8 content marketing mistakes that are costing you time, money and potential clients
The latest annual report by the Content Marketing Institute shows that content marketing does not come without setbacks. Australian marketers that were surveyed identified time and budgeting as two of the key reasons for a stagnancy in their organisation’s content marketing success.
There are certain mistakes often made by content marketers that, if corrected, could increase the overall success of your content marketing efforts. Check them out below to save your time, your money and the risk of losing potential leads.
1. No content promotion
You’ve published some well-written, highly useful posts on your blog. Great! Except… the leads aren’t exactly flowing in. The question is, where did you share your content?
Without promoting your posts on a range of different platforms, you’re massively decreasing your chances of the right people seeing it. Concentrating on SEO is definitely an important aspect of content marketing, but you can’t solely rely on organic search traffic.
Make sure you’re sharing every piece of content on your social channels to get it out in front of your audience. The more eyeballs on your posts, the more likely you are to build followers and increase your site traffic. These days, organic traction on social can be hard to achieve so look into some paid promotion and build a strategy around boosting posts and creating ads. You can be very specific with your target audience for these, so will be much more likely to get it in front of the right people. Plus, you generally only pay once a conversion occurs.
If you don’t already send out a regular newsletter then start now, because according to another Content Marketing Institute report Australian marketers still rate it as the most effective content marketing channel. Pick the best content from your blog and include it in your newsletter with any other information that would be useful or interesting to your subscribers, like company updates, new products or upcoming events.
2. Publishing content on the wrong social channels
Each social site serves a different purpose and people have certain expectations of what they want to see on each of them. Understanding these expectations and the general etiquette of each social platform will help you decide what content to share.
LinkedIn, for example, is not the right place for funny/personal images or GIFs. As a professional networking site the expectation is that people will use the platform to find jobs or employees, and discuss content that suits this kind of environment. Blog posts about your industry, services or products fit in well here. An announcement about the birthday of one of your staff members or sharing a picture of your new pet will not be well received.
Facebook, on the other hand, is an excellent forum for providing ‘behind-the-scenes’ content and letting your followers get to know your company and the people within it a little better.
Get to know the general expectations for each social site and you won’t be wasting your time sharing the wrong type of content and turning your followers away.
3. Prioritising quantity over quality
It’s important to produce content regularly, but if the content you’re putting out there is not that great then you’re wasting your time.
More people will be attracted to your content if you make sure each piece is high quality, and genuinely useful. There’s enough average content floating around on the web – you need to create something better than that to beat out your competition.
Not only will it waste your time to produce content that isn’t going to get enough eyeballs on it, it will waste your money if you’re also using it for paid promotion. Don’t invest in content that isn’t valuable to your readers. Check your Google Analytics to determine what the high performing pieces are and use these for AdWords and paid social posts instead.
4. Not using Google Analytics effectively
Without an understanding of the type of content that is performing well in terms of site traffic, you’re likely wasting your time producing pieces that don’t effectively target the demographics of your audience and their interests.
Google Analytics can tell you which pages are getting the most visitors, how long they spend there and at what points they leave your site. This sort of information is invaluable to your content strategy, to inform you of what type of content to create and what topics to write about.
Not only will Analytics show you activity and behaviour on the site but it also shows where the traffic is coming from, so you can determine which articles are performing well across your different social platforms and organic search.
Use this data to create much more targeted and relevant content that you know will be attractive to your audience.
5. Going for the hard sell at every opportunity
Of course, the ultimate goal is to sell your products and services but you can do this without being overly obvious or pushy.
Include more subtle selling points like CTAs on your landing pages and internal links to keep them interested and increase time on site. There is no need to use aggressive tactics to force the sale onto your prospects if you are practising content marketing effectively. This will likely just scare them off and cost you potential leads.
Most importantly, let your content speak for itself – if it’s well written and useful for your readers they will be more inclined to remember your brand next time, and consider your content as a good source of information. Content marketing isn’t about the hard sell – it’s about building relationships and trust.
6. Not listening to your audience
Make sure you are paying attention to what your audience is interested in and be aware that these interests often frequently change. It’s important to keep your finger on the pulse with hot topics and popular trends so that the content you create is up to date and relevant. If you don’t know what they want to read about it then you could be producing content that doesn’t get read.
Make an effort to respond to any comments on your social posts to show the human side to your brand. People providing feedback or asking questions are giving you insights as to the type of content to create and topics to cover. Avoid wasting time guessing what your audience wants to consume and listen to them instead.
7. Not using local SEO to your advantage
If your business has a physical store location and your Google Maps listing isn’t up to date you could be missing out on potential foot traffic.
‘Near me’ searches in Google are more and more popular as people seek convenience and speed for the products and services they need. While on the go, they can use the ‘near me’ search function in Google Maps to find businesses within their proximity. Your business listing should be optimised in order to get in front of these potential customers and help them to easily find you.
This means making sure all of the details in your Google listing are up to date, including your address, phone number, opening hours and profile image. The more detail you provide and the more content you’re producing for your site, the better your chances are for getting potential customers off their mobile device and through your front door.
8. Not optimising for conversions
Content marketing is about seeking out and engaging people, and getting them to your site. The overarching goal is not just to engage, however, you need to demonstrate ROI through conversions.
Without tracking your conversion goals you lack direction and therefore stand to waste time on content creation, lose money on promotion and lose potential leads that don’t have a clear call to action to follow.
Conversions (call-to-action buttons or signals) could be in the form of signing up to your newsletter, requesting a demo or registering for a webinar. Whatever it is, it should constitute the major step between a website visitor and an engaged lead. Someone that has signed up to receive your weekly email has much more interest in your brand that someone who has read a blog post and left your site. Your ROI can be demonstrated by the number of people completing these conversions.
Consider that not everyone who visits your site is ready to convert, so have both soft and hard call-to-actions. Ensure you have placed them correctly on your site so that people are more likely to be attracted to them at the right times.