To cut through all the noise on the internet and stand out, you need purposeful content.
By now, you already know that a successful marketing strategy has to incorporate great content.
While knowing what to have in your content will propel your marketing to another level, knowing common mistakes to avoid will help you cut the time between now and your success.
How do you know if your content marketing is stalling your success?
First, your customers may only visit once and never come back, those who do spend a few seconds scanning through your content and obviously, revenue from your online business will tank.
What should you avoid?
- Made-up Statistics and Facts
Numbers never lie. And while this is true, using incorrect statistical figures just to make a sale will cost you in the long run. Look for reliable information from sources including but not limited to, government websites, reputable organizations such as the United Nations and known industry leaders.
Misquoting facts and making up statistics will dilute your consumer’s confidence in you, and that’s the last thing a content marketer wants to lose.
Google shows no mercy to plagiarists, and so do other search engines. If you steal someone’s content, how are your consumers supposed to trust any of the products you offer?
Copying content will always come back to haunt you thanks to Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This act of the government allows creators to own their work and file DCMA notice, through Google Webmaster Tools, for copied content. For any DCMA notice you receive, you lose industry credibility and your search engine ranking stalls. To be on the winning side, always quote content with a backlink to the source.
- Poor Layout, Scannability, and Navigation
Good content will get you high on the SERP. But if your content cannot appeal to the search engines, you will hardly get any subscribers.
Long blocks of text with no images will bore readers. When an individual searches a given topic online, they are looking for specific answers. With this in mind, you need to have short, crisp paragraphs carrying tailor-made content for your target audience.
Users must be able to scan through your content with ease and navigate from one page to the next without struggle. Appealing content gets more shares and likes; something that gets you ranked higher on search engine results.
- Poor Research, Lack of Commitment
Is your online business a side hustle that you get to after your day job? If yes, you might run it successfully but somewhere along the way, you might get caught up.
You need to generate new ideas and that requires research. If you are committed to your business, that should not be a problem. An average blog post takes about three hours to write but some bloggers spend up to 10 hours on a single post.
This allows them enough time for research and enables them to deliver rock solid content.
What should you look for when researching for content?
- New information that relates to your business niche
- Original sources of information
- Latest data on the topic
- New info that interests your readers
- Poorly Promoted Content
Posting top-notch content on a blog that has no subscribers or visitors is equivalent to wearing your best outfit to bed. Given this, it is important to locate your target audience and then use blogger outreach to reach influencers to curve a space in your niche.
Failing to promote your content through influencers will limit the number of people your content reaches. Failure to leverage the power of social media in your content promotion strategies will see you circling the same spot for years.
What can you do?
- Repurpose and reuse your content in different platforms
- Create seamless guest posts with a link to your business
- Identify industry influencers and create mutually beneficial relationships with them
- Establish a strong social media presence
- Reaching out to the Wrong Audience
The first step in creating customized content is identifying the right target audience. If, for instance, you are selling toys, your target audience will be newly married couples about to get their first or second baby.
Creating great content and sharing it with the general internet population will not get you anywhere. To successfully reach out to your customers, you need to tailor your content to resonate with their needs.
You will need to find out:
- How your target audience interacts online
- Where they are likely to flock online
- What kind of content they like more; videos, pictures, blog posts or infographics
- What their needs are
- Believing that More is Better
How many blog posts, videos or infographics are you supposed to publish in a day? The truth is there is no limit. You can post as much as you want. But, how is that beneficial to the consumers?
Posting loads of purposeless content in a bid to get likes, shares and conversions will only tank your content marketing campaign. Consumers prefer quality over quantity; that is why one good piece will get views and reviews, likes and shares and most importantly, conversions.
You cannot post more every day and still ensure that each piece is:
- Resonates with your audience’s needs
- Always Selling
We all have come across popups. They are disturbing especially when you only need information.
To most organizations, creating content without selling or promoting previous content sounds like a risky venture but it pays in the long run. Companies that are always selling lose engagement with their customers which wound their long-term relationships with them.
Before selling to your visitors, offer them credible information and let them choose when to buy any of the products you are offering.
- Failing to Understand Your Customers
Most webmasters started businesses to address a problem they once faced. Diving in with that mentality, one might be tempted to make their business all about them. Your business first addresses your customers’ needs and problems before addressing yours.
Looking at content marketing through your eyes, and not through your customers’ will only satisfy you. Take a breath and ask, ‘how does this benefit them’? Before you develop any content, address a common issue with your audience.
You can learn your audience through daily interactions with them.
- Good Content, Wrong Timing
You will be ruining a good piece if you post it at the wrong time. Every piece you publish has to be perfectly on time. Be the first to introduce new concepts and new products but do not take newsworthy events that do not relate to your business.
Along with this point, you must be well updated on the latest happenings in your niche. You will realize you cannot be informing your readers on the importance of Facebook for content marketing now when others are showing them how to use live videos to generate revenue.
Take advantage of current events but be sure not to cross a line. Taking advantage of natural calamities to up sales will soil your business reputation. Again, being political in a business that does not involve politics will also ruin your reputation.
- Ignoring Analytics
Of what good is great content if you cannot quantify data? Analytics help you evaluate how your content is fairing. They show you which post reached out to more people and from which platform. This information comes in handy when you are reusing and repurposing your content.
Some content platforms such as YouTube offer analytics but some do not. You can use Google Analytics, or any other good tool, for your website analytics. If you write a lot of guest posts, find a way to see your content statistics.
- Making Wrong Assertions and Being Controversial
Nothing will get you more reaction from consumers than controversy and assertions you cannot defend. However, the biggest mistake you can do is to underestimate your audience. Your audience holds the power to make or break your brand.
You can create a blog post and take a stance; this shows your stand as an online businessperson. Nevertheless, your readers might judge you and this will not sit well with your marketing strategies.
If you have to be controversial or make assertions, be sure to present facts that defend your content. Otherwise, only bite off as much as you are able to chew.
Are You Committed?
Even the best content marketing strategy will fail if you are not committed. In a time when everybody is into content, it is easy to just dive in and start creating content.
Good content needs more than a decision to start a blog; it is long hours of research and more hours of content promotion. It is more about understanding the minds of your consumers and seeing the world through their eyes. Successful content marketers take their businesses as the sole source of income and satisfaction.
An online business should be more than a side hustle for your content marketing to bear fruits. With that said, do not be the jack of all niches, be the best in your niche.