Content marketing is a very broad field with a lot of potential channels and strategies. In general, the idea is to create valuable content, get it out in front of your audience, build visibility, and attract attention and loyalty. But making content marketing work for you and your business can be challenging, because there’s so much competition out there.
In today’s digital landscape, content marketing is practically a requirement for building SEO and engaging your target audience. You can improve your visibility and ROI by avoiding these common content marketing mistakes.
Showing the Right Content to the Wrong Audience
You can create the greatest and most engaging content in the world, but if it’s not right for your intended audience, you won’t see returns on your content investment. Some of the ways that content might not fit the right audience include:
- Format: Content that doesn’t use the preferred format for your audience, whether it’s image, video, text, long form or short form, charts or infographics
- Reading level: Content that’s either too complex or too “dumbed down” for the intended readership
- Relevancy: Content that doesn’t match the audience’s interests, needs, challenges, or budget — such as expensive high-end software for an audience of small business owners
To make sure you’re getting the right content to the right audience, look to your analytics. Pay attention to content that shows strong performance, and test a variety of factors until you hit on the combination of format, readability and relevancy that catches your audience’s attention.
Failing to Track or Analyze Your Campaigns
Speaking of analytics, not using some form of tracking and measuring to gauge the effects of your content marketing campaigns is setting yourself up for failure. Many digital marketers struggle with this aspect — in fact, the 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends report found that 49% of B2B business owners have trouble measuring the effectiveness of their campaigns.
The most common issue is that content marketers know they should be analyzing their efforts, but they’re not sure what to measure. Your first step should be to determine the goals of your content marketing — are you looking to generate more leads? Increase sales? Raise brand awareness? Once you know your goals, determine which metrics you can use to track your effectiveness in achieving them. For example, if brand awareness is your goal, you can track website traffic and page views, along with social media followers and social engagement.
Believing Your Motivation is Hidden to Your Audience
One of the key concepts to successful content marketing is to provide valuable information that your audience can really use, whether it’s helpful, interesting, or entertaining. Of course, as a marketer, you also want your content marketing to drive results. The mistake here comes in thinking your audience believes your intentions are entirely altruistic.
Today’s online consumer is savvy and informed. They’re also constantly bombarded with marketing messages, and the challenge to the consumer is to decide which companies they trust with their business. They understand that you’re running a business, and they can usually tell what your motivations are even when you don’t state them clearly. By making your intentions clear, you earn more trust from your audience.
Distributing Content that’s Outside Your Funnel
An effective content marketing strategy is one that’s part of your overall marketing funnel. Knowing your goals and key performance indicators (KPI) for your content is a large part of ensuring that your campaigns feed into your funnel — but there’s more to this step than good analytics.
Producing content for the sake of having content won’t deliver the results you’re looking for. Each piece of content you publish and distribute should have an appropriate call to action that directs your audience into your marketing funnel and toward the next step — whether that next step is reading more content, signing up for a mailing list, or making a purchase.
Content marketing is one of the most powerful strategies available for digital marketers today. Avoid making these common content marketing mistakes to increase the effectiveness of your campaigns and realize a greater return on your content marketing investment.