Content marketing is an important part of a marketing plan. Yet many companies are making huge mistakes in their strategy – or worse, engaging in content marketing with no clear strategy. 

Learn the 13 unforgivable marketing mistakes many companies are making and how to avoid them.

1. Writing Only Promotional Content

Content marketing isn’t about you. It’s about serving and meeting your customer’s needs. But to do that, you’ll need to think like a customer and consider their needs.

The content should answer questions, offer insights and provide helpful advice. Yes, you’re giving away something for nothing with your content, but in many senses, that’s a good thing because it helps you develop a relationship with your customers or potential customers.

2. Only Following Competitors

If you develop the same content as what your competitors are putting out, you’ll constantly be playing catch up instead of innovating and finding new ways to serve your customers.

Instead of developing your own content, you’ll be using someone else’s. You won’t reach a new audience that way or optimize your site for different keywords than what your competitors are already ranking for. This will put you as second-rate in more ways than one.

3. Not Building a Content Marketing Timeline

Infrequent or sporadic content publishing can make your content look stale. It might cast doubt as to whether you’re still an active, trustworthy company if your blog goes untouched for months or your social channels don’t offer updates for many weeks.

A content marketing calendar ensures your various channels stay active with high-quality content year-round.

4. Poorly Researched Content

When your content misinforms the audience or is hard to read, it won’t do anything to help build relationships with your customers or increase trust among the parties. Publishing misinformation can do a great deal of harm.

And sadly, many AI writing programs struggle to differentiate between reliable sources and those that don’t quite have the facts right. Or it rewords the content to the point where it doesn’t quite mean the same thing, unknowingly injecting incorrect information.

Do hefty fact-checking on articles, even if you use a skilled copywriter. You’re the expert, which is why you got into this business in the first place. Read everything before publishing to ensure it matches your voice and tone.

5. Failing to Give Attention to Timing

When you publish content matters. Reaching your audience at the right time with the right message can help it resonate better. Consider local trends or seasonal trends that might help the content get even more readership.

You can use Google Trends to learn more about relevant topics in your area during different times of year or trends that are on the rise to help inform your publishing timeline.

6. Lack of Analytics Tracking

Analytics help you see how you’re doing reaching your audience and meeting their needs. You might notice that a certain type of content resonates especially well and that adding further information or writing a related article would work well. 

Analytics can tell you what types of content to post on your various social channels and what is offering the greatest ROI. Perhaps one content time drives engagement while another drives leads and sales. On social media, both are important so you’ll want to balance using both content types.

7. Ignoring Lead Generation and Follow Up

Content marketing is just a part of your business’s marketing plan. It’s there to foster lead development and closure. But if you don’t put the proper pieces in place to welcome and accept leads, you’ll struggle to see ROI from your efforts. Likewise, if you have no follow-up strategy for what to do after you generate a new lead, you won’t see valuable results from your efforts.

Before starting a new content marketing campaign, review your website’s ability to welcome leads. Then consider what happens once you capture that lead. How long does it take to do an initial follow-up? If it’s more than 24 hours or one business day, that isn’t sufficient. You need automation software to speed up the process.

8. Marketing Blindly

If you haven’t taken the time to get to know your audience, you aren’t marketing correctly. Blindly marketing to anyone and everyone won’t help your message resonate with them. Instead, it’s better to spend some time evaluating the best audience segments to target and how to position yourself before embarking on a content marketing strategy.

Write out your customer personas to get to know your audience more completely. This will also help you compete in a crowded marketplace because you’ll choose specific areas where you differentiate yourself from your competitors.

9. Having No Goals or Objectives

Why are you engaging in content marketing in the first place? If you can’t answer that question, you won’t know whether the campaign is successful or not. Outlining your goals will also help you keep your funding because you’ll be able to show tangibly that your campaigns are working and delivering results.

Some goals or objectives you might set out to accomplish with your content marketing include:

  • Increased brand awareness
  • Social media follower growth
  • Greater website traffic from organic search or referrals
  • Higher close rates for leads

10. Ignoring SEO

Content marketing can enhance SEO immensely, which means valuable organic traffic on your website. While technical SEO is complex, on-page SEO is simpler. It starts with a clear keyword strategy. Ultimately, overusing keywords is more detrimental than it is helpful so you don’t want to overdo it.

Plus, another valuable element in SEO is backlinking. A great way to get high-quality backlinks is to publish guest blogs. And guest blogs can help with generating referral traffic as well. 

11. Only Publishing New Content Without Updating Old Content

Old, out-of-date content on your website can harm relationships with your customers and lead to confusion. When you only publish new content and never go back to review the old, you leave yourself susceptible to misinforming customers by accident.

Set aside time within your marketing strategy to review content, at least annually. That way you know that everything that’s out there bearing your name is something you’re still proud of.

If third-party content is outdated about you, request that the publisher update the content. While it might take some time, it’s worth the effort to get the content updated to better reflect who you are.

12. Publishing Content Without Distributing It

You can’t just publish great content on your website and assume that people will find it. While SEO is valuable and organic discovery helps you reach customers when they need your products or services or answers to their questions, you also need to help the process along.

You should have a distribution plan that goes along with your publishing. This might include sending out new content via the following channels.

  • Email marketing
  • Social media
  • Partners
  • Answering questions on Reddit or other platforms

The more you can get your content in front of your audience, the better because it will help drive traffic and show search engines that your content is worth reading.

13. Poor Quality Content

Some companies write their content internally with their team of experts. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It can help make your content stand out and provide the most unique ideas.

However, if the person drafting your content isn’t a copywriter, it’s a good idea to work with an editor or copywriter who can then improve the content.

Poor quality content won’t help your SEO or resonate well with your audience. You want your content to rank in a 6-8 grade level. Using shorter sentences and simple structure will help make that happen.

More technical industries might not be able to make that happen, but it is still good to strive for the simplest verbiage wherever possible. 

How to Avoid Common Content Marketing Blunders

The best way to avoid these blunders is to start with a good plan and clear objectives. If you don’t have content experts in-house, your best chance for success is to hire them externally. 

Bridge the Gap Communication offers content marketing support for companies of all sizes across a broad spectrum of industries. Contact us now to learn more.