Content marketing is one of the best ways to attract potential customers or clients. It gives your brand the opportunity to deliver value in a way that people are looking for. Quality content, when created correctly, can and will drive a lot of organic traffic to your website or product offering; the only issue being that it takes a lot of time to create. With such an investment, you want to make sure that you’re doing it correctly and with your best interests in mind. Luckily for you, we’re going to cover the mistakes that content marketers make so you can avoid them and develop a strategy that delivers results. Speaking of strategy, let’s dive right in.
Mistake #1 – Not Having a Strategy
Beginners in the space (and even so called “experts”) often make this common mistake.
“Let’s just write this piece of content and post it on our blog.”
No, this is wrong. You need to discover the best way to captivate and deliver value to your audience and prospective customer/client. To do this, you need to know what topics you’re going to cover and why they are relevant to your business. Instead of focusing on targeting certain keywords, prioritize an entire topic cluster and then build around it.
Each topic cluster is composed of Pillar Content and Cluster Content. Pillar content is content that contains a wide range of keywords that you want to rank for. To surround this content, you would write cluster content that thoroughly discusses these keywords that you would find on the pillar content page. To simplify the strategy, here’s exactly what you need to know:
- The Pillar Content should link to all cluster content once
- Cluster content should link to pillar content once
- Cluster Content, where applicable, should link to other pieces of cluster content
Of course, when writing content you should always follow the best practices of SEO to ensure that you’re following the guidelines set forth by the algorithms.
Mistake #2 – Not Knowing Your Audience
One of the most difficult parts of a business is defining your audience and knowing exactly who they are. This takes a lot of trial and error to find out who is willing to purchase from you and who isn’t so you can double down on the former. However, it’s still an issue that many businesses don’t know who their audience is even after numerous attempts to define it.
To really find your audience, you need to develop an Ideal Customer Profile or ICP, and only focus on your best customers so you’re as specific as possible. To develop the profile, focus on developing their persona and their journey of what led them to you. Even better, ask your best customers these questions and then develop a story around their answers. This way, you can answer the who, what, when, where, why, and how of their pain points and how to better serve others like them content that they want to consume.
Mistake #3 – Publishing Too Often
There’s no magic formula to content creation and publishing frequency is no different. Once many businesses begin publishing content to the web, they believe that they can’t stop and that means publishing content every day even if it’s not very good. This is a massive mistake that can harm organic traffic rather than help it. With only a small percentage of written content being shared online by readers, publishing more doesn’t make much of an impact. To really stand out, deliver quality content that resonates with your readers and do it on a schedule that works - once a week, biweekly, or even monthly. The key is always about quality, not quantity.
Mistake #4 – Using Cheap Content Creators
This is one of the most detrimental mistakes that a business could make when hiring a content creator. With websites like Upwork and Fiverr, it’s easy to look for content creators that will write for you for a fraction of the price that you would pay someone in more developed countries. The problem isn’t price, but value. If you want to hire someone to create content for you cheaply, it’s better not to do it at all. Often there are language barriers and an even larger investment of time and money to correct content that didn’t meet your criteria.
As a business owner, If you don’t want to hire someone “in-house” to be in charge of your content marketing, your best alternative is to hire a content creator that is just starting their career or wants to break into the industry. Depending on your budget an experienced content creator can get expensive fast, but a junior creator could be just what you need. Once you’ve hired for this role, make sure you set them up with systems, spreadsheets, and checklists that outlines exactly what you’re looking for so that there are no surprises in the end result; just don’t make the mistake of hiring cheaply just for the sake of making content. Take the endeavor seriously and see the rewards compound over time.
Mistake #5 – Not Having Patience
To gain traction in content marketing, you have to be willing to pursue it over the long term. If you think creating quality content for three to four months is going to give you great results, you’re very mistaken. Like SEO, content marketing is a marathon business opportunity to drive traffic and eyeballs to your website or product offering over the long term. It builds slowly but with more time, the results begin to compound and the investment, when done right, begins to yield a return on investment. Don’t give up and focus on consistency, quality, and an efficient schedule that helps you earn this compounding effect.
Content marketers don’t need to make mistakes when deciding to publish content. There is always a method to all the madness, however, there is also the concept of just taking action. Marketing is and always will be a game of psychology where you have to play both sides of the equation. Avoid costly mistakes and be open to the idea of failure while giving your audience exactly what they’re searching for. It sounds simple and should be treated as such. Don’t overcomplicate your content marketing, and let the algorithms of today’s technology reward you for following best practices.