People say “Failure is the pillar of success.” But when you are running a business, failure signifies the loss of a significant amount of capital and a loss of reputation in the market. You can make up for the lost money over a period, but building the reputation can be a tough nut to crack. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could identify the common mistakes beforehand and avoid failure?
It is 2019, and we don’t just learn from our mistakes but also acquire lessons from the mistakes made by our competitors. Since content marketing has established itself as one of the essential tools for success, the margin for error is really small. In this blog, we are going to discuss some of the biggest content marketing mistakes in 2019, and how you can avoid it to ensure success for your brand.
Not identifying the target audience:
Content marketing is all about leveraging impressive content to convince consumers to avail products and services offered by your company. But how will you improve your conversion rate if you are working with a vague idea about who to convert? That’s the first mistake that people make while developing a strategy for content marketing.
It is important to understand that every product or service has a specific consumer base. If your content does not address that consumer base, it won’t add any real value to your business. Let’s explain it to you with an example.
Imagine you run a company that provides academic assignment help. It’s very clear that your target audiences are students. Now, when it comes to services, you can have categories like assignment help for college students, assignment help for high school students, and assignment help for students in middle school. It means, even with the students, you need to categorize them according to their academic levels.
Now, if you are creating content for college assignment writing services, you need to prepare it by keeping the requirements and interests of a college student in mind. If your content is written for the parents, or worse – for the corporates, who do not have anything to do with college assignment help, it will only contribute to the bounce rate of your website pages.
How to avoid such mistakes?
It is not very difficult to identify your target audience for a specific target group. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who will benefit by reading your content?
- Does your content help the targeted readers find a solution to their problems?
- What value do the readers add to your business?
When you try to find the answers to these questions, you develop a better understanding of how to position your content. Proper knowledge of your target audience can also help you prepare content that has a better appeal.
If you are able to get the attention of the right audience, they will share your content with their connections, improving your conversion rate further.
Ignoring crucial data while building a content marketing strategy:
Content marketing is not just about writing a few blogs and posting it on the internet. It is a process, which takes months of planning and numerous sessions of brainstorming. The brainstorming allows you to find new ideas for your strategy. And while some ideas may sound amazing in the first place, you should make your final decision based on authentic data.
You need to understand that not all ideas are great for your brand. Unless you have relevant data to justify the idea, it is better to scrap it and move on to the next one. Let’s explain it with an example.
2019 has certainly been a great year for comic book fans. We have seen some great movies on comic book characters this year. And people have gone nuts about them. Now, someone in your team pitches the idea to publish content that focuses on similar topics – comic book characters. Since the topic is trending on the internet, you might give it a serious thought.
Do you really think that is a great strategy for a company that makes hearing aids? After all, the average age of your target audiences is 62. On the other hand, the crowd that is actually interested in such topics has the average age of 19 years. So, even if the idea sounds good, it is not going to add any value to your business. Thus, it is better to avoid the idea. If you continue with it, you will only waste your time and effort.
How to keep yourself from making this mistake?
Always start your content strategy by focusing on current data. It is important to analyze the market, the strategy of your competitors, and most importantly, the audience. Also, you need to analyze the performance of your existing content to see what is driving the ROI for your business. Ask yourself these following questions while selecting an idea for your strategy.
- Is the idea relevant to your business?
- Is it possible to prepare actionable content with this idea?
- Will I get enough backlinks to the blogs if they are based on this idea?
By finding the answers to these questions, you can find out which ideas will actually benefit your business and the ones you need to discard. Once you have enough ideas to work with, prepare an editorial calendar with the ideas.
You can also check out the social communities and forums to see what topic people are talking about. If brainstorming sessions are not helping you find any better ideas, these platforms can help you find topics to work on. Add the topics that align with your business to the editorial calendar.
Publishing content without determining its goal:
Consumers will be spending money to avail your products and/or services. You have to convince them that your product and/or service are worth their money and can provide a solution to an issue they are facing. If you think you can just create promotional content and get the customers to buy your product or services, you are wrong.
Every piece of content you publish on the internet must serve a certain purpose that will ultimately help you convert prospects into leads and leads to customers. So, before you develop a piece of content – be it blog, a video clip, a meme, or a GIF – make sure it aims to achieve a specific goal.
How to avoid this mistake?
Hubspot makes it really easy for us in the marketing field to create goals for our count by segmenting the decision making process of a buyer in three different stages. Those stages are:
- Awareness: In this stage, the buyer realizes he has a problem that requires a solution.
- Consideration: In this stage, the buyer does his research and finds all the possible solutions to the problem.
- Decision: This is the last stage in the process where the buyer decides on a solution to the problem.
