Content marketing seems to be the golden ticket. It educates, empowers and converts our leads for us.
However, there’s a lot of buzz in the search engines with over 60% of content marketers creating content every single day. But just because it’s popular and there are thousands of articles about it online doesn’t mean you’re doing it right.
The key is in working smart (and hard).
In this post, we’re going to show you the ten most common content marketing strategy mistakes. If you avoid them, you’re sure to get even more traffic to your content and successfully convert visitors into customers.
Let’s take a look!
1. You’re Making a Mistake If You’re Not Curating Content
When we think about content marketing, we seem to only think about the content we produce.
However, content production takes a lot of time, and even then there’s no guarantee that it’s not going to fall on deaf ears. Even the best minds in marketing can get boring if you hear from them too much.
Adding diverse perspectives can be a great competitive advantage for your content marketing strategy.
Content curation establishes thought leadership and helps you become the ultimate resource for your leads, improving their trust in your knowledge and your credibility.
Now, there are two typical ways you can use it:
a. Curate content on social media
Social media content is still content, and curating it with a tool like DrumUp is a great way to entice your followers/leads while building relationships with influencers who can later amplify your content.
b. Curate content to produce content
You can also use the skyscraper technique of identifying gaps in existing content to create better content.
2. You Rely on SEO for Content Promotion, and Forget about Social Advocacy
While SEO and content marketing go hand in hand, that doesn’t mean that the only results you can get are from the search engines.
Yes, the majority of your traffic will always come from them, but you can still find your audience members on social networks.
In addition to improving your reach and visibility, social media also comes with embedded social proof for your content. In turn, you’re getting credibility and trustworthiness with every comment added to your content promotion post.
There are a few ways you can encourage social advocacy:
- Create content around your customer success stories. This promotes your content while giving your clients an additional reason to share. Social proof is included, as well.
- Create content that is thought-provoking and invite your followers to share their thoughts. Encourage discussion in the comments.
- Identify followers who are your strongest brand advocates, and highlight them. You can even invite them to give you feedback.
3. One of the Biggest Content Strategy Mistakes Is Forgetting about Employee Ambassadors
A lot of your employees (81% to be exact) are already posting about your company on social media.
However, if you’re not using them to amplify great content and actively including them into your content strategy as a promotional channel, you’re making a huge mistake.
When employees share your brand messaging, they can reach 561% more people. And this goes for marketing not only to customers, but for marketing to talent, as well, and improving your brand’s reputation.
How Can Employee Advocacy Help with Your Content?
The first thing you need to do is treat your employees as influencers. Especially if your company has a culture that encourages employees to be passionate about the product (or your industry in general).
Identify different types of employee ambassadors; from content creators to content amplifiers and fans.
Encourage them to create original content about the company and their experience. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking photos of a cool project they’re working on and mentioning your company in the comments.
Other times, a share will go very far.
In any case, create an employee advocacy program. In the beginning, it can be as simple as emailing interesting content and encouraging shares with Slack.
Or, if you want to make it more practical, use DrumUp.
It offers content curation, updates, and even gamification to make the employee advocacy program more entertaining for the employees.
4. You Don’t Fully Understand the Audience You’re Creating Content for
More than other forms of marketing, content marketing relies on understanding your target audience. Customer personas are the alpha and omega of your content strategy and unfortunately, many marketers and business owners think it’s enough to just plug the right keywords and play.
In addition to separating your audience in the three sales funnel stages: top (awareness), middle (consideration), and bottom (conversion), focus on their buyer journey.
Develop advanced buyer personas which also include psychographic factors such as motivations, challenges, lifestyle, and give you the broader scope of who your audience really is.
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Understand who they trust and which channels they use. Will a recommendation from an influencer they follow go farther than a recommendation from a best friend?
Start by talking to your audience, and then use the insights to create the voice that perfectly suits the person they want to hear about your product from.
5. You Forget about Personality
When you read the majority of articles online, there’s one thing that stands out: they all sound like they were written by a robot. No one’s making quips anymore and everything is strictly practical, with an appropriate CTA at the end.
This is okay, but today’s era calls for unique, interesting content.
Use Brand Advocacy to Add Personality
Understand how your customers are talking to each other, and develop a brand personality that your customers can advocate for.
Make your content as easy as talking to a friend, as it’s the best way to make your audience trust you – and buy from you.
If you want to get extra SEO points, you can even invite your brand advocates to create content for you and discuss their unique experiences.
6. You’re Making a Mistake If You’re Not Listening to Social Media Signals
If Google is paying attention to brand mentions, so should you.
Include social listening into your mandatory content strategy research.
In addition to showing you what customers and the market actually think about you(r content), you can also understand what topics they’re interested in, and what problems they’re struggling with.
Engage your customers on social media, respond to their feedback, and become more than just a faceless brand.
Become a face they can trust.
7. You’re Planning Too Far Ahead
The best content strategies are flexible, and they’re never made for months in advance.
When you plan out your content topics six months in advance, you’re losing out on flexibility. This means that it’ll be much harder to respond to trends in the industry without completely disrupting your schedule.
And when you’re not staying up to date on things your customers may be interested in, you’re losing their attention.
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So instead of planning six months in advance, plan two or three at most. Constantly review topics interesting to your customers (use social listening for that, too), and encourage engagement.
After all, no one can explain what your audience is curious about than the actual audience.
8. You’re Only Creating One Type of Content
Blogs are great, but if you stick to one content type all the time, you’re losing out on other audience members who are consuming different types of content.
For example, video is becoming a hit. Plus, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
In addition to satisfying the content type need of a portion of your customers and leads, video can also help you show more personality and build the trust your customers need to buy from you.
In addition to video and articles, you can also experiment with content like:
- Infographics and images
- Quizzes and polls
9. You’re Not Being Consistent
Great content will take you far, but consistent content will take you even farther.
Yes, our attention spans are shortening, but consistent content does more than just remind your audience that you’re still here.
It builds your credibility by showing that you’re staying up to date with the industry.
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So instead of sporadically producing and publishing content, set up a content research, production and distribution pipeline. Clearly specify what needs to be done (and by whom, if you have a big team), and when it’ll be published.
Having a clear schedule means your customers will start looking out for your new content, and won’t be disappointed when they see you haven’t posted anything.
10. You’re Forgetting about Helpful Tools
Finally, content takes a lot of work. However, you don’t have to do everything yourself.
You can save a lot of time by investing into helpful tools that make becoming a content marketing rock star much easier.
You can use DrumUp for all your content strategy needs:
- Content scheduling
- Content curation
- Employee advocacy
- Integrated RSS feeds broadcasting industry news
And so much more!
You may be just one person or a small team, but a tool like DrumUp will help you return the focus from routine tasks to what really matters:
Wowing your customers. One content piece at a time.
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