Content marketing is an essential component of advertising in the modern world. It’s a way of getting brand recognition and setting yourself apart from the competition. The only issue is that it can be difficult to come up with an effective content marketing strategy to rise above the ocean of content available already.
It’s a given now. Every website you visit has articles and blogs. It’s a great way of attracting organic traffic to your website. However, companies and brands tend to rush their content strategy or overlook important parts of it.
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Here are eight content marketing strategies you should avoid.
1. Creating content with the sole motive to sell products
Content marketing is important, especially for small businesses. Content marketing’s sole purpose isn’t to sell a product or service, but to maintain a steady number of users through posting interesting and informative content regularly. Many start-up companies forget this important rule and end up churning out large quantities of articles in hopes that people will purchase a product through one of those articles.
But here’s the problem: if your article intends to sell, not inform, the reader won’t spend much time reading the article. Users who click on informative blog posts are there to have a question answered, not to be sold a product.
Remember to inform first, and sell later.
2. Not focusing on SEO
A lot has been said about SEO over the years, and plenty of content marketers are still on the fence about it.
With that said, 69% of content marketers invest in SEO. With more than half of content marketers actively investing in SEO, it should be on any brand or company’s radar.
Working on bettering your SEO will:
- Increase organic traffic.
- Increase ROI.
- Decrease other customer acquisition efforts.
- Get you higher on the SERP.
The best way to increase your SEO is by mastering the use of keywords. This includes using keywords at frequent intervals, as long as they fit within the context of whatever you’re writing. You also need to try and use keywords in your H2 and H3 headings. If you’re having trouble writing well, SEO-optimized articles, you can find plenty of online writing tools to get you started.
3. Overlooking email marketing
There was an estimated 319.6 billion e-mails sent daily in 2021. Although a lot of the younger generation have moved over to social media applications like Instagram, emails are still important. Emails are still used daily whether it be applying for jobs, sending work information, or reminders about promotions. There is still a place for emails in the world of business and marketing.
Email marketing is a great way to keep your customers and followers up to date with the latest news about your brand. This can be promotions, new blogs, or event reminders. If you’re still not sure, email marketing offers an excellent ROI, with $42 earned for every dollar spent. Never underestimate the power of email marketing.
4. Writing content that isn’t useful or well researched
More than 70% of users reading thought-leadership content online claim that it delivers no valuable information to them. The reason someone is reading your article is that they want an answer to a question they have. This is especially true when writing informative articles on company blogs. An article that meanders and doesn’t answer the question the reader has quickly, they’ll find another page that does.
It’s important that you quickly introduce the problem, and how it could be resolved within the first 150-200 words. Your keywords should also appear once in the introduction. This tells the reader that this article isn’t playing any games, and will answer their question within due time. The average bounce rate on an eCommerce It’s a bit lower on desktops and higher on mobile devices.
It can be difficult to write better articles, but the best way is to understand the intent of the content being written.
This brings us to number 5…
5. Writing without intent
Are you writing content without any sort of plan or intent? Do you know the purpose of the written content and how it benefits the brand or company? Content should have a purpose.
Content written for different social media applications, websites, or blogs all looks different. It’s also important to set goals with the content made. Will it be posted on social media to go viral, or is it written to rank high on SEO and get more organic traffic? Whatever the purpose of the content, having a roadmap will make writing it easier. It’ll also make it easier for you to gauge if it was successful or not. If you’ve written an informational piece to go on your website’s blog, then you’d most likely want it to rank high on SEO, as well as be able to guide readers to another page on your website.
If you’re writing a promotional piece to post on social media, it might be a lot shorter and much more promotional, convincing the reader why your brand is better than the rest.
You also need to keep the audience you’re writing for in mind.
Keeping an eye on gender, age and location you can tweak your content to fit their interests.
6. Consider negative feedback as useless information
Negative feedback should never be disregarded. Even better, it can be used to your advantage. Answering a complaint on a social media post or review can increase your brand advocacy by up to 25%. Sure, sometimes feedback from customers can be very vague and downright unreasonable. If you can stomach digging through some of this feedback, you’ll find a gold mine of excellent feedback that the company can use. There are plenty of avenues to acquire negative feedback in a way that won’t ever be confrontational.
Social media is the way most people will leave negative feedback and reviews. Make sure to at least check your brand’s social media pages for any negative feedback every week. The reason is that negative reviews are read more than positive reviews. A negative review is 63% more likely to be clicked on than a positive review. That’s why leaving feedback on negative reviews can help your business keep a good image. A company can also go old school with feedback questions for willing customers to fill in before leaving. This is especially great if your brand is aimed at an older demographic. Also, make sure that customers can easily contact you when needed with your email and phone number available on your website.
7. Avoiding social media
49% of content marketers surveyed said that social media is the hardest skill to master.
Almost half of the world’s population uses some form of social media, whether it be Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok.
The social media marketing rule book is constantly changing since the social media landscape is an ever-changing entity of its own.
Trends come and go in the blink of an eye, and what’s doing well today might sink like a rock tomorrow.
Here are some common mistakes content marketers make when working with social media:
- Inconsistency. You need to be posting at regular intervals so users have an idea of when to expect new content.
- Only posting promotions. Promos are fine, but what users want is interesting, educational posts that have more impact on them.
- Not engaging with your followers on social media. Respond to users in the comment section and make sure to build a relationship with them.
- Buy followers. Don’t saturate your follower count with fake followers. People who follow you only to get something will never read your content, let alone purchase anything from you.
It can be really difficult to stay on top of social media, but it’s a valuable part of your content marketing strategy that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Luckly, many great tools are available on the market to help you save time and step up your game. That being said, choosing the right social media management software needs to be done based on your needs, preferences and goals.
8. Overlooking other devices
In 2021, 4.32 billion unique users used the internet on mobile devices. That’s over 90% of the global internet population. When creating content, it must be optimized for all devices, not just desktops. That includes the page layout and loading speeds.
Here’s a graph of the average time spent on the internet per day by a single user on desktops and mobile devices.
Not only has time on the internet per day increased as the years went on, but the time spent on the internet on mobile devices has increased three-fold, whilst desktop usage declined in the last few years.
It’s now more important than ever to optimize your website for mobile use.
Avoid these content marketing mistakes
These 8 mistakes that content marketing teams fall trap to could spell doom for the content your brand puts out.
Keep content well optimized for SEO, written with intent, and don’t forget mobile users and social media.
If you keep this in mind you’ll find that crafting the perfect content marketing strategy isn’t as difficult as it seemed at first.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, content marketing, and SEO. He is also the Founder and CEO of Content Solutions, a digital marketing agency. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.