Is your content not making any headway on the business growth scale?
You read every content marketing strategy there was, and you wanted to reap the rewards too. So, you wrote a blog, shared it on social media, but the leads didn’t come.
You’re left dazed and helluva confused. You’re on the brink of ditching this stupid idea altogether.
The truth is, content marketing is not easy. It’s not about simply creating content, pushing it on social media and calling it a day.
Just like other types of marketing, there are certain do’s and don’ts that come with its terrain. But, time and time again we fall into lazy habits that have devastating results.
If I’ve described how you feel about content marketing, then this blog is for you. Here are our top 5 content marketing mistakes you (probably) keep repeating.
1 Not Starting With a Master Plan
No one starts driving without knowing where they’re going…well, most of us anyway.
If you want to be killing it at content marketing, you need two things – an effective strategy (master plan) and an action plan.
Create a content marketing schedule, which includes posting dates and times. For every blog you decide to create, think about what you want your audience to get out of it, i.e. how should they feel, what should they think and do.
Also, do keyword research to help shape the kind of content you will create. Which leads us to…
2 Thinking SEO is Not Important
SEO: an abbreviation we’ve all heard, but have no idea what it means.
At BEAN, we refer to SEO as the things we do to our website to make it sing and dance in front of Google. Which, is as accurate a definition as any other.
Google gets bombarded with thousands of pieces of content every hour. The least you can do is strap on that tutu and pirouette your little heart out. But, you’re not a dancer and you still have no idea how to optimize for SEO. We’ve got you.
Here are some basic guidelines you need to follow:
Headings. Your headings and sub-headings should give Google a clear indication of what your content is about. Also, arrange your headings appropriately i.e. H1, H2 and then H3, H4. Got it?
Meta Data. This includes creating custom meta titles and descriptions for your content. Use this space to include keywords that are relevant to the content you have created.
Just make sure you’re not focusing too much on SEO – believe me, there’s such a thing, and Google won’t like it.
You know you have a problem if your content reads like: “I feel like eating at an ice cream shop in Cape Town. We have the best ice cream shop in Cape Town. Visit our ice cream shop in Cape Town.” Google has a special place for content like this; it’s called Page 10.
3 Not Talking In A Language Your Audience Understands
Two people walk into a bar… One speaks Spanish, the other Mandarin. They try to have a conversation and fail. The End.
Failing to create content that speaks to your audience is detrimental. You might share a beer or two, but they have no idea what you’re trying to tell them.
Maybe you know all the industry related lingo. But, just because you know how to use the word “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis” in a sentence, doesn’t mean your audience will appreciate it.
Rather speak to your audience in a language they understand.
Do they like super dry dad jokes?
Do they love a good 90’s pop reference?
Are they more serious and just want the facts?
Use your analytics data to get to know your audience. Know their pet peeves, interests and what they eat for dinner. Create a buyer persona and speak to that guy!
4 Not Adapting Your Content For Your Social Channels
We’re all guilty of this one.
It is so easy to copy, paste and post the same content across all our social platforms. It’s less effort – but less effective. If you want to see your numbers stagnate, keep doing that.
People use different social platforms for different reasons. Make sure that each channel you are using has its own strategy. By all means, share your blogs on Facebook and Instagram, but don’t let that be the sole strategy you adopt.
Also, be sensitive to the nuances of each platform. Use square videos on Facebook, infographics for Pinterest and inspiring images on Instagram.
5 Quantity Over Quality
It’s late afternoon and you still haven’t started on tomorrow’s blog post. Yikes! So, you throw together something half decent, shrug and hit publish.
Stop doing that. Rather post less frequently than make your content read like it’s done one too many rounds at the content mill. If you are adopting content marketing into your business growth strategy, make sure you’re producing some kick-ass content.
Before putting virtual pen to paper, read what has been produced before. What did you like about those posts? What did you hate? How will you do it better? Put on some feel-good music and get creating!
Anyone can do content marketing. But, effective content marketing takes time. So break bad habits and start producing work your audience and Google will have a hard time forgetting!