The art of content marketing, however, is in deciding what content to create, who to write it for, and where to deliver it.
Unfortunately, many content marketing mistakes are made by simply misunderstanding how to optimize each of these areas.
Let’s take a look at some of the common mistakes companies just like yours are making – the fixes are easier than you think!
Mistake #1- Writing What You Want to Share
The first mistake companies make is in choosing topics without considering the reader’s greatest needs and interests. Don’t forget that relevance is job one. The content that helps most, is the content that gets noticed and shared.
To be most effective, start by understanding and addressing the reader’s real need for information. This is called persona research, and can be invaluable in guiding choice of topics.
Once you understand what topics are most important, also be careful not to write content like an ad or a press release for your company. Simply focus on communicating your company’s expertise in the most helpful way you can, to establish thought leadership.
Fix #1- Understand What Readers Want To Read- Write That Content!
Mistake #2- Writing For Everyone
It may seem like everyone could be your buyer. It can be tempting to write for the broadest possible audience — you don’t want to shut out possible opportunities.
However, it’s important to be disciplined in defining your niche. Being specific about who your target buyer is – and isn’t — allows you to share extremely relevant expertise, including unique case studies and examples that speak directly to that reader’s needs.
Share your most relevant “special sauce” to create the biggest impact with your audience, and become the go-to company for this buyer. That’s the content that will resonate the most, and generate the best leads and conversion opportunities.
Fix #2- Choose Your Target Industries And Answer Their Needs Only!
Mistake #3- Only Writing Introductory Information
While it’s OK to include introductory, “top of the funnel” content – to truly differentiate your company, go beyond the basics. Share information that your buyer needs when they are further along in their decision process.
By creating the meaty, in-depth content your target audience needs, it positions you as a much more valuable resource.
Think about the problems your buyer faces; compare and contrast a range of solutions, and give advice that helps them at each stage of their decision process.
To create the trust that is needed for your company to enter consideration, provide the objective and richly detailed content that helps your buyers arrive at a needed solution.
While a 5-part series covering an important industry topic with great breadth got the most traffic on one client’s blog, their highest converting post was a highly specific and technical comparison of 3 solutions. Less traffic, but more lead conversion!
Fix #3- Address Your Buyer’s True Needs & Answer Their Most In-depth Questions!
Mistake #4- Writing Just When You Feel Like It
The biggest challenge to regular content production is when you feel that you have exhausted all topics. In those instances, don’t overlook the daily questions you are asked and problems you are working on. Those are often the best stories to share!
While some experts advise to only produce exceptional content, the truth is, there is always something exceptional to write, even in your industry.
For instance, recently a client “hit the content wall”. But it turned out that they had the perfect example to share based on a current project.
Look for and share examples from your daily work. They are often the most instructive! Your company has a lot experience to write about, so get out there and share it.
Fix #4- Write New Content Regularly- There’s Always Something New To Write About!
Mistake #5- Winging Your Content Schedule
An editorial calendar is a must for content marketing, there’s no way around it. Your company needs to plan out content based on the audience, theme, day of the week, time of year, and specific contributor.
Editorial calendars are simple to set up in a spreadsheet and share throughout your company with Dropbox or another file sharing program.
Here are some suggestions for columns in your calendar:
- Target Reader
- Live URL
It’s a common mistake to “wing it” … but the only way to get ahead on content production is with the discipline that a schedule provides. A good content calendar will keep your company on track.
Fix #5- Live By Your Editorial Calendar!
Mistake #6- Only Authoring On Your Own Site
While it is important to build your own website’s content queue, using other website’s popularity to increase exposure can bring expanded results.
Guest blogging, syndication and publishing on other platforms (ie: Linkedin, WordPress, Medium) allow you to share your expertise and reach an audience that may not otherwise discover you.
Offer a guest post to an industry publications, share your best insights on Linkedin, or use a syndication service like repubhub.com, to broaden your reach.
Fix #6- Develop opportunities to extend the reach and visibility of your content!
Mistake #7- Lacking a Plan for Distributing Content
Millions of pages are being added to the Internet every single day. With that kind of competition how does one stand out?
Make sure your content gets in front of the people who need to see it, by reaching your audience in a variety of the places they spend time online. Here are a few ways to amplify the distribution of your content, that will make a big difference in being seen:
- Have a plan to share new content across a variety of social media
- Share old content regularly on social media as well
- Email a teaser or periodic summary of new content to your subscribers
- Pay to share your content on your most important social networks.
- Use a wide variety of forms- audio, video, slideshare, image
Fix #7- Get Your Content In Front of the People Who Need To See It!
It’s easy to avoid these common mistakes!
To increase your content marketing effectiveness, do an audit and simply tweak the basics. Make sure that the information that you are sharing addresses the common struggles in your industry, and is truly connecting with potential buyers. Go beyond the same introductory, simple content everyone else writes.
With a few simple fixes, you’ll get a leg up on your competition, generate a healthy sales funnel. and maximize your content marketing results.