Content marketing remains to be a growing trend among companies that are looking to engage customers in a more meaningful way. It is no surprise that more than 80% of businesses use content marketing as a strategic marketing approach that aims to create and distribute valuable and relevant content to attract and retain customers. Content continues to be an effective way to engage and connect with your target audience.
Companies primarily use content marketing to generate leads, raise brand awareness, and nurturing relationships with their existing customers. It also helps to position themselves as thought leaders and, of course, eventually driving sales. By providing potential customers with useful, relevant content, companies can foster trust and help to move prospects further down the sales funnel.
Recently, there is an increasing number of businesses embracing the power of content marketing. As content marketing continues to move past the early-adoption phase, more and more companies start to take it more seriously. However, at the same time, many of these firms also fail miserably at it and end up flushing mucho dinero down the toilet.
Here are some of the most common mistakes about content marketing.
Designed Without Specific Buyer Personas in Mind
Creating content without specific buyer personas is like shooting an arrow without aiming, hoping to hit the target by chance. However, in any form of marketing, the key to effective communications is how well the business or marketer understands their target audience. Each person has unique attributes and interests that are defined by their various needs, lifestyles, and motivations. From a consumer’s point of view, the factors that influence their decision depends on various factors.
A buying personas play a significant role in digital marketing, and it is especially vital in establishing the effectiveness of the content marketing strategies. While many marketers focus on several demographics for their online marketing strategy to maximize their marketing outreach, marketers who focus on the main buyer persona can prove to be more effective than the former.
Buyer personas define your target audiences and identify the reasons why these audiences will be interested in your content. From this critical information, marketers can deliver effective content marketing to the particular type of targeted audience, thus increasing the chance to influence their audiences, taking them towards the next step of conversion – either as leads or customers.
Shareability is a Problem
It is not easy to always have fresh content that the audiences want to read and share. That is why the content development process is essential for any content marketing strategy to ensure that good content is being generated for social sharing. Adopting a content marketing strategy for businesses means allowing people to share good content with their communities, friends and colleagues as icings on the social media and online marketing cake.
When people share your content with their friends or friends of friend, you can tap into the power of the OPC (other people’s content and community).
This can exponentially increase the outreach of your content within seconds the moment it is being shared. Social media can amplify the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy. That is why it is important to create a content that is shareable for your target audiences.
Content is Plagiarized
Part of a good content marketing strategy is to continuously create and push new content to your blog or social networks. Almost everyone is guilty of plagiarism to some extent, and there is nothing wrong to be inspired by a well-written article or blog post. In many instances, marketers “borrow” content as an attractive solution when deadlines are near. However, plagiarism can do more harm than good.
Not only does plagiarism create a disservice to your credibility as an author, the company might also lose a potential client because of plagiarism. In some severe cases, there might even be legal implications if the other party (the originator) decides to pursue the matter.
To make things worse, plagiarism can hurt your search ranking. An SEO penalty for duplicate content can send your website (or your client’s) to Google’s hell.
Therefore, when it comes to content marketing, there is a golden rule to follow, that is the content must be interesting and original.
Not Optimizing the Content for Search Engines
In layman terms, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is about tinkering with your content to make it attractive to search engines. And before optimizing your content, you must first understand the basics of the search engine.
The primary role of the search engine is to list the most relevant pages according to a user’s search terms and arrange them from the most relevant to the least relevant in the search results. And for them to do so, they would rank pages according to several factors – content quality, keywords, originality, etc.
The more optimized a content is for search engines, the more likely they will appear in search results or even on the first page, which in turn, brings in more viewership and readership.
Killer Content with No Readership and Community
A digital community relies on a mix of editorial content, user-generated content and online networking. It is the perfect place for information and communication to happen around your business. To any content marketing strategy, the community or audience is very important. Just having a killer content is not sufficient, as, without traffic (viewership or readership), a world-class content can be as useless. Thus, marketers should consider investing to amplify things.
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter are all compatible platforms when it comes to paid amplification. Spanning a vast and diverse audience, businesses can increase their awareness and target a particular segment.
“If you don’t have a budget for paid inclusion, a senior social manager, paid amplification, an integrated digital media agency, or simply paid social to complement your organic social activity, expect your social presence to decrease.”
The Way Ahead
The greatest challenge for marketers today is always to create fresh and exciting content that can reach out to the right audience. Content marketing is not a “set it and forget it” strategy. It requires ongoing analysis and updates to uphold its effectiveness.
In the near future, it is very likely that content marketing will influence how brands go into the market. After all, content marketing does not replace traditional advertising or public relations. However, it makes every other marketing activity better.
As brands start focusing on building an online audience, marketers should take note and ensure that their content marketing strategy is planned and executed properly, so that they can harness the true power of content marketing.