Before anything else, let me tell you Content Marketing is tough. There are millions of people and companies writing on the same topics you are writing about, right at this moment.
Why is content marketing so popular? The answer is because it drives leads into your site, in fact, I’m not afraid to say is the most effective way to get leads.
Let me give you some statistics taken from Hubspot that point out just exactly how big content marketing is and why all the buzz around it:
As you can see from the stats above, content marketing should be something you should be putting a considerable amount of time and effort to. It shouldn't be taken lightly, and if you want to see results you must produce content with a strategy behind it, you can't just write a blog every now and then, there is a lot more into it.
As with anything in marketing, content requires a good strategy. You can’t just write content to write and post whatever pops into your head. Every piece of content you put out there should be produced with your client in mind. Topics you write upon should be relevant to your audience.
Let's say you have an outdoor equipment company, you sell equipment for different outdoor activities like paddleboarding, surfing, mountain biking, and skiing. If you don't have a content strategy in place you'll probably choose a random subject to post content about, you could be writing about mountain biking in the middle of winter *I assure you, people won't be looking for mountain biking content during that season. You need to understand what topics are relevant to your audience and deliver content that they find useful.
How does content marketing help your business?
Before we discuss what things you should not be doing in content marketing let me highlight a few of its benefits:
With the right keyword placement and relevance of the topic, you open up the doors to having your content rank higher in google. You will not see results immediately because ranking in google takes time but be patient and you'll see results!
Diversifying your content, having a constant flow of content and posting regularly can help you get inbound links to your site meaning it will help it rank higher in SERPs. Keep in mind that the more links you get from other pages linking back to your site the more authority you portray for Google. If you don’t produce content, other sites will have nothing to link back to.
When you produce innovative, resourceful and visually attractive content, you are encouraging people to share it and put your brand out there. Humans are visual creatures so if you produce audiovisual content chances are you'll get more shares than with written content. We are more likely to share an infographic or video than a blog post. This doesn't mean you shouldn't be writing blogs, YOU SHOULD, just keep your content varied.
It helps your organic traffic grow, meaning you get more visits to your website without having to pay for those visits.
On the contrary of paid traffic, you keep getting more and more traffic over time. A compounding blog post is bound to deliver value over time because its content is so relevant and well structured. A blog post might not be a complete success once it gets published, but content marketing is all about patience, so, be patient, and you'll see results down the road.
So, we’ve discussed the benefits of content marketing and now that you have a better understanding of its relevance and have a clearer picture of how it can help you grow your business online, let's discuss some of the most common mistakes that people make when it comes to creating content for their brand.
You don't want to be that person that spends 7-8 hours a day producing content and not see any conversions or positive results from it. If you are going to put a content marketing strategy in place, you need to make sure you are producing content that will be relevant to your audience, and that will ultimately generate conversions.
These 10 mistakes that I’ll be addressing are more common than you think, we’ve all made some of these mistakes once or twice, especially if you're just starting your career in content marketing.
I personally started seeing results once I fixed them, so If you’re struggling a little bit and feel like are going nowhere with your content marketing efforts, make sure you are not falling into any of these:
1. Getting your facts wrong
Something that really lowers down your credibility is misquoting someone or giving the wrong statistics. Once you lose trust in your audience, it's very difficult if not, impossible to gain back.
You want people to see you as an advisor, your content should be helpful.
The whole purpose of content marketing is gaining your audience's trust so you can, later on, nurture them and turn them into a client.
2. Getting out of context
You want to know the secret of having people engage with your content?
Be clear and concise. There is nothing worse than stumbling into a piece of content that doesn't follow the main idea and leaves you even more confused than you were before.
For this, you must clearly have an understanding of your audience’s pain and give them the solution in a structured manner.
Don’t fill your content with fluff. Always have a main statement and some supportive statements that will always lead you to the main statement.
3. Staying Irrelevant
One of the biggest mistakes in content marketing is writing on topics that are out of your audience’s radar.
