Is your content marketing campaign headed toward failure? This article could save you thousands of wasted hours and money.
Content marketing was one of the biggest marketing buzzwords of 2022. If you ignored this strategy last year, now is to shift your focus.
Before we get into the finer details of this post, let’s look at the basics of content marketing. Here is a comprehensive definition provided by the Content Marketing Institute:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
While this sounds simple enough, you will face many challenges as you ramp up this part of your marketing strategy.
It doesn’t matter if you are just getting started or have been moving down this path for quite some time. Avoiding these mistakes will lead to better results in the future. Here are three mistakes that can kill your content marketing plan at any phase:
1. Creating the “Same Old” Content as your Competition
It is easy to see what your competition is doing, copy their strategy, and hope for the same results. The problem with this is simple: you won’t generate the same results.
Your content should be unique. Your content should be compelling. Your content should touch on ideas that others have overlooked.
There was a time not long ago when this didn’t matter. As long as you were publishing fresh content, you were doing your part in boosting rankings and connecting with your audience.
You have to take a different approach in today’s day and age. Here is an example of why: the Content Marketing Institute notes that 83 percent of business-to-business marketing professionals have implemented a content strategy.
This should mean one thing to you: Competition.
If you cover the same topics as your Competition, don’t expect to come out on top. Your goal is to provide unique content with a personal spin and powerful stance. Are you up for it?
2. Focusing Solely on Link Building
Again, let’s take a step back and look at the past. Before the many Google algorithm updates (you know, the ones with the animal names), the only thing that mattered to most online marketers was link building. Some realized the benefits of building a brand, but most, especially those looking for quick results, cared about nothing more than links.
With content marketing, link building should never be your top priority. Are you going to obtain links back to your site along the way? Most definitely. People will always find your helpful content and share it with their audience. However, you don’t want this to be your sole purpose.
Content marketing is all about building a brand and audience engagement. Each piece you publish should improve your reputation. Each article you publish should teach your audience something, thus giving them a reason to engage.
Link building is a thing of the past. Yes, inbound links are still important. But no, this is not the “beginning and end” of achieving success online.
3. Selling Instead of Helping
Have you ever read content, such as a blog post, that appears to be nothing more than a sales pitch? This can be extremely frustrating, not to mention a waste of time.
Content marketers must walk a fine line. On one side, you can plug your products and services. On the other side, if you go too far, you will come across as pushy, which is a quick way to turn your audience off.
Your content should focus on helping people, not making a sale. Take, for example, a blog post or white paper. Every topic can be turned into a sales pitch, no matter how basic or technical. At the same time, every case can be conveyed to your audience in a personal, helpful tone.
Too many people focus on their own company when producing content. They never think about what they can do to help others. The only thing on their mind is using the content to boost sales and profits.
Think about it this way: it will sell itself if you create high-quality content. You won’t need to make a “hard sale.” Instead, you can guarantee that your audience will enjoy your work and then take the necessary steps in making a purchase or contacting you, should they be interested.
Don’t Repeat the Same Mistake Twice.
The three mistakes above can quickly kill any momentum you have built through your content marketing strategy.
Just like anything in business, there is a chance you will make some mistakes. This isn’t the end of the world. As long as you are committed to doing things the right way while avoiding the same mistakes in the future, you will remain on track.
Content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) are both titans of modern marketing, yet they’re often not spoken about in the same conversation.
According to Social Media Examiner, 81 percent of marketers plan to increase their use of unique written content. If you plan to join these marketers while outperforming them simultaneously, do whatever it takes to avoid the three mistakes detailed above.
So, how else can you build a content marketing strategy with your readers?