Content marketing has become a valuable tool in the changing business world. Most companies utilize content marketing as the core of their digital marketing strategy. Content shows up in search engines, gets shares on social media, creates customer engagement and shares your brand’s story, but most importantly, content drives leads and sales.
That said, many companies employ content marketing, but few know how to do it effectively. Content marketing is different than copywriting, but it has the same goal in mind — sales. People don’t want to be “sold” though, and keyword stuffing or a sales pitch hidden in content doesn’t provide the value your customers are looking for.
If you want to market your business successfully, you need to find your errors and correct your content to get those conversions. Here are the biggest mistakes you may be making and how to correct them.
If you post whatever you want, whenever you want, that’s not much of a strategy. This makes it easy for your audience to ignore what you share and for you to forget what your goals are.
A content marketing strategy helps you identify the goals of your content and how you’re going to use your content to achieve it.
Content strategy and content marketing form the overlap of content marketing strategy, which includes:
- Business goals.
- Audience research.
If you’re neglecting this strategy, it makes it difficult for your audience to understand what you want them to do. When you create a plan, you have purpose behind your content that drives your audience.
Once you have your strategy, put it into effect with an editorial calendar. This will include times and dates for when you will publish your posts, as well as the title, content details and keywords. You may also want to include the personas you’re looking to reach.
Fortunately, you can use plenty of tools to make an editorial calendar.
You Don’t Publish Enough
When it comes to content, quality beats quantity. Still, if you only post once a month, you won’t get any attention from your audience.
Consistency is the key to building credibility and trust with your audience and with search engines. If you create more blog posts, you get more traffic to your website. If you have more traffic, you can prove to search engines that you have content users want to read, boosting your content in the search results pages.
Despite this, you can’t throw out blog posts with low-quality information and expect to get more traffic or better rankings. Find the right balance between frequency and quality that works for your business.
You can also mix up content between videos, blog posts, infographics, podcasts and other content to be sure you connect with your audience in a broad way.
You Try to Blatantly Sell
The whole point of marketing is to create interest in your business and make sales, but that’s not the purpose of each piece of your content. You won’t build relationships with potential leads using a sales pitch.
In the modern digital marketing environment, customers no longer need to be sold to. They have access to a wealth of information online to find out more about products and decide the right option for their needs, so they tend to wait to speak with a salesperson until they’ve narrowed down their options.
Because of this, your content should be more about educating your audience than selling to them. It should also be formatted to meet the needs of the buyer through each stage of the buyer’s journey.
The buyer’s journey starts with awareness of a problem and your brand. This requires engaging, entertaining and interesting content that stands apart from the rest of the content on the internet. Video posts, blog posts, educational webinars and interesting social posts can help.
During the consideration phase, the audience needs a deeper understanding of their problem and the available solutions. This is a good time for case studies, whitepapers, comparison articles and videos or podcasts.
In the decision phase, the buyer is ready to choose a product or service to solve their problem. You can help this decision along with product reviews, demonstrations or testimonials that show how your current customers have had success with your products.
If they choose to buy, the content you provide for them after the fact can encourage them to buy again. This can be done with training videos, newsletters or surveys about their experience with your product.
The one thing all of these content types have in common is no sales pitch. Instead of a sales pitch, you give the customer solutions to their problems and show them that you value them.
You Don’t Know Your Audience
When you create content, do you have a specific customer in mind that you want to engage with it? If you’re going for a wide audience, you’re unlikely to get the attention you want.
With so much information and content online, customers are looking for content that speaks to them, so you need to find your audience and craft compelling messages that work for them.
When you put this kind of focus on your content, you narrow down a wide audience and create deeper connections with them, which will give you growth over time.
Your Voice is Insincere
Customers value trust in a business. In fact, the top trait a customer looks for in a brand is honesty, even before service.
So, if it seems like you’re faking a persona to get the sale, they’ll sense it and will be less likely to connect with you.
When you create your voice, it should connect with your brand and what your customers ultimately want from your brand. It needs to match with their needs and humanize your brand.
Buyer personas are helpful in building your brand voice and deciding what that should be to connect best with your customers. This includes language, tone and slang they may use.
Think of your brand as a person. Think of what it does and doesn’t like, how it perceives itself and how it hopes to be perceived by customers.
Customers also like brands that stand for something, whatever that may be. By becoming part of the important conversations or controversies, brands can use their voice to become more relevant.
You’re Not Marketing Your Content
If you spend all this time on your content and don’t bother to promote it, you’ve wasted your time. Proper content promotion is vital to getting attention, which should include email marketing, influencer marketing or social posts.
You should also focus on content that’s easy for readers to share, furthering increasing your reach and the attention you get. This will help you limit the paid promotion that you need to do. Be sure to include share tags on your content.
Your Content Isn’t Optimized
Promoting your content is just one part of marketing it, however. Bringing attention to your content also requires optimization, so your audience can find what you’ve produced.
All of your content should align with your larger SEO strategy, along with being valuable and engaging to readers. This includes using keywords and phrases that your audience is searching for online, which will bring them to your piece.
With so much content online, you can’t afford to create content that gets no traction. Though it takes time and effort to craft messages that resonate with your audience, it can do wonders for your business’s growth and profitability.