It’s true: content marketing is one of the best investments that can help you scale your business. It’s one of the most effective ways to attract new customers.
So, all you have to do is create a couple 1,000 blog posts every month to build a reputation, right?
Content marketing isn’t that easy. Because the content marketing world is crowded.
Just do a basic Google search for your blog topic idea, and probably you’ll get millions of search results.
This means it’s getting tougher and tougher to rank for your target keywords or reach your target market.
Since there are so many people blogging about the same topic, the chances of generating leads are small. Thus, there’s little room for mistakes and missed opportunities. If you want to achieve optimal results, you have to get content marketing right.
Here are 5 Common Content Marketing Mistakes
1. Not Having a Clear Goal for Each Content Marketing Topic
Unless you’re selling cheap candy, most of your customers won’t be willing to spend their money the first time they hear about you.
According to HubSpot, customers go through a process before buying a product.
- Awareness – Customers first realize they have a problem that needs to be solved.
- Consideration – Customer conduct research about their problem and unique solutions.
- Decision – Customers choose a solution to ease their problems.
So what stage of the buyer’s journey is your article intended for?
For instance, if someone reads your article about backlinks they’re likely to say, “Wow, I’ll read more articles by this company to see how I can build backlinks effectively.”
Determining the stage of the buying journey your target reader is, can help you create a successful content marketing strategy.
2. Not Leveraging Data to Build Your Content Marketing Strategy
Most marketers create their editorial calendar by “brainstorming” blog topic ideas that they think are a splendid match for their blog. This involves writing every blog topic idea that comes to mind.
Yes, some ideas may be valuable content. But most of them flop.
Because you didn’t use any data to justify that your audience is interested in those topics.
What to do instead
Start with data. Analyze your competitors to see the blog articles driving the most ROI for each competitor.
Try analyzing the top-performing articles one-by-one to see what it will take to outrank a competitor in search engine result pages (SERPs) for the given topic. As part of your analysis, ask yourself these questions:
- How long are the blog posts?
- How actionable are those posts?
- If I was searching for an article on this topic, would I find everything I was looking for by reading this article?
- How many backlinks does the article have?
Finding the weakest link can help you determine the topics you’ll do an impressive job writing about.
Next, use social communities such as Quora and Reddit to search for topics related to your industry. This will help you find the most popular topics that your target audience is talking about regularly. Add those topics in your editorial calendar. And within a few hours, you’ll have a year’s worth of blog topics with proven ROI.
3. Failing to Define Your Target Audience
When creating any blog, you should have a clear definition of your target reader.
Asking these questions can help you determine your target reader:
- Who is the target reader of this blog?
- What should I include in the article to help them find what they’re looking for?
- What value does the reader bring to my business?
Answering these questions can help you know how to position your article.
By writing quality content that helps your target audience grow, you’re more likely to establish yourself as a leader in the industry. You’ll create a community of readers who read and share your articles with their network. This will boost your visibility and ultimately drive high-quality traffic to your site.
A great starting point is grouping your “target audience”—people that you want to read your blog. What are these readers looking for, and what value do they bring to your business?
4. Ignoring Content Marketing Performance
One of the biggest content marketing mistakes marketers make is not reviewing the results of their efforts. Without looking at the results, there’s no way to know what’s working and what isn’t.
For instance, if a blog post is performing well, you should find ways to repurpose it or focus on that specific technique. And if a strategy isn’t working, you should focus on other initiatives.
It’s crucial to review your content marketing performance every three months. Analyzing engagement metrics, such as page views, social media shares, and the time visitors spent looking at various content can help you improve your campaigns continuously.
5. Not Leveraging User-Generated Content
User-generated content is any unpaid content that users create. This may include pictures, videos, reviews, and blog posts.
A report by Reevo found that 70% of the customers trust images that come from other consumers more than images brands create. Thus, ignoring user-generated content means you’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity to build consumer trust. Also, outsourcing content from your readers can save you time and financial resources.
You can start incorporating user-generated content by determining what inspires your readers to create content and engage with your business. Social media channels, such as Instagram and Facebook, are a brilliant way to execute a user-generated content marketing campaign.
With careful planning, you can avoid falling prey to common content marketing pitfalls. From having a clear goal for each content marketing topic to leveraging user-generated content, there’s a lot to consider if you want to craft an effective content marketing strategy. And if you do it right, you’ll reap the benefits of your content efforts.