Content marketing has been vastly important when communicating with customers for several years. But lately, more businesses have been discovering why a well-executed content strategy can be so crucial to a company’s success – and the content marketing mistakes to avoid.
Content marketing is exactly what it means – marketable content. The Content Marketing Institute describes it as “creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.”
Connecting to the above quote, regardless of whether it’s a video, social media post or blog, strong content marketing should administer a reaction from a customer. Your content should therefore be valuable, engaging and rich in information to make customers want to react – and ideally purchase your product or service.
Businesses should also not be ignorant to how savvy customers are – that’s a critical content marketing mistake to make because you should be speaking to your ideal target audience in their preferred channels and communication methods. Customers have real power now and are ultimately calling the shots, so it’s about listening to them and reacting positively to their needs to avoid content marketing mistakes.
Creating the right kind of content that your customers want to consume is no mean feat. Businesses might not want to spend the time to strategise, they might also not want to put spend behind content marketing.
And, why should you?
Well, according to Demand Metric, content marketing generates a whopping three times as many leads as outbound marketing – and even costs 62 per cent less.
So, can your business really afford to ignore it?
I’m not suggesting for a second that it’s an overnight, easy job to put together a content strategy and you’ll make mistakes, there’s no doubt about it. But by making sure you think it through and plan effectively, your strategy should end up being full of strong content suitable for a range of devices and platforms. It also needs to provide real value and answer the customer’s questions – as well as get them to pose new ones (…and purchase your product or service of course).
To help, I’ve put together a few content marketing mistakes that beginners often make when it comes to content marketing – so that you don’t have to.
Stop right there. Customers don’t want everyday marketing broadcast messages, benign social media posts or a ‘sell, sell, sell’ attitude of hard advertising in their faces. That’s a massive turn-off to customers who want real value, something that’s transparent, immediate and honest with your content marketing. And yes, that might include a sale of sorts (otherwise, what’s the point in putting out content in the first place?) but you need to get the balance right. There’s value in a softer sell, as Simply Direct notes here.
Things go wrong, we get it, we understand it. The problem comes if you don’t react to something not quite working out with your content marketing strategy in the way you’d hoped. Of course that means it could be costly and timely to your resources but by revisiting your strategy, giving it a refresh and reacting better to trends and topics your customers are talking about, this should pay dividends. If also means you’re listening to your customers and continuing a strong relationship with them.
If you provide value with your content, customers will keep coming back and that’s where relationships can bud and build – and you will most likely turn new customers into existing ones. If you’re putting content out for the sake of it, that’s of poor quality and far from original, it won’t have the same marketable gravitas. And, let’s be honest, rubbish content is ultimately a total waste of your precious resources – as a business can you afford to make that mistake? Content marketing needs to be engaging – whether that’s visually or informative (or both). It also has to be original, so factor in the need to spend time creating bespoke content because that will help in SEO rankings on Google. There are some simple ways to make your content go a long way as Neil Patel explains here.
It’s no good ghosting your customers and then suddenly realising you need to get some content out there – and expecting your clientele to accept that train of thought and purchase. It just doesn’t happen like that. Customers want regular content that impacts upon their lives, making them better. They don’t want to feel like they’re in a long distance relationship with a company. Ensure your content marketing strategy is firmly in place with a variety of rich content from blogs to video and social.
In a nutshell, ensure that your content marketing is well planned, well-executed and that it’s full of original content. Don’t be afraid to revisit either and right any wrongs. Keep this consistency and your content marketing and customer relationships should flourish mistake-free.