The 10 Biggest content marketing mistakes you’re making and how to overcome them

Last updated: 01-23-2021

Read original article here

The 10 Biggest content marketing mistakes you’re making and how to overcome them

by Lilach Bullock | Feb 21, 2019 | Content Marketing | 0 comments
Are you using content marketing to promote your business? Are you wondering what content marketing mistakes you might be making…and how to overcome them?
Making mistakes is only natural – in fact, when it comes to marketing, it’s often part of the process. So long as you learn from these mistakes and use them to improve your content and your content marketing strategy, you’re on the right path.
In this blog post, I’m going to share some of the biggest content marketing mistakes you might be making and show you how to overcome them.
Content marketing mistakes no. 1: You don’t have a clear/documented strategy
This is a very common mistake and a pretty big one – mostly because you’re spending all of this time and money to create content , but you’re not clear on what exactly you want to achieve.
Why do you use content marketing? Really think about your answer, while also considering your business goals.
Are you using content marketing to:
Generate more traffic to your business website?
Generate more leads and conversions for your business?
To improve your SEO and gain more organic traffic?
To increase trust and build a brand for yourself?
The reason why it’s so important to know what you want to achieve is because that will help you figure out what kind of content you need to create in order to achieve your business goals.
For example, if your goal was to generate more leads, then you would need to create more lead magnets. Or, if you wanted to boost your website, then you should consider creating a business blog.
Creating content just for the sake of it won’t take you very far; but when you have a clear objective in mind and build a strategy to help support that objective, you can achieve amazing results.
How to overcome this:
The answer is very simple: set content marketing objectives and build a strategy to help you reach these goals. Take the time to document this strategy, step by step, and optimize it as you go along and learn what works and what doesn’t.
Here are some useful tips for developing a content marketing strategy that works:
Establish your goals: think of your overall business goals for the near future and create content marketing objectives based on those goals; some of the common goals for content marketing are: generating more traffic, raising engagement, generating more leads and customers, nurturing your leads
Establish your KPIs: how will you measure the success of your content marketing strategy? How do you know when you’ve reached your objectives? In order to do so, establish what key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll need to track in order to understand whether you’ve reached your goals or not (for example, organic traffic, number of leads generated, comments and shares generated and so on)
Audit existing content: if you’ve already used content marketing in the past, it’s a great idea to audit your past results in order to understand what works and what doesn’t – and discover which strategies to use in your current strategy and which you shouldn’t use
Research your audience: and create reader personas based on your research. You’ll then need to create content for each of these personas in order to resonate with them
Research your niche: what types of content perform best in your niche? Which topics generate the most interest? (learn more about this step in the second big content marketing mistake, coming up!)
Determine your channels: where will you publish your content in order to achieve your content marketing objectives?
Establish your resources: how much can you invest in your content marketing strategy? This will of course, impact the kinds of content that you can create (based on manpower and budget)
Build your editorial calendar: you can use this content marketing calendar template to help!
Promotional strategy: establish how and where you’re going to promote your content and what budget you’ll invest (by the way, check out my blog promotion guide to find out all the best methods for promoting content)
Measure your results and optimize: last but not least, you’ll need to consistently measure your results (with your content marketing goals and your KPIs in mind!) and optimize your strategy as you go along based on this data
Check out the 10-point content marketing checklist below and use it for reference when putting together your strategy:
Content marketing mistake no. 2: You haven’t done your research
As a business or entrepreneur, you might think that you know exactly who you’re targeting. And you might know the broad strokes – where they’re from, what their age is, what occupations they have, and so on.
But how much do you truly know about their needs? About their interests? About what kind of content they truly like?
And how much do you know about your industry in general: what content is being shared, who the most popular content creators are, what content gets the most results, and so on?
Research is a very important – yet often overlooked – part of a content marketing strategy as it helps you understand exactly what works and what doesn’t. It helps you understand who you’re writing for and what those people want to read about/see/hear.
Performing content research will help you:
Find out who the top influencers and content creators in your niche are
What types of headlines generate the most engagement
Which content formats work best with your audience
How long your content should be
What topics interest your audience
Which posts generate the most engagement on social media
And if you apply this knowledge to your content marketing strategy, you can make sure you’re making the most of your time and resources and only focusing on content that will actually work.
How to overcome this mistake:
There are a plethora of tools that you can use to stay abreast of the content being shared in your niche:
RSS readers like Feedly let you subscribe to all the publications you want to follow –just use the iOS or Android app to check the latest news and content. Use it to subscribe to known publications in your industry, as well as competitors, and any relevant topics
Social listening tools like Brand24 let you search for keywords and monitor them throughout the web (social media, forums, blogs, etc.) – useful for finding out what the top shared content in your niche is
Content research tools like Buzzsumo let you look up keywords and find the best performing content in terms of social media engagement. Plus, you can filter your search to only see content from certain locations, from a certain time period, and so on:
