The content creation and marketing it to search engines can be complex and costly tasks. Since both aspects are vital for your business it is critical to make smart decisions and manage time effectively. It is easy to make mistakes that will cost you time and money.
The good news is that with some planning, you can avoid the most common mistakes in content marketing. Read about common pitfalls below and adjust your strategy if necessary, because the ultimate goal is to reach new users and convert them into long term customers.
1. You write for the wrong audience
You should begin working on each piece with asking yourself a question: "For whom do I write?". Understanding your audience helps you choose topics, articulate arguments, find convincing evidence to support your point of view, while adhering to the appropriate tone. Content creation without a clear vision of your audience, is like sailing the sea without a compass.
This is the shortest path to bad content marketing. Content creators read blogs, subscribe to social media accounts, scroll through online magazines in search for topics of interest, and look forward to conferences and events where one can discuss the latest burning issues with colleagues. Many professionals do their work with genuine enthusiasm — it's excellent. But difficulties reveal themselves when you realize that most of the content created is often directed at industry professionals rather than at potential buyers: e.g. contains too much technical detail, too focused on business, too narrowly specialized to be of interest to a potential customer.
If your texts are not targeting your potential buyers, it's time to ask yourself a question: am I writing for colleagues? Let me give you an example. A company selling packages of accounting software for small businesses recently decided to focus its efforts on content marketing. They wrote a series of articles on advanced technological capabilities of their software. A very captivating read… for professional accountants and developers. Ordinary bookkeepers, office managers or enterprise owners found most of the information to be excessive and unnecessary. Moreover, all this information could easily confuse an unprepared reader.
Unfortunately, the funds invested in content marketing did not pay off and conversion rate was low. The company revised its strategy and developed the one more suitable for its audience. Here is a set of new topics they came up with:
- "How to choose a package of programs for accounting?",
- "How accounting software saves time?",
- "Why are accounting software packages necessary for effective customer service?".
These topics aimed their potential customers and quickly yielded results. A simple choice of topics directly related to customers’ issues has made it possible to increase conversion rate.
2. You are focusing on the wrong metrics
The development of a content marketing strategy takes a long time. It is important to measure the effectiveness of the effort, but it may be hard to understand which metrics you should use.
At the beginning, many focus on metrics that reflect output, rather than results. It makes sense, since developing and following the strategy of content marketing can be a challenge. Among all the issues that require immediate attention of the entrepreneur, content marketing often falls into the category of "important, but not urgent”.
Tracking the number of words written, comments received and articles published is a great way to make sure that you are acting correctly to achieve your goals.
Problems start when your business evolves and your content strategy develops but your metrics do not change. Creating a large amount of content without a specific goal can harm your overall performance in the long run even if the content is brilliant.
Let me explain. Which search queries are most important to your company? Consider each text as a lottery ticket, which participates in SEO lottery. Using a variety of terms that reflect your content, you increase the chances of your website being found by potential buyers. It is important to keep in mind the complete and actual picture of your semantic core (keywords) and keep track of its changes.
Another factor is conversion rate. If some of your content is especially popular among readers (places to it look up: Google Analytics and its goals & Google Search Console and its performance report), and you should use every opportunity to guide visitors to the next level of relationships with your company.
- Do you segment content based on sales funnel? The one about ‘awareness, interest, decision, action’
- Does your content contain a clear call to action?
- Is it in the right place and does it provide incentives for visitors to perform the necessary action?
Answering these questions will guarantee your correct engagement in the conversion process.
3. Not enough attention to branding
The term "evergreen content" defines the content that has virtually indefinite lifetime. It addresses key issues that interest most of the author's audience and do not change over time. It can become one of the main attractions to your website. Such content helps to increase your credibility among users and push them to explore more of the commercial related content.
But that’s where an important question arises: does your content contribute to your brand?The direction of evolution of your company can include three elements.
- You can make efforts to ensure that your company is considered a leader in its field.
- You can focus on creating the reputation of a product or a service as a proven solution in the market.
- In addition, your activities can be focused on developing and positioning your personal brand as the ideological pillar of the industry.
Each of these goals is important and feasible depending on how they relate to the goals of your company and your personal development plans.
In my experience, being the head of the enterprise, you have a unique opportunity to represent your company. Your personal and professional goals can be closely related. If you write a good article based on the experience of your company and sign it by your name, it can help achieve a number of goals. The key thing is to grab the opportunity and share your professional experience.
Important note: branded content is different from intrusive advertising. The goal is to educate, inform, entertain or inspire readers. However, a slow but steady brand development approach can help increase the recognition of your company and its credibility among customers. Do not be afraid to share the experiences of your company and express your own opinion in the context of your professional expertise.
4. You do not use guest blogging to promote your content
As a result of the update of Google Panda, many have realized the importance of the quality and frequency of content that they put out. In fact the update was entirely focused on improving the experience of user interaction with a website. High-quality content not only helps your website to rank, but also gives your readers a good reason to come back again and again.
But it all does not prevent you from creating content for other websites. Although some consider it unnecessary to write guest posts, I do not agree with them. Guest posts can be an excellent way to expand the audience, if used properly.
The principle of guest posts is simple: you need to learn how to find websites that fit in your area of activity and accept someone else's content. Then you just write a couple of articles for them. To tell you the truth, this is probably going to require some perseverance. You will have to look for opportunities, analyze websites and negotiate a lot. If the website owner is ready to accept your post, it's time to start writing. The article must be of the highest quality: you need to be able to reach to the audience you are writing for. A good guest post takes a considerable amount of work.
However, the advantages of guest blogging are difficult to overestimate. This is the most effective way to increase the reference mass. Websites which publish your articles, actually share their authority with your company. Guest blogging helps build relationships with colleagues and industry leaders, while your content receives a new audience flow.
5. You miss on trends and eventually influence
The term "newsjacking" means the use of breaking news in an article, instagram post or other content. The most pressing topics always attract search traffic. In a timely publication of such an article, you are bound to get your piece of this search pie.
There are several ways to learn how to create such content. The first is simply to develop a sense for the most burning issues. Read various articles, news, carefully monitor social media: tools like Twitter search can help quickly determine what is trending right now. Google Trends allows you to highlight the most popular search queries, as well as understand how the popularity of a particular query changes over time.
It is very important that your content is directly linked to a trending topic. This tactic will not bear fruit if it is abused: if the article does not contain the information the headline promises, readers will be disappointed. Sometimes just one article is enough to lose your audience. Therefore, make sure that your content and trends are directly and obviously related. If you push your content via Twitter, use hashtags.
The more organic and reasonable your content is within the context of social media, the more interest it generates and the more reposts you get.
Always look for ways to spread your content and kickstart its discussion.
A proper content strategy opens up doors to tremendous opportunities. Remember: a high-quality content is timely, focuses on the target audience and strives to promote your brand. It is much easier to achieve desired business goals, once you have carefully developed the content strategy.
GRIN tech is a full cycle boutique agency focusing on ecommerce and SaaS industries. It features solutions such as web development, design and marketing. Among many value propositions they claim to provide solutions instead of services, flexible pricing and ROI oriented thinking. And content marketing solutions of course.