5 Big Content Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Content marketing mistakes can prove to be lethal to not only your sales but your brand image too.
If you’re a new marketer, this may be quite scary to you.
If you’re a seasoned one, you’re already taking a walk down memory lane, remembering all the mistakes you made and the massive saves you managed that allowed you to stay in the game.
Why are we talking about this today?
Well, we recently heard someone say,
“You can’t make it big until you make some big mistakes.”
It got us thinking and we have to say, we disagree.
Sure, you learn from your mistakes and not only do you avoid them in the future, you also steer clear of similar slip-ups.
But what if you have the smarts to learn from the mistakes of others and never get around to making the mistakes yourself at all because you know better?
That’s what we’re talking about in today’s blog post.
We are going to share with you some big content marketing mistakes that can take you down with them.
But that’s not all! Identifying the problem is only part of the solution – the remaining part involves doing something about it.
And that is why we will give you potential solutions you can implement straight away if you find yourself making any of the mistakes we discuss below.
Without further ado, here are five of the biggest marketing mistakes when it comes to content and how to avoid them!
Failing to Address Topics that Interest Your Target Audience
The first thing you need to do before you can even BEGIN to think about creating is to TRULY understand who you are building content for.
In short, you need to know exactly who your target audience is and what they want from you.
And that is one of the most common content marketing mistakes people make – they assume they know what the audience wants instead of actually trying to find out.
Let us put it another way:
“These days, people want to learn before they buy, be educated instead of pitched.”
Brian Clark, founder of copyblogger.com
What does this tell you?
It tells you that the consumer of today is as smart as they get.
They want to gain relevant information and learn about the product or service so they can make an informed decision.
What do I do?
Well, we started with that – you need to carry out an audience analysis, define your target audience, and find out what they want from you.
For detailed insight into how you can discover your audience, give this blog post a read:
Next comes finding out what they want from you in terms of content. How do you do that?
Well, that’s simple:
If you truly want to know what your customers or potential consumers are after, you should be direct and ask them.
You can do this through questionnaires shared through email, social media posts, image and video captions, and so on.
See What Your Competitors Are Doing
Never copy your competitors – your content should be unique. What you can do, though, is to see what topics they are covering that interest their target audience. Which is ultimately YOUR target audience.
- Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Monitoring the social media conversation about your brand and niche can tell you all about what is trending and what is not.
You can also create online communities (such as a Facebook Group) and encourage people to share their opinions.
We have talked about this in more detail in this blog post – check it out:
Producing Content that Isn’t Up to the Mark
This one is quite self-explanatory – one of the biggest traps you can walk into is believing you are producing good content, although it barely passes as average.
What’s even worse is KNOWING that your content is mediocre, yet putting it out for the sake of putting it out.
Today’s consumer has a TON of options to choose from if you fail to satisfy them – they don’t need to stick around for content that would be better off in the garbage can.
Don’t believe us?
Let the stats do the talking:
According to Fundera, 54% of customers can decide to ditch your band if you don’t produce relevant, engaging content and offer them coupons.
That’s more than half your client base.
What Do I Do?
Well, the first thing you need to do – as harsh as it sounds – is to give yourself a reality check and realize that the content you are coming up with is just not up to the mark.
Next, you can take steps to fix it.
Below are some potential content fixes, among HUNDREDS of others.
Make sure that your content puts the focus on your consumer instead of on your brand and what it offers. You are trying to offer value to the reader – make them feel special.
No Salesy Language
Your ultimate goal is to convert individuals into customers – everyone knows that. But your content doesn’t need to make that in-your-face obvious.
Don’t try to sell your product. Instead, lure the potential consumer towards it through highly engaging content that is helpful and entertaining for them.
We just talked about this above – create content that your customers actually want to see and that provides value to them.
Basically, entertain your target audience, educate them, fill a gap or fulfill their needs in any other way you feel is necessary.
Easy to Comprehend
Many brands make the mistake of making their content difficult to understand due to industry jargon, unclear wording, and lack of structure among other things.