You need to decide which stage of a buyer’s decision process is your content intended for. You can choose any of these three stages to target the buyer with your content. When the goal for a piece of content is defined, it can produce better results for your business.
Not focusing on link building:
Does your content marketing strategy have link building as one of its priorities? If not, you must put it at the top of your priority list. According to Search Engine Journal, relevant and authoritative backlinks remain one of the most crucial factors for Google Ranking in 2019. And if your blogs don’t have quality backlinks, you may struggle to get a better rank with quality content.
Unfortunately, a lot of people still don’t understand the significance of these backlinks. So, they simply produce content without thinking about backlinking their content. Also, a lot of people don’t know how to approach other websites and content creators to ask them for a backlink. It is possible that you will face the same problem while rolling out your content strategy.
Now, let us clarify what a backlink is. A backlink is a link that a website receives from another website. Imagine you have written a blog on how to cook Spaghetti Bolognese. It’s a well-written blog that offers a step-by-step process of cooking the meal. For such a blog, you would get a certain level of organic reach.
Now, imagine a popular food blogger likes your blog, and while writing about Spaghetti Bolognese in one of her blog, she creates a hyperlink to your blog and publishes it. Now, when a reader reads her blog, he/she is also finding your blog’s hyperlink there. Some of them will click on it and boost your organic traffic.
Moreover, when you get backlinks from the websites with higher domain authority, Google recognizes your content as a useful one and provides it with a better rank on the search engine results. So, how exactly do you get quality backlinks for your content? We have a few ideas for you.
How to build better backlinks for your blog?
There are actually a number of ways to get quality backlinks from better websites. However, you do need to produce top-notch content if you want to get the attention of high performing websites.
- Become a source of information for reporters and bloggers:
If you look at most of the high-ranking websites, you’ll find that a majority of them serve as a reliable source of information for other content creators.
- Create unique and updated content:
It’s important to be unique in terms of the content you produce. If you are writing about a common topic, the content creators have a lot of options to link their content to. So, it’s crucial to be unique and up to date if you want to boost your chances.
- Connect with high-ranking websites and request for writing as a guest:
You can actually find a number of websites that allow people outside their team to write for them as guests. They usually don’t give you any money in return. What you will be getting is a quality backlink to your website. Fair deal, right?
The third one is the most effective one of the lot. However, you need to do a significant amount of research to find out which websites are performing better in your industry. You must connect with the websites and approach them with the request of writing a guest post.
- Believing that content marketing is only about blogging:
It’s a huge mistake to think that blogs are the only form of content that can help you conduct a successful content marketing campaign. Unfortunately, a significant number of businesses conduct their content marketing that way. There’s no denying that blogs are one of the most effective tools for content marketing. But it is definitely not the only one.
Imagine you own a store where you sell white dresses only. There’s another store within the one-mile range that sells a variety of clothing, including white dresses. Now, you may get customers who are looking specifically for white dresses. But the other store with variety has better chances of getting the attention of the customers as its range is far wider.
Similarly, if you produce only blogs, you are going to receive a limited amount of traffic, while focusing on a variety of content types can increase your traffic by several folds. Besides, when it comes to online content, there are multiple forms of content that are more interesting and engaging than blogs. The popular content types include:
- How To Guides
- Press releases
- Short form videos (e.g. Vine)
- Longer form videos (e.g. YouTube)
- Case Studies
- Social media posts
Your focus should be on creating shareable content. Memes and GIFs have better chances of being shared online than a blog. Besides, you need to understand that people these days only skim through content. They hardly have the time to read an entire blog. So, you need to mix and match your content strategy and focus on producing a variety of content, instead of just stressing on a single form of content.
If you are not sure which type of content will work for you, you can always lean back on social media for important insights. You need to find out where the majority of your target audiences spend their time on the internet. If it’s Instagram, you should focus on creating high-quality images and 1-minute videos. For Facebook and Twitter, you have a lot of options to explore as they support a variety of content.
Once you have a better idea about the interests and needs of your audiences, you can create personalized content for them. You can also boost your organic traffic while improving the ROI of your business.
You must have already heard “Content is king”. And it’s very true for those who are running online businesses. However, if the king has a flawed strategy for war, he can bring down the kingdom with him. So, it is important to analyze your own strategies and operations, whether it is about running an empire or conducting content marketing in today’s date. Here’s hoping that you successfully avoid the pitfalls of content marking listed in this blog. Keep an eye out, make the right choice and make your business shine. Leave your comments in the section below.
About the Author
Joanne Criss is a senior marketing manager at a reputed e-commerce company in United Kingdom. She has completed her MBA from the University of Aberdeen. She is also associated with MyAssignmenthelp.co.uk, where she serves assignment help to students on request.