votes” for your article.
8. Not using relevant images
Your post’s featured image is the first thing a viewer will see on social media. Relevant images and infographics make people want to read your blogs. After all, no one likes to read a continuous stream of text. The content becomes more and more visual every day to keep readers engaged, and you should follow suit.
9. Excessively promotional content
The online audience wants entertaining and engaging content, and they also don’t want to be marketed all the time. You’re not going to achieve the latter by producing overtly promotional content, with words like ‘buy’, ‘sell’, ‘trade’ at the forefront. Creative, engaging content with out-of-the-box images is the current gold standard in marketing.
10. Distribute content randomly
Simply sharing your content across all social media platforms may seem like a good idea at first. However, unless you share it on the right platforms frequented by your target audience, all your efforts may be in vain. Base the online distribution of your content on the social media habits of your audience, as well as the nature of your product.
11. Ignore content metrics
Content marketing is not an open and shut case; there is always more to learn from your existing work. To keep things simple, there are four metrics by which you can analyze the success or failure of your content so far: Consumption, Sharing, Leads Generated, and Sales & Revenue. You can then modify your future content or strategy based on these results.
Marketing your brand through online content doesn’t have to be rocket science – if you do your homework right, work with a communications agency that can get the attention your brand deserves!
Do you know other content marketing mistakes? If so, please leave a comment,