Perform content research regularly to keep up to date with the latest news and developments in your industry, as well as to understand what types of content work, what topics you need to talk about, and so on.
Content marketing mistake no. 3: You’re content is…just not that great
With as much content as there is available (and more published every second), it comes as no surprise that there is a lot of awful content out there. But a lot of the time…it’s just a lot of mediocre content:
Short pieces of content that claim to teach you something and yet barely cover anything
Difficult to read content; for example, no sub-headlines, no images or other visuals to break it up
Outright bad writing: bad grammar, punctuation mistakes, and so on
Content that was created just for the sake of it: there’s nothing interesting, it doesn’t teach you anything, etc.
There are numerous examples of bad content and of businesses writing blog posts, for example, that were clearly only written because they felt “they had to”.
And bad content will not get you results, it’s as simple as that – even worse, it could damage your reputation. For example, if people kept reading your blog posts, drawn in by your headlines, only to discover mistakes after mistakes they won’t even consider buying from you – quite the contrary in fact. And not to mention, they might even go social media to criticize you (and sometimes, not all publicity is good publicity).
How to overcome this mistake:
There’s no easy fix – but there are definitely a lot of things that you can do to help create better content.
The bigger challenge, actually, is understanding that your content is just not that great and that you have to do something in that regard if you want to be successful at content marketing .
Once you do admit that to yourself, you can take the necessary steps to improve your content:
Hire someone else to write the content for you (if you have the budget, this is probably the easiest fix – however, make sure you get someone that is truly good!) CALL TO ACTION?
Read a lot of content: the more quality content you read, the easier it will be to replicate it (not write the same thing, but learn how to write quality content). Try to spend time every day consuming quality content
Use tools to help: the Hemingway App , for example, helps you make sure that your content is clear enough (like Hemingway!), while Grammarly helps you make sure there are no mistakes in your written content.
Content marketing mistake no. 4: You’re selling too much
While it’s perfectly fine to try to sell yourself (or your business) in your content if you do it too much, it will likely lead to one outcome: people won’t want to read your content anymore.
People want to get real value from content, whether it’s to learn something useful or be entertained, the key here is that they want value.
And when you make it all about yourself and how great you, your products, or your services are, they simply aren’t getting that value.
How to overcome this mistake:
You can still promote yourself, but don’t do it all the time. Or, better said, don’t always make it the focus of your content.
For example, if you were selling a marketing tool, then you could write blog posts that help your readers overcome various marketing challenges; at the end of the blog post (or somewhere in the blog post) you can include a call to action reminding readers that your product can help them with their challenges.
Or, simply alternate between content that helps you sell and content that simply offers value to your audience.
Content marketing mistake no. 5: You’re not creating enough evergreen content
When you come up with content ideas or create any new content, do you ever ask yourself, “will my audience still want to read this a month from now? 2 months? A year?”.
Because this is the type of content that you need to focus more on creating: evergreen content that remains relevant for longer periods of time so that you can generate results from it for months or years to come (with few changes and additions).
There are a lot of benefits for creating evergreen content.
For one, it means that you get more out of your content – and implicitly, the time you spent creating it and the resources that you’ve had to pour into it.
Secondly, it’s great for search engine optimization; it helps drive organic traffic to your blog or website, it boosts your authority, and it will help you generate more backlinks (i.e. bloggers and websites linking back to your content).
How to overcome this mistake:
As one might assume…yes, it’s to create more evergreen content. In fact, you should strive to create only evergreen content as a business and only occasionally, when necessary, blog about timely topics.
There are numerous types of content that can be turned evergreen – it’s all about your topics and your approach. Usually for businesses, evergreen content is educational in nature, teaching the reader how to do something or providing them with historical information, for example.
Here are a few types of content that work great as evergreen:
How-to guides (blog posts or lead magnets) – for beginners, intermediate users, and advanced
Checklists
Swipe files
Content marketing mistake no. 6: You’re not repurposing your content
You’re likely creating a lot of content – for your blog, your website, your email list, your social media, and so on.
But, are you making the most of it? Are you reusing this content in different forms to make the most of your time and money?
Since you’re spending all of this time creating content, you need to make the most of it and generate as much value as possible from each piece of content.
Otherwise, you’re losing both time and money creating more and more content when you have a lot of amazing content that could easily by repurposed into something different, but that still provides value to the reader.
How to overcome this mistake:
Quite easily, by repurposing your existing content.
Start by doing a quick audit of your existing content; use your analytics and make a list of your top performing content on different channels: email, social media, your blog or website, and any other channel you use to publish your content.
Once you have that list, look for ways to repurpose the content; for example:
Update your old evergreen content: sometimes, in order for evergreen content to remain evergreen, you need to update it regularly to reflect recent changes
Turn a long post into a series of shorter posts
Create a presentation out of a guide or blog post
Turn your existing content into an e-book and turn it into a lead magnet
