By now, you’ve probably heard about the benefits that come with incorporating a Content Marketing strategy. The ways content can enhance your business’s marketing mix, how it builds a sense of community with customers, the ways it shows off your expertise—the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, many businesses aren’t utilizing their content to its full potential. Below are the most common of these mistakes and tips on how you can avoid them.
Sometimes when a business decides it wants to jump on the content bandwagon, there is the mindset that the bulk of their content should be directly tied to their products / services, or that they should always try to sell something when they communicate with their audience. Unfortunately, this strategy often turns users away from your content rather than sharing it and coming back for more. The problem is that businesses often fail to step into their target audience’s shoes and think about what they like, care about, and expect from web content. People want to be informed, entertained, and assisted in solving a problem, not bogged down by constant self-promotion.
The Tip: Do your research & be customer-centric—think about who your audience is, use their feedback, and create content based on what’s important to them.
You may have heard the phrase “facts tell, but stories sell” before when it comes to Content Marketing. This point builds off the pitfall above in that users don’t want dry, isolated, or negative content; rather, they want stories. Stories have themes, compelling elements, room for engagement and interaction, and connections between them. The success of other marketing tactics, such as SEO and Social Media Marketing, rely on building content that users can relate to, find what they need, and pass on to others. This not only affects the way content is made, but also the way it is distributed.
The Tip: Have a theme & make connections—use stories to entertain, persuade, and engage with your audience.
In any new marketing endeavor, having a plan is essential. Not only can your business keep its efforts (and budget) organized, but it also projects a sense of reliability to customers. With your content, this step is even more important. Many businesses take a heavy-handed approach to their content, letting regular communications fall by the wayside. Customers don’t want to keep checking your site for new content only to find the same thing they saw the week before. In most cases like this, they’ll eventually stop returning. Applying an optimization plan (set a goal, plan, implement, measure, refine, & repeat) is a great way to look at the content creation process.
The Tip: Make a plan & stick to it—create a calendar for content to show that your business can maintain a high standard while enhancing your reputation to your audience.