7 Horrible Mistakes You’re Making With Your Content Marketing Strategy

Content-Marketing-Mistakes

According to B2B Marketing Insider, Marketers, on average, spend over a quarter of their marketing budget on content marketing. 78% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago (Content Marketing Institute). However, only 42% of marketers feel they are effective in their content marketing efforts.  If marketers have the budget and they are producing more content than ever before, then why do they feel their content is not effective? Why are marketers creating content that serves no purpose or does not produce results? Perhaps it’s because they were told they need content but never told why.

If you are one of the marketers who feel their content marketing is not effective, take a look at this list of 7 common and horrible content marketing mistakes. Each one is easy to adopt into your strategy instantly and can turn your content marketing efforts around overnight.

  1. Not using personas – A persona is a fictional profile of a target buyer that focuses on common challenges, pain points, demographics and responsibilities. By creating personas marketers are able to create content that speaks to their target buyers directly and personally, answering their questions and solving their pain points. By writing for personas a marketer’s level of targeting becomes so high that potential buyers will feel as if the content was written specifically for them, sparking engagement and satisfaction.
  2. Not planning – It is said that 80% of any project is attributed to planning and the remaining 20% is all execution. When it comes to content planning, all marketers must create a content strategy that includes a content editorial calendar. A content editorial calendar includes items such as topic/title, author, due date, publish date, target persona, keywords and topic summary or description, to name a few. This allows marketers to create and publish content regularly in an organized manner and plan a head in conjunction with other company stakeholders and promotional efforts.
  3. Not promoting – Too many marketers create content and do not create a promotional strategy to go along with it. They feel that if they post it to their Twitter account that will be enough. After all ,it’s out there now right? Unfortunately, that is not true. If you do not promote your content, no one will know it exists and how will they find it? You must create a strategy to promote your content in all the relevant places for your target personas so that as many people as possible see it, love it and share it. Otherwise, no one will see it and the time creating the content is wasted.
  4. Not repurposing – Content marketing is a marketing discipline where marketers can create as much content as possible with as little effort as possible. What this means is if you create a content piece have a plan as to how you can repurpose it and promote it elsewhere. After all, customers consume content in all forms and you will want to be where they are. This could be repurposing a blog article to become an infographic, a whitepaper into a series of blog articles, or a webinar into a SlideShare and a YouTube video. Then create a publishing strategy to promote the new content pieces and cross promote where possible.
  5. Not including video – According to SEOmoz (now just Moz) blog posts with videos generate 3 times more inbound links that those without. Adding to that, Nielsen and comScore state that 85% of US internet users watch videos online and Internet Retailer says that viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a video. Enough said.
  6. Not including influencers – Building relationships with other industry influencers is a no-brainer in my book. By working with other social influencers, including them in your blog articles, whitepapers and reports, they will be more likely to share your content to promote themselves. This is an easy and obvious way to reach their networks, which should be your target audience, and to build your social following and influencer level.
  7. Not including your opinion – Last but not least, make your content your own. If you have subject matter experts (SMEs) within your organization, it can be tricky but try to have them review the content to add their own spin to the content or their own opinions on the content subject. Making the content your own or their own will increase engagement and spark conversation.
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5 thoughts on “7 Horrible Mistakes You’re Making With Your Content Marketing Strategy

  1. Erik, you bring up some excellent points here, and I have to say that I have been guilty of many of them. One idea I ran across recently that honestly felt like a “duh” moment, is related to point #4. Content takes time to create, and most companies do not have the resources to generate enough fresh content to populate all media channels all the time, which makes repurposing content extra important. I read about a small business owner who tracked her most popular Facebook posts, tweet, and pins to re-use the information at a later date. This content needs to be somewhat generic since time-specific content may not be relevant in 6 months. In our overloaded digital environment, content can be repurposed if it’s good. New fans will not have seen it previously, and you already know it has the potential to generate some quality engagement. What do you think of this strategy?

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  2. Hi Erik,

    I think in this day and age planning should be #1 on the list – when you consider the value of being first on Google search, companies need to decide what keywords are the most important for them to optimize, and then build a content strategy around that. According to SEO Moz, on average, 71.33% of searches result in a page one organic click. Page two and three get only 5.59% of the clicks. On the first page alone, the first 5 results account for 67.60% of all the clicks and the results from 6 to 10 account for only 3.73%.

    At the same time, I’ve seen a lot of content that just reads horrible, and it was obvious that the intent was to mention the keywords as often as possible in the hopes that Google would rank the page a little higher. I think that is changing as content writers are making more use case studies, blogs, etc. that are SEO-aware and help grow incoming organic traffic to a brand’s website.

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  3. Hi Erik, as someone that currently works at a B2B organization is always struggling with content curation, this blog post really struck a cord with me. Actually, at this very moment the marketing department where I work is in the process of adapting a brand new content strategy and are working with a new agency to build more effective content pieces. But after reading this blog post, there are several things that we could be – and importantly, should be – doing that we have not already thought of to maximize our efforts.

    The one thing that really stood out for me was the importance of using personas. We have several different and highly-targeted specialty areas within each industry. At the moment, our idea was to write pieces on crucial topics to each area with our own slant as to why they deserve attention from our customers if their business falls within that industry. But now I am thinking that paying closer attention to what issues matter most to their company, and build content around those “pain points” would be a better starting point.

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    • I think you would be better set to focus your content on your persona’s pain points and challenges rather than what you think is important. By focusing on your customer and not your own agenda you will build a greater following and relationships.

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  4. It’s hard to believe that some companies have a content strategy but aren’t doing anything to promote their brand. According to Twitter, one of the most effective ways to balance having a conversation and driving immediate action is to include a call to action including asking for a download, retweet, follow, or reply. By posing a question on Twitter, brands can spark a conversation and give people motivation to engage one-on-one (Romanek, 2013). Promoted Tweets in timelines that highlight an ask to reply increased replies by an average of 334% (Romanek, 2013).

    Romanek, J. (2013). Tweet tips: Most effective calls to action on Twitter. Retrieved from https://blog.twitter.com/2013/tweet-tips-most-effective-calls-to-action-on-twitter.

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