Republish content on other channels and platforms
Reuse images from social media, blog posts, and other types of content
Turn evergreen content into a lead magnet
Content marketing mistake no. 7: You’re not optimizing your content for search engines – or vice versa
There are usually 2 things that happen when it comes to SEO and content creators: either there’s not enough search engine optimization or there’s too much of a focus on search engines.
Not enough search engine optimization: you’re not researching keywords or adding focus keywords on each piece of content. You’re not optimizing your images when uploading them to your website. You’re not adding proper sub-headlines or using your focus keywords throughout your content.
Too much focus on search engine optimization: you’re writing content mostly for search engines and “stuffing” your content with keywords – i.e. using keywords inorganically just for search engines.  You’re creating content that brings little value to the reader but that focuses on the keywords you want.
Neither one of these extremes are good for your content’s success.
How to overcome this mistake:
As with some of the other mistakes, the solution is quite obvious: learn more search engine optimization and apply your knowledge whenever you create new content – without overdoing it (i.e. keyword stuffing in particular).
Here a few on-page optimization tips to help:
Research keywords using tools like the Moz Keyword Explorer and pick focus keywords to base your content on
Optimize any images or visuals that you’re uploading to your blog or website and add Alt tags
Optimize your meta description
Linked internally (to your other content) and externally, to top publications in your niche (but only when relevant)
Read more in my beginner’s guide to SEO, here .
Content marketing mistake no. 8: You’re not creating enough forms of content
Content marketing is not synonymous with blogging – in fact, if all you’re doing is blogging, you’re definitely missing out on a lot of opportunities that content marketing brings.
It’s actually a pretty common misconception (that content marketing means – or mostly means – blogging), but in fact, content marketing can take many different forms, such as:
Videos
Social media content
And many more.
And even when it comes to just blogging, there is a lot of uniformity in many cases; meaning, blogs that only cover the same topics, in the same content formats, over and over again.
And that can be quite boring to the reader and not to mention, it’s not helping you attract a new audience.
How to overcome this mistake:
Think of your content marketing objectives: what do you want to achieve? Once you know that, you can come up with different types of content to help you reach your objective; for example:
To generate more leads: webinars, lead magnets, downloadables, blog posts with calls to action (for e.g., “join our newsletter now for more tips!”) and/or targeted downloads (PDF version of your blog post, accompanying checklists/lists/etc.)
To generate more traffic to your website: how to guides, thought leadership blog posts, controversial blog posts, listicles
To improve your search engine optimization: cornerstone content, evergreen content, research papers, how to guides
Content marketing mistake no. 9: You don’t have content for each step of the funnel
Targeted content gets results. Meaning, if you reach the right person at the right time and with the right content, you’ll be able to generate more conversions from content marketing.
However, that’s something that many businesses fail to do; they simply create content for their entire audience, instead of focusing on each step of the funnel and creating targeted content for different stages of the consideration/buying processes.
Why is it a mistake? Because you’re still spending all of this time and resources creating content, but you’re not maximizing the value of each piece of content.
How to overcome this mistake:
Define the funnel and create content specifically for each step, designed to help move prospects along the sales funnel.
Here is a list of the types of content you should create for each funnel stage:
Top of the funnel: content to get people interested and engaged; for e.g.: blog posts, whitepapers, ebooks, checklists, how-to blogs and videos, swipe files and educational content
Middle of the funnel: case studies, demos, product/service webinars
Bottom of the funnel: live demos and other content that highlights your product or service in more detail
Content marketing mistake no.10: You’re not personalizing your content
Continuing from the previous mistake I mentioned, another big mistake you could be making is that you’re not creating content for different members of your target audience; in other words, you’re not personalizing your content.
Personalizing content can mean a lot of things: showcasing only certain products or services on your website depending on that users’ past behaviour, showing only certain content depending on the location of the visitor or their past behaviour and so on.
But another way you need to personalize your content marketing and one that doesn’t necessarily require marketing personalization technology, is to create content for different target audiences.
If you’re not doing this, then you’re not attracting all of your target audience to your website, blog and of course, your offers. You need to give all members of your target audience a reason to visit your website, stick around for longer, subscribe to your list and even buy from you.
How to overcome this mistake:
Create buyer personas for all the different types of audiences you want to target with your content. Then, make sure to create content written specifically for each audience – this will help boost traffic, attract a wider audience and because you have personalized content, convincing more readers to take action.
Conclusion: what are your biggest content marketing mistakes?
As I said before, don’t worry too much if you’ve discovered that you’ve making some mistakes with your content marketing strategy; the important thing is to learn from these mistakes and apply this knowledge to further improve your content marketing strategy.
What content marketing mistakes have you made in the past? What are the biggest content marketing mistakes that one could make, in your opinion?
Need help developing a content marketing strategy and creating content that gets an ROI? Get in touch here to find out how we can help!
Download my 8 Key Money Blocks
Discover how coaches, consultants and service providers making $25-$50k per year can usually get to $100k per year without working harder.  Grab my 8 key money blocks now.


Read the rest of this article here