For this, you must have a clear understanding of who your audience is, what they consume and when they consume it.
There are several tools that can help you plan your content based on what is trending at the moment. Two tools that have helped me plan for our clients are Google Trends and Answer the Public. Both of these can give you insights as to what people are looking online in relation to a specific topic.
4. Not following the brand’s visuals
You want to make sure you stay consistent in all your communication efforts. This will help improve your brand awareness and help get your brand more recognizable through all channels. Whether you're making a video or an infographic keep in mind not only your audience but also your brand. You don't want to create content that looks like someone else's, you want to be unique and remembered.
Here are a few reasons why consistency is so important for a brand.
5. Not being original
Another reason for content to be poorly evaluated is copying someone else's content. As a matter of fact, having duplicate content will hurt your SEO gravely. Whenever SERPs finds that two or more sites have the exact same content, they don't know which one is the original and will have to figure out which one to rank higher.
You want to avoid this at all costs, content should be helping your site rank higher not hurting your SEO efforts. So, next time if you're going to borrow someone else's ideas just add a link to their website. You can, later on, turn this as an opportunity to get a backlink from them in return.
Besides, if you copy someone else, you also lose credibility. You want to portray yourself as an expert, as an advisor but if you're copying someone, you'll describe yourself as the exact opposite.
6. Not having a consistent approach
With content marketing you want to make sure you act as an advisor and people see that you really care for their pains, you want to make sure they know your brand is there to help them not just sell them.
What happens when you regularly publish for a month and then all of a sudden stop? Then a month goes by without publishing anything and then you start again. That shows inconsistency.
When a brand shows inconsistency it makes them look:
If you show inconsistency it just shows your audience that you don't really care for their needs and that you are only publishing content because you have too, it seems a little forced.
7. Writing blindfolded (There is no strategy behind)
If you're a Netflix fan like me, you’ve already seen Bird box. Well, if you produce content without a strategy behind it, you are like Sandra Bullock rowing through rapids with a blindfold in her eyes.
You'll get nowhere, and if you do, you're probably going to struggle a lot.
What I’ve found has brought the best results in our content marketing strategy is following a pillar page and content cluster strategy. What a content cluster-based strategy does is that it gives you the main topic (pillar page) and several subtopics (topic clusters) that link to that pillar page.
This way you produce content for results. Everything is linked together, you're generating internal traffic and you know what to write about in an organized way.
Take a look at the following image taken from Hubspot in regards of pillar pages and content clusters.
8. Sticking to one type of content
If you stick to just one type of content it's going to be a lot harder to rank higher in SERPs. As you already know there are millions of content marketers as well trying to produce the same content as you. An excellent way to differentiate yourself from the competition is diversifying your content.
Besides, a video or an infographic is much more shareable than a blog post.
Another reason why you should be producing different types of content is that other sites are more likely to link back to a video than a blog. Let's say you made an educational video on productivity hacks and there is someone else writing a blog on productivity hacks they might give you a link on their blog and share it. Not many people are producing videos because its time consuming so there is your opportunity to shine and steal the spotlight.
9. Not tracking results
If you're on a nutrition plan to get more in shape, you need to track your results at least every 30 days. Why is this necessary? If you don't measure your results and monitor how you're doing, you may never know if the specific meal plan you've been following for the past few weeks has been working or not.
Well, the same goes for content marketing, if you don’t know if a specific piece of content or strategy has been working you won't be able to improve.
10. Writing without including CTAs
And last but definitely not least, a big mistake that people make when writing content is not including any Call to Action at the end.
Always keep in mind that content marketing is intended to help you get leads and generate conversions out of it. Great CTAs will help you do that.
There is no doubt that content marketing is the best way of getting inbound traffic into your site and generating more leads. Through it your able to build online authority and boost your organic traffic, when...done properly.
Make sure you address the above items and become an expert content marketer.
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