Updated: Jan 31
There are content marketing mistakes that happen behind the scenes, and those which occur in front of your customers.
Both come with their own set of problems, and both are relatively avoidable. The most recent trends in content marketing give some indication of the biggest mistakes you could make in the upcoming year, which allows you to get ahead and make a plan!
Having an Inconsistent Voice
There is an opportunity to change your voice, and some brands have a rather bland voice. The issue that comes with inconsistency is that you unknowingly put your loyal customers in a bad position. If your brand came off as supportive of certain movements, but after the movement died, so did your involvement, your loyal customers will notice.
The same thought process goes for those brands which advertise themselves as “progressive,” or “edgy” but are often the last ones to make a statement or actually do anything. Choose adjectives to drive your voice that is easy for your brand to adhere to.
For example, if your company does focus on trending issues be a “concerned” voice. You can cultivate a consistent voice by having a few adjectives and one perspective that all of your content should fit. A company may say that it’s: concerned, vibrant, and fun while looking through the lens of a new company trying to build themselves into something impactful.
Using Clickbait Titles
Without a doubt, the newer generation has caught on, and the older generations have learned. Click-bait might be some people’s guilty pleasure, but titles such as, ” (Insert celebrity name) has a baby?!” have no place in content marketing. Even if you create content for an entertainment company, readers want value. They don’t want to click on an enticing title then read through long-form content to realize that what they read had virtually nothing to do with the title.
There will always be people that open clickbait articles, but you can write enticing titles for your value-loaded content that will convert. Sales will always be worth more than clicks.
Creating Buyer Personas Which Don’t Exist
If your buyer persona is a stay-at-home mom that is also a solopreneur and spends their time