Content Marketing is “the latest” and “greatest” way to market to your customers.
By providing useful articles, blog posts, and other resources, you build authenticity and credibility in your niche. But, content marketing is easy to get wrong. Posting too much or not enough content, at the wrong times, on the wrong topics, is a surefire path to content failure. Content marketing is most powerful when done right.
There are a few common mistakes that small businesses make when attempting to start content marketing. To undertake content marketing successfully, you simply need to know your audience and give them what they want. Easier said than done, right?
The 4 Most Common Content Marketing Mistakes:
You Lack Strategy, Action, or Both!
Getting good at any type of marketing is part planning and part execution. You can’t have one without the other. This means you need both strategy and action. Where small businesses slip up is when they have too much of one and too little of the other. With a great strategy and poor execution, you’re keeping your awesome ideas from being seen, and wasting time while you’re at it. With all action and no plan, you’re like an archer without a bow. Your shots won’t hit the mark because you don’t have the right tools.
To fix your strategy or action problem, make sure your content is top-notch, backed up with a plan for people to see it. Set realistic, SMART goals and make sure your planning and execution will help you get there.
There’s No Variety
Consumers of content marketing crave variety. With 250 million pieces of content created every minute, you can’t keep doing blog post after blog post and expect to stand out. The beauty of content marketing is that there are so many different types of content you can create.
Branch out into white papers, checklists, how-tos, short and long videos, and infographics (to start)! Go beyond the blog post. Think about what your customers would find useful, informative, or entertaining. Vary the length and type of each post for maximum variety. This way, your readers will never bore or tire of your content—they’ll keep coming back for more.
You Don’t Know Your Audience
Creating great content is a function of how well you know your audience. How can you expect your content to be well-executed if you don’t know who is reading it? If you’re not sure who is reading your content, it’s high time to find out. How can you get to know your audience?
Gain a clear picture of your audience by conducting a short survey into your readers’ habits. If you go this route, make your customer survey as short and sweet as possible—readers are unlikely to take part in anything longer than 5-10 minutes. If you have customer contact information like phone numbers or email addresses, you could also conduct phone interviews with readers to see what kind of content they would enjoy.
Part and parcel with understanding your audience is then tailoring your content to be useful to this group. Your content marketing efforts will go unnoticed if your content isn’t helpful to your core audience. Think long and hard about what these people need to know, and how you can provide it to them.
You Have SEO Tunnel Vision
Yes, content marketing is effective to get found in Google, but don’t do this type of marketing for SEO alone. 10 years ago, you could grow quite a following by simply posting content twice a week. In 2017, this tactic doesn’t cut it. Nowadays, SEO ranking is a competitive business, and content marketing alone won’t raise your ranks in Google.
However, you shouldn’t completely disregard SEO when executing your content marketing strategy. Chances are that your business has a few keywords it’s trying to rank for in Google. Your content should naturally reflect these keywords in the language that searchers will use to find it. Content marketing and SEO complement each other well when working towards the same goal.
Get Your Content to King Status
The favorite content marketing cliche is that ‘content is king.’ However, you’ll risk being taken as a jester if you’re making any of the common content marketing mistakes above. If your business is guilty of one of these content offenses, don’t despair! With content marketing, you can start over with every new article. Thoughtful, engaging content will build an audience that can’t wait for your next update.
By: Courtney Apps
A business owner, MBA, and never met a dessert she didn’t like. She is the owner of Dollarton Digital, which specializes in web design, branding, and social media for small businesses. She lives in North Vancouver, BC.
Courtney hits it out of the park again, I wouldn’t have said it any better myself!
This post is a great answer to the question I get all the time: “Does HumanTalents provide SEO services”?My normal answer is: “YES and NO!”
NO, we do not provide the famous and notorious “money pit” off page SEO services, where you pay us monthly to soil the Internet on your behalf and create a multitude of links (linking back to your site) on obscure websites that are irrelevant to your business!
YES, We do provide SEO coaching, consulting and support with organic search engine optimization i.e: on page SEO, which is based on relevant, fresh content and user engagement!
We can help you with things like keyword research, long tail keywords, Courtney can help you have a fresh supply of relevant and engaging content to publish on your blog and share on social media. We could put an SEO strategy together to position you on the right track but you have to do some work too! Afterall, YOU Mr. business owner; are the best person to pitch and promote your uniqueness!
Totally Done for you SEO never works, don’t be the latest victim!
Happy content marketing everyone!