Content marketing is one of the most effective strategies in this digital age. However, there are many misconceptions about it and not every company is doing it right. We look into some of the more common mistakes that content marketers make.
1) No Content Marketing Strategy
Successful content marketing requires both a strategy as well as great tactical execution. Content marketing is more than just blindly writing blog posts. You need to have a masterplan to guide your actions. Even if you can write great content that people are reading, you need to be able to connect those views to your business objectives. Work with your team, management and content marketing agency to understand the goals you are trying to achieve with your content and how you are planning to reach them.
2) Not Understanding Your Target Audience
Every business has some vague idea of who their target markets are. But very few actually understand them. An IBM study showed that 63% of consumers do not feel understood by the brands they use. If you don’t understand your audience, then how are you going to create content that is useful for them?
One of the tactics we use to get a better understanding of our audience is to create data-driven target personas. Personas are archetypes of your ideal customers and help you better understand their motivations, concerns and desires. For content marketing, we also like to go a step further and map out the customer journey map for each persona. This maps out the experience each persona has during each stage of the customer journey and helps inform content marketers about the types of content that they can publish to make the journey smoother.
3) Not Sticking to a Publishing Schedule
You can’t grow a loyal website audience if you’re publishing only once a month. You need to create a content calendar and make sure that you stick to it.
4) Expecting Instant Results
Content marketing takes time. It is a long-term marketing effort, not a quick fix. If you need results today, you’re better off running a pay-per-click campaign or other forms of advertising.
It is important that you communicate this to your stakeholders and management team. We have seen some companies embark on a content marketing programme only to stop after three months because they did not see an increase in sales.
5) Overly Promotional Content
The whole purpose of content marketing is to create valuable content for your audience so that you can build a relationship with them over time. Your content should help solve their pain points or help them achieve a goal. Publishing content that is purely self-promotional defeats this purpose. Firstly, no one will want to read it and secondly, you will lose your audience’s trust.
6) Limited Content Formats
There are more content marketing formats than just blog posts. Don’t be afraid of experimenting with a variety of content formats to keep it interesting to your users. You can create downloadable white papers, webinars, infographics or quizzes. These have shown to be extremely popular with both B2B and B2C audiences. Check out the infographic below for a longer list of content formats that you can try.