Making mistakes is part of being human, but when your brand's money and reputation are on the line, it's only understandable to avoid them at all costs.
Luckily, our content marketing experience has clued us in on the top mistakes to avoid. So instead of learning the hard way, just steer clear of these five no-no's to keep your content marketing strategy on point.
Don't Make These 5 Content Marketing Blunders
Find out which five mistakes to avoid if you want to keep visitors coming back for more.
1. Not Knowing Your Audience
When designing a content marketing strategy, it can be easy to fall into the trap of focusing on your own preferences. If you're a fan of ebooks, for instance, you might be more inclined to make plans for your brand to produce them.
Similarly, if your team frequently attends webinars, you might think webinars are the best type of content to make.
While you might not be entirely wrong for looking to you and your team's preferences, you'd also be missing out on the opportunity to discover what your audience really wants.
And since your audience members are the ones responsible for keeping your brand alive, it's safe to say their opinions are valuable.
So to gain a better understanding of your readers and buyers, start by gathering information on them using every analytical tool at your disposal.
Then, use the data you've collected to create detailed buyer personas. In addition to basic demographic information such as their gender, income level, and location, these personas will outline your ideal buyers':
- challenges and pain points;
- content consumption behaviors and preferences;
- goals and aspirations;
- hobbies and interests; and
- core values.
By consistently updating those personas (and ensuring that your content creation team reviews and refers to them on a regular basis), you'll be able to gain a deeper understanding of your audience and give them more of the content they actually want as a result.
2. Failing to Analyze the Competition
Competitive analysis is one of the core pillars of any great growth marketing plan, and your content marketing plan will be rudderless without it too.
That's because your buyers have choices, so you need to constantly provide them with new reasons to choose you over your competitors. Those reasons don't just boil down to product specs, either — you should be actively trying to beat your rivals when it comes to:
- providing the most valuable information;
- producing the highest-quality content;
- creating the widest array of content; and
- establishing the greatest level of authority.
And to do that, you'll need to take a magnifying glass to your competitors' content marketing strategies. You can do so with the help of enterprise-grade tools like:
- Sprout Social for social media
- Site Explorer by Ahrefs for SEO (the Content Gap feature is second to none)
- Brand24 for media coverage and mentions
3. Forgetting Content Marketing Distribution
While the effort you and your team puts into creating top-notch content is crucial, you also need to concentrate on distributing that content in the most effective way possible.
After all, if you fail to emphasize content marketing distribution, then all that wonderful content you create may end up going to waste.
In short, content marketing distribution is the act of distributing your brand's content across three categories of marketing channels — owned, paid, and earned:
The way in which you approach that distribution is what constitutes your content marketing distribution strategy, and it can mean the difference between your content rising to the top and fading to the background.
4. Focusing on Time-Sensitive Content
If your brand's main purpose is to report the news, then feel free to ignore this tip. But if it's not, then listen up: Time-sensitive content should not be your primary focus.
Why? Time-sensitive content may drive a spike in traffic, but only for a very brief period of time and only among people interested in the fleeting topic you're covering.
On the other hand, evergreen (i.e., not time-sensitive) content can drive traffic for its entire lifetime and may even experience a surge in popularity months or years down the line.
Don't get us wrong, timely content can be fun, and it certainly has its place in a well-rounded content marketing strategy. But if you're ignoring evergreen content in favor of publishing ultra-trendy pieces that will fade into obscurity by next week, you're not doing your brand justice.
5. Not Reusing Old Content
Here's another reason to love evergreen content: No matter how long it's been since you first published it, you can always revamp and reuse it for fresh bursts of traffic.
That could mean updating listicles, rewriting old blog posts, or giving dated ebooks a fresh coat of paint with brand new graphics. Whatever the case, the bottom line is that if you're not reusing your old content, then you're missing out on a treasure trove of great material.
Turn Your Content Marketing Don'ts into Do's
Learning which content marketing mistakes to steer clear of doesn't just reduce your strategy's chance of failing. Since knowing what not to do is just as valuable as knowing what to do, It also increases its chance of succeeding.
So don't just view the content marketing mistakes we've discussed as a list of blunders — view them as guidelines capable of steering your content marketing efforts toward more views, conversions, and revenue for your brand.