Content marketing is at the heart of digital marketing in 2016 – yet there’s still a number of common mistakes businesses are making online.
That’s why we run through some of the most common ones, so you can make the most of your content, and produce the best results possible.
1. Not Following SEO Practices
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a key part of content marketing, and if you’re don’t keep this in mind while creating content, you’re missing out on traffic and potential conversions.
Of course, if you only create content with only the idea of being optimised for search engines in mind, you’ll end up generating bad content that’s useless to readers at the end of the day.
What your focus should be, is creating great content that people will want to read, which is subsequently optimised for them to find it. Keeping SEO in mind, whether it’s the topic or page optimisation, is essential to ensuring people read your content.
SEO aspects to keep in mind:
- Key phrases
- Headers and H1, H2 tags
- Meta descriptions
It’s also important to remember to optimise your overall website, and to avoid keyword stuffing so you don’t suffer a penalty from Google – or even worse, damage your brand’s reputation as readers will clearly see your aim.
2. Not Actually Marketing Your Content
Creating content is a great way to gain traffic and find a readership. But many businesses fail to actually market the content once it is created.
What’s worth keeping in mind is a multichannel approach – whereby you utilise different marketing channels appealing to different segments of your audience, in order to promote and share your content.
Of course, promoting your content on social media is an obvious choice. But once a tweet is sent out, it’s unlikely to be seen by your audience a matter of days or even hours after it is posted.
That’s why it is a great idea to repeat promotions of your content, and market it in other ways too – such as through email marketing or newsletters.
By promoting to social media and elsewhere, you can generate followers which eventually leads to potential prospects and customers.
3.Thinking Content Marketing is only Blogging
Content is a key asset for any business – but it’s not all about blogging.
There’s a number of ways to generate content for your audience to digest, including:
- Interactive content or games
- Audio guides
4. Not Repurposing Content
Just because you’ve come up with a great piece of content for your blog, doesn’t also mean it has to stay there.
If you have some great content, it’s worth repurposing it for other platforms. This reinvents the content for different audiences, and some people may be more visual or auditory.
A blog post can be turned into a video for YouTube just by reading it out, and then adding images or other relevant video clips in order to portray what you’re talking about.
Blog posts can also easily be turned into presentations that can be displayed online, or through SlideShare.
5. Dropping Visuals
Blog posts are great for rankings, due to the fact that text is scanned by Google. Long-form content ranks well with Google, but can often end up rather long and dry for readers who are presented with a wall of text.
Forgetting to add images or other visual elements is a big mistake, as breaking up your content with a nice enticing image can make a world of different for your readers. It may encourage them to continue reading, and discover what else your website has to offer – rather than getting put off by the amount of text they need to read.
6. Avoiding Paid Ads
Paying to gain traffic can often send shivers down a business owner’s spine – but nowadays, it really is an effective way to find your audience.
Facebook advertising for instance, is a cheap and painless way of finding a specific target audience, and promoting relevant content directly in front of them.
Similarly, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networking sites offer similar ways to find your audience.
Pay per click (PPC) through Google AdWords is also a very effective way of getting your content in front of people who are looking for a business just like yours at that exact time. Which often reaps great results for businesses.
7. Neglecting Headlines
With content marketing, it’s become common knowledge that you should be spending as much time crafting your headline as you do writing the rest of your content.
Whilst this may sound excessive, and you may not need to stick to this entirely, it’s very true that you need to spend time really honing your headlines.
If you think about it, it’s the headline your audience will first see. This will decide for them whether they continue to click and read, or carry on scrolling and click a competitor or other link that is more enticing.
Headlines should be enticing, informative, and optimised for search engines. If your headline encourages a click, and isn’t too much of a “clickbait” headline that is deceptive to the core message of your content, then that’s the way to go.
8. Remaining Uncreative
With some businesses, it can be difficult to come up with new, engaging topics week in week out. But staying creative and avoiding writing about the same old thing is essential.
If you can’t think of anything creative, then it may be time to ask around and get some ideas. See what your competitors are up to, and see what other companies in general are doing. You may get some good ideas.
Whether you’re looking to leverage organic traffic, or any other form of traffic, there’s plenty of ideas you can come up with if you really put your mind to it. Whether your blog posts are more self-promotional, such as any events or significant new business, or whether you’re seeking to directly tackle pain points of your customers – there’s always a creative spin you can get online.
Instead of sticking to the classic cookie-cutter blog posts, it’s time to innovate, and create engaging copy your audience need.
9. Focusing on Quantity, Forgetting Quality
Whilst it’s important to stick to a schedule, your blog posts also actually need to be decent. Quality is the most important part when it comes to content marketing.
Your content should generate engagement and trust with your readership, and establish your brand as a thought leader within the industry.
Even Google sees quality over quantity, as Google’s own guidelines states:
If your pages contain useful information, their content will attract many visitors and entice webmasters to link to your site. In creating a helpful, information-rich site, write pages that clearly and accurately describe your topic. Think about the words users would type to find your pages and include those words on your site.
One aspect that Google will rank your site on is bounce rate – and if your readers are bouncing back to Google due to the fact your website has low-quality content, then you will suffer in the rankings.
Content should be unique, and you should ask yourself – who would read this? Would they like this? Would they want to share this?
Writing content that’s simple, shareable and useful, is an absolute must for any decent content marketing strategy.
10. No Calls to Action
Allow users to access the next step in what you want to achieve. Build a path or a story for readers to continue on
What do you want your readership to do after digesting your content?
Content is a marketable asset, so don’t miss out the key part of marketing.
11. Forgetting a Content Strategy
Content marketing is all well and good, but if you find yourself pondering what there is to write about next, then it’s not the best way to go.
With a content marketing strategy, you outline exactly what you’re trying to achieve, and how you wish to achieve that.
This includes the keywords you wish to rank for, the message you wish to convey, and what questions your customers are looking to get answered online.
12. Not Posting Regularly
Whilst quality does indeed trump quantity every time, posting 2 or 3 times a year simply isn’t going to cut it.
In order to make the most of your blog posts or other forms of content, it’s vital to stick to a regular cycle of blog posts. Even if the most you can achieve is once a fortnight or once a month, it’s still much better than stringing together a blog post a few times a year.
13. Not Getting Started
Many business owners and even marketers know all about the importance and value content marketing provides, but simply do not have the resources or time to begin content marketing.
If you’re struggling to find time, then creating a strategy for as many blog posts you can provide, and sticking to it, is a surefire way to get started.
If you need a helping hand, or simply don’t have time to even think about blogging yourself, then here at Xanthos we offer a range of digital marketing services, including a blogging service to help get your company started in the world of content marketing.
Get in touch with the team today, who will be more than happy to see how we can help your online presence.