Don’t worry about sounding smart – keep the content simple so that everyone can enjoy and benefit from it.
Post Regularly. Once you have a following for your content, they expect to see content from you on a regular basis.
Always be one step ahead so that your consumers don’t have to wait for content because eventually, they will stop waiting.
Don’t Publish Just to Get Content Out There
Having said what we did about the need for consistency, we need to address this issue too – many marketers post just for the sake of posting.
Don’t try to appear active to your target audience because what you gain in being regular, you will lose when your consumers realize how little you care about the quality of your content.
Only Focusing on One Medium or Platform
One thing that marketers do is stick to just one platform or create just one kind of content.
For example, you could keep on producing videos for your YouTube channel but not any blog posts for the actual site.
Similarly, you create marketing content for your social media channels and completely disregard email, for example.
The list can go on but you get the point – you limit yourself to certain kinds of content, using only a few mediums and platforms along the way.
This can be bad for you for a number of reasons:
- Your consumers will get bored.
- You will miss out on the opportunity to get your message across better.
- You won’t reach as many people as you could by using a combination of mediums and platforms.
What Do I Do?
You need to mix it up!
In today’s digital age, the opportunities are endless.
Here are some of the most popular content types that your target audience may enjoy consuming. Deciding which one is right for you will depend on your unique needs, as well as the specific characteristics of your target audience.
- Interactive games
- Contests and competitions
- Social media Live
But you’re not done just yet. Do you share your new video on just YouTube or Facebook and Instagram too? Should the questionnaire go out to only your email subscribers or should your social media community receive it too?
These decisions need to be made keeping in mind your target demographics, as well as your core aim.
One thing is for sure though: in most cases, it is best to use a combination of platforms as opposed to just one.
Your Content is Losing Value Over Time
Fresh content is the need of the hour in these competitive times.
According to eMarketer, around 60% of marketers come up with a minimum of one brand new content item on a daily basis.
You need to keep up.
But that is not all you need to do.
We talked earlier about how you have to provide value to your clients through your content.
Let us add to that now – you need to provide LASTING value through evergreen content marketing.
And that is an area where many marketers and businesses lack.
What Do I Do?
Just like evergreen trees stay fresh and green all year round, your content needs to appear fresh and useful even months or years after you create it.
What will this achieve?
Let us look at this with an example:
You create a blog post about the best ways to groom one’s dog, with innovative techniques that actually work.
Three years later, that blog post still drives traffic to your site because the tips are just as useful then as they were all those years ago.
Of course this is not possible with certain kinds of content such as time-sensitive news items or IT advancements (they literally change every day!), but it is quite do-able with others.
To produce evergreen content, you can consider the following formats among many others:
- Instructional videos
- Lists in the form of blog posts or videos
- Tips and tricks
- Case studies
Of course, as we mentioned above, the subject matter should be such that it is still relevant and helpful years down the line.
Want to learn more about creating evergreen content? We discuss it in detail here:
Failing to Convert Leads
This is a very important aspect that most people often neglect.
Let’s look at it like this.
- You produced an exceptional piece of content that is both entertaining and informative.
- People found their way to the piece of content.
- You managed to build your audience’s interest in what you were talking about.
But wait, what happened to number four?
Number four is what you missed and what cost you big.
Once you had piqued the interest of your consumers, you had the opportunity to convert them – through a call-to-action (CTA) button.
THAT was number four.
But you failed to do that. So despite you managing to get your consumer interested, you did not direct them towards any actions, such as making a purchase.
So all your efforts went to waste.
What Do I Do?
The key is to place multiple CTAs throughout your content so that they are visible to your consumers and ensure they are just one click away from taking action.
While you do this, however, be careful to
- Ensure the CTAs are relevant to the content topic
- Not overdo it and chase the potential customer away.
- Word them such that the consumer can’t resist the urge to click.
- Grab attention by making them bright and visible.
The most important thing, though, is the link between your content and the CTA button. Make sure that the content ‘leads’ to the CTA.
In other words, build a narrative in which the next logical step is to click on the CTA and make sure your content marketing efforts pay off.
Can You Think of Any Other Mistakes?
Well, there you have it – five big content marketing mistakes and how to avoid them!
Have you made any of these mistakes? Well, now you know just how to fix it and avoid it in the future.
Making mistakes and learning from them is good. But making too many marketing blunders can do long-lasting damage that can be very difficult to undo.
So why not just avoid them in the first place?
What are some international marketing blunders that I can learn from?
Here are some top international marketing mistakes that prove that even the biggest brands can mess things up from time to time.
• BMW created an ad which sparked outrage when they featured UAE football players singing the national anthem but then cutting it short to rush to the BMW’s waiting for them outside the stadium. People felt, and rightly so, in our opinion, that the national anthem of the company had been disrespected.
• Something as simple as mistranslation changed HSBC’s slogan from “Assume Nothing” to “Do nothing” in many countries – quite the opposite effect of what you want from consumers. This led to complete rebranding to the new slogan, “The world’s private bank.”
• Another case of mistranslation – when Coors tried to market their beer in Spain, their slogan “Turn it loose” became “suffer from diarrhea.” The rest is history.
• Pepsi’s slogan “Come alive with Pepsi” became “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave” as a result of a poor translation job for the Chinese market.
You will have noticed that many of these marketing errors are a result of poor copy/translation. Language plays a major role in marketing, whether it is at a local level or global. Which is why your content needs to be spot on for success.
What are some common digital marketing mistakes (aside from content-related ones)?
There are a billion things you can do wrong when it comes to digital marketing. But just let us clarify before we go on – “wrong” is a subjective term, especially when it comes to digital marketing. What would be considered wrong for one industry may be a gamechanger for another. Heck, what’s wrong for most companies within a niche could work wonders for a firm with an adventurous digital marketing team.
But there are some things that no one should be doing, some of which include:
• Failing to define the right audience and eventually target them
• Not setting goals and devising a comprehensive plan to make sure you meet them
• Downplaying the importance of SEO when it comes to attracting traffic to your site
• Not catering to the mobile audience (which is the majority)
• Missing out on the chance to build a loyal, engaged audience with a blog
• Taking on too much and not being able to see it through
• Not having you-focused content that puts the emphasis on the consumer
• Not tracking and analyzing the digital marketing performance on a regular basis
• Having one-way communication that doesn’t work in this era of instant feedback
What are some social media marketing mistakes I need to avoid?
One of the most common questions we’re asked in the arena of digital marketing blunders is, “what are the social media mistakes I’m making? How can I stop making them?”
Let us outline a few of the mistakes you may be making if you’re putting in the effort but not seeing results. If you want help with devising a solution, get in touch with one of our social media experts.
• Haphazard posting – not really following a social media plan and being inconsistent
• Making all your communication about you as opposed to the consumers
• Targeting the wrong audience (as we mentioned above too)
• Not being active on the account – consumers expect instant responses on social media
• Getting “paid” likes – they will never engage with your business and you will not be able to build a community of interested consumers
• Publishing the exact same posts across all social media channels instead of catering to the unique audiences and their expectations on that particular platform
• Disregarding the metrics or not paying any attention to them at all
• Reacting negatively to or being overly defensive when faced with negative comments and reviews or deleting them altogether
What email marketing mistakes are bringing me down?
Here are some mistakes a lot of email marketers make that result in losses to their company:
• Not segmenting their email lists well and ending up sending all emails to everyone
• Sending “automated emails” that could be speaking to anyone instead of indulging in one-on-one, personalized communication
• Not paying attention to the stats and failing to make decisions based on data
• Sending irrelevant emails the receiver has no interest in receiving
• Getting the attention of the reader but not following that up with a call-to-action
• Not optimizing your email for mobile, where most people will see it
• Failing to bring life to the copy with graphics and videos
• Being inconsistent when sending emails or sending way too many