People use the Internet as a problem solver, as entertainment and to find information. Content is the perfect way to provide this to your target audience through blog posts, articles, reports, email and more. Content is definitely one of the easiest ways to reach your target market of buyers with little to no cost out of your pocket… as long as you do it right.
Simply publishing content and hoping that the sales will start flooding in just isn’t going to work. Content marketing requires a solid plan and approach to be worthwhile for your business.
One way to start moving in the right direction is to avoid many of the common content marketing mistakes. This guide will take you through 10 of these mistakes and make it easier to get content to grow your business.
Mistake #1: Forgetting to Promote Content
If you’re like many content publishers, you take great pride in your work and painstakingly create awesome content for your readers. But no matter how great our content is, if we don’t actively promote it then we’re cutting our opportunities short.
When you publish any content, make sure you put in as much effort into spreading the word as you did to creating it in the first place.
- Share your content with your mailing list.
- Announce your content on your social media accounts.
- Redistribute your content to other websites.
- Ask friends in your niche to share your content.
- Make sure you have social sharing options for the readers of your website.
- Provide affiliate links to your content, so your affiliates can share it too.
- Use paid advertising options to promote your content even further.
The important lesson here is that creating content is only one piece of the puzzle. You also need to work to get people to read it.
Mistake #2: Failing to Reuse and Repurpose
If you’ve been publishing in your niche for a while, you’ve probably created a ton of content and covered a wide variety of topics. The great thing about all the work you’ve done is that you can use it over and over again. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel each time you create new content because you’ve already done a ton of the legwork.
Here are a few ideas for you:
- Articles can be bundled up into a special report and given away freely, as a bonus, or even sold as part of a product.
- If you have a report, it can be broken up into articles and redistributed.
- Submit your content to print publications like newspapers, magazines and local newsletters.
- Create a video or slide show presentation out of your how-to articles.
- Have your audio and video materials transcribed into written format.
- Build on existing content by expanding certain points, introducing new ideas and more.
- Share older popular content with new members of your audience.
There’s no sense in letting your hard work just fade away. Keep your content working for you instead.
Mistake #3: Missing Call to Action
For many, content creation is a labor of love. We love the topics we cover and are passionate about our subjects. We just hope that somehow that passion will turn into profit. We’re told that if we create content, people will see us as experts and they’ll buy our products and use our services.
But here’s the problem with that idea.
If you don’t tell your readers about your products and services, they aren’t going to know they can buy them.
Each piece of content should have a purpose and a call-to-action. Whether it’s to get a quote for your roofing services or an opportunity to get a free crochet pattern, it doesn’t matter. Content should always have a purpose and you should know what that purpose is.
Mistake #4: Not Understanding Your Target Market
Having a deep understanding of your target market is key to content marketing success. If you don’t know what makes your readers tick, how can you possibly create the content they’re looking for?
An understanding of your target market can come in a number of ways:
- Keyword research that shows you what people are searching for in your subject area.
- Paying attention to blog and social media comments.
- Asking your readers questions. What are they concerned about? What do they want to know?
- Consulting published market research, but understanding that this is just a start point because your unique audience may have different interests.
Know who you are marketing to and the right topic ideas will be easier to find.
Mistake #5: Creating All Your Own Content
We’ve already established that content marketing isn’t simply about creating content. There’s plenty of planning and marketing involved outside of what gets typed on a screen.
The most successful content publishers get help with their content and rarely write it all themselves. Guest writers can add fresh and new perspectives to your website.
When you get help in creating your content, you can focus more on getting results from your content.
Mistake #6: Lack of Relevance
Have you ever signed up for a mailing list and then scratched your chin at some of the stuff the list owner sent to you?
For example, you sign up for a mailing list about work at home and suddenly the owner sends you offers for weight loss products. Sure, we can make the connection between working at home and weight loss. After all, those of us who work at home can attest to the fact that getting enough exercise and maintaining one’s weight can be an issue, but it’s not what we signed up for when we subscribed.
The more relevant you can be, the better your results will be in the long term. Your readers will know what to expect and you will continue to grow your understanding of what your audience really wants. Be relevant. Every time.
Mistake #7: Not Prioritizing Content
There are many options when it comes to content publishing. You can write and distribute articles. You can blog. You can email your list. You can post a video to YouTube. The possibilities are nearly endless.
But one thing becomes quite clear – different methods will work better for you than others. It’s important to focus on those methods and make them a priority.
There’s no sense in trying to juggle too much and do everything in a mediocre fashion. Figure out where you really shine and put your focus there.
Mistake #8: Not Sharing Other People’s Content
It’s natural to stay focused on one’s own content. After all, we’ve taken the time to create the content and it has been designed to promote our business. However, there are a couple of benefits to sharing other people’s content.
First, by sharing content with your audience, you can be seen as a valuable resource for great content. Introducing your readers to new perspectives and ideas is a good thing.
Second, by sharing you’re forging relationships with your fellow publishers. If you readily share content, people are more likely to share yours.
Take the time to find some useful content for your readers and share it via email, on your blog or through your social media accounts. Make it a habit and see what happens.
Mistake #9: Not Interacting With Your Audience
There’s no getting around it. Today’s web is interactive and our readers expect interaction. As a content publisher, you should be prepared to respond to comments, answer questions and engage your audience frequently.
This doesn’t mean that you have to open yourself up to answer phone calls and individual emails every day. That’s not a good use of your time. But do be available through the content channels you operate on. There is no such thing as a one way conversation.
Mistake #10: Quantity over Quality
It’s true that more content gives you more opportunity to be seen, but focusing on quality means your content can go even further. Take time to produce more detailed content. Make it more visually appealing. Publish it in a variety of media. Take the time to do things well.
When you do things well, people will recommend your content. They will come back for more.
If you instead publish thin and barely helpful content, they won’t tell anyone else and they sure won’t be back for more.
If there’s anything that’s clear from these 10 content marketing mistakes, it’s that you need to put your focus into what works and to put in a complete effort to reap the full benefits. Publishing content…even great content…simply isn’t enough to grow your business. There are many pieces to the content marketing puzzle, but once you put them together, the results can be amazing.