Content marketing—everyone’s doing it. Or, at least, everyone is trying. Content marketing has been all the buzz over the past few years but for what it’s worth, the components that make up content marketing have been around forever. The term is just a fancy way of packaging tactics and techniques we as marketers should have been implementing all along.
Understanding the importance of content marketing and how it can impact your business is only the beginning. It’s not easy, it’s not cheap and it’s definitely not short-term. But at the end of the day, content marketing is an integrated marketing approach that can link your brand to positive CRM and help nurture prospects through the sales cycle for improved conversions.
While everyone seems to be investing in some form of content marketing, the vast majority are not reaping the true rewards of their efforts. Let’s take a look at five common content marketing missteps and what you can do to correct them.
1. No content marketing strategy
Content marketing only works if it achieves actual business goals. Your goals may include brand awareness, launching a new product, lead nurturing, customer engagement or customer upselling. Is your content marketing program in line with your business goals? Preparing your strategy may seem like more work in the short-term but will save you time and effort in the long run as different content types and uses will help achieve distinct objectives. Be sure to plan your resources accordingly. Planning and executing on your strategy will allow you to deliver exceptional content to your customers and prospects, achieving both short- and long-term objectives.
2. Creating and publishing content without an editorial calendar
It takes time to build up a following for your content marketing and your left hand needs to know what the right hand is doing. All of the moving parts need to fit together. Editorial calendars can make the process smoother and give you a way to capture your best ideas and coordinate the appropriate players.
Decide how often you are going to post content and stick to that schedule. A consistent schedule that includes subjects like events, trending topics or key content updates will get your followers into the habit of consuming and sharing your content. Find your comfort level. Don’t feel as though you need to publish content multiple times each day or week. Trying to post too much content, especially if it isn’t relevant, can be as bad as posting too little.
3. Not knowing your audience
Before you even begin to create content, you need to know who you’re creating it for. You want to provide relevant content that provides answers, value or insight to your audience. Creating buyer personas, which includes demographic information, business goals and challenges can allow you to align your content with their needs.
4. Overlooking the call to action
Every piece of content you create should have a call to action (CTA). What do you want people to do after they have viewed your content? Are you trying to get them to sign up for something? Share something? Contact you for more information? Be clear in the action that you want them to take and make it as easy as possible for them to do just that.
5. Isolating your content
Don’t expect a surge of traffic to your content pieces if you simply publish them without promoting them. Many marketing experts recommend promoting your content for at least as long as it took you to create it. Focus on promoting your content in email signatures, social media channels, custom media programs, prospect engagement campaigns and newsletters. Building more paths to your content means attracting and engaging more readers. And, optimizing your content effectively for SEO will help drive organic traffic to the assets on your website.
Creating good and relevant content is a long-term commitment. Considering the potential mistakes outlined here, you can be better prepared to deliver quality content while building brand loyalty within your customer base.