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Did you know that interesting content is one of the top 3 reasons why people follow brands on social media? In fact, according to content+, 6 in 10 Twitter or Facebook users are more likely to recommend a brand they follow to their family and friends. If this is anything to go by, it isn’t hard to see why content marketing is all the rage nowadays.
However, there is a right way to do it and a wrong way and in this article I will be highlighting 6 of the most common content marketing mistakes that even the pros make.
So let’s jump right into to it.
1. Trying to do everything by yourself
If anything, this should be considered a cardinal sin. Too many people try to do everything by themselves. There is a reason why Seth Godin, Brian Clark and Darren Rowse attract such huge followings – they focus all their energies on doing what they know how to do best – blogging.
Yes it is true that they might have the resources at their expense to allow them to focus on one particular area of their business, however, it is important to remember that everyone starts from somewhere.
A few short years ago, the pros were exactly where many of us find ourselves today and believe it or not, they had to learn the hard way that trying to be a one man show is the fastest way to failure.
They were wise enough to lay out a strategy that allowed them to focus more on their strengths rather than their weaknesses. The same should apply to you. Don’t wear yourself out trying to figure out every little trick that will get you tons of traffic at the expense of the value of your content.
Remember, it’s easy to get thousands of eyeballs viewing your content; however, it is a different story to convert them. So focus on your strengths. Content marketing isn’t effective without the content right?
2. Lack of an audience outreach plan
I have found that one of the main reasons why many content marketing/seo “experts” rarely achieve any success with their campaigns is because they don’t even know who their audience is.
They take the “one shoe fits all” approach to their campaigns and wonder why things aren’t working. In essence, this can only be likened to starting a journey without having a clear destination in mind.
Your audience is the most important part of your business and if you can’t successfully meet their needs, they will find someone who can. In order to stop your customers from walking out on you, you have to know who they are, understand what their problems are and find a way to solve them.
Once you know who your audience is, then you can devise ways to appeal to them. A few good methods would include:
- Offering them valuable free stuff like reports, manuals and video series that teach ways of solving their problems.
- Empathizing with them. Show that you care and that you are the right person who can help them with their problem. Jon Morrow explains this best in his post.
3. No follow-up plan
Experts say it takes 7 exposures from the time a new lead lands on your content to the time they actually buy from you. This period in internet marketing circles is referred to as the warming up of your prospects cycle.
What’s surprising is the fact that a lot of people ignore this aspect of content marketing because it means work. Let’s be honest, we are all lazy and the thought of rolling up our sleeves and getting down to work is not the picture of success we were sold.
The reality however is that if you are going to be successful, you must be willing to put in the effort.
So though it might take you a couple of hours, may be even a few days to set up your whole follow up campaign, once it’s done it’s done. Remember, people become experts and pros because they are willing to do what they don’t like to do and what is necessary for them to do because they know the pay off is bigger.
So once your audience is interested in what you have to offer, make sure you employ strategies that will not only keep them as leads, but that will turn them into hot prospects.
4. Not measuring your statistics
The truth of the matter is that numbers are boring especially when they don’t add up to your bottom line. The thought of analyzing statistics for most people (myself included), is a major turn off.
However, this could be one of the biggest mistakes you can make. As a marketer, it is important to know your click through rate, your bounce rate, average time spent on your site — amongst other stats if you are going to have a successful campaign.
This might sound technical; however, it’s pretty simple. In fact, there are tools which will calculate all this for you so you don’t have to worry about it.
Understanding your stats will help you devise ways to optimize your content that will eventually help you build relationships with your visitors and improve brand loyalty to the point where your visitors automatically turn into customers.
5. Writing for the sake of writing
“Content is king” is a popular saying in internet marketing circles. In fact, you might have probably come across it a number of times. In my case, it was one of the very first words I came across when I got started online.
Back then, there was no Google Panda or Penguin so people churned out massive numbers of articles just to get high rankings in the SERPs – and that was very acceptable. Boy, have things changed. Nowadays, submitting a dozen articles per day to the top directories just doesn’t work – at all.
Today what matters is relevance. Your content must be valuable if it is going to attract and convert prospects into customers. People are seeking genuine solutions to their problems. You are that link. The key then for you should be to provide all the useful information that will not only help your prospects find what they are looking for, but which will also present you as the expert authority on your subject.
This will not only build trust between you and your prospects, but it will also cause them to like you and as we know, people will always buy from those they know, like and trust.
6. Lack of effective content promotion methods
The last mistake which is very common among both pros and newbies alike is the lack of effective content promotion methods. Today, social media is all the rage. However, not a lot of people know the best ways to use this medium to reach their audiences.
Even the pros usually hire out the services of social media managers to help grow their brand. A good content promotion campaign should be simple, consistent and measurable. Posting random tweets and updates hoping that someone somewhere will click on your link and buy from you is like wishing for snow on a hot summer day. In order for your promotion methods to be effective, you must understand who your audience is.
Just as you would not sell ice to an Eskimo, it would be foolish to use a method of content promotion that does not appeal to your audience. The key is to understand what your audience likes and give them just that.
Here are some social media promotion tips:
- Find out what social sites your audience is most active and engaged. Then dominant that site.
- Find out what types of content your audience wants to consume – is it articles? Vidoes? Research Reports? Etc… – and give it to them.
- Social Media is a conversation so don’t forget to respond to your audience members. The more active you are the more active they will be.
That’s it! I would like to know your thoughts on this. These may not be the only content marketing mistakes out there, however, they are among the most common and avoiding them could be the tipping point between a successful campaign and a weak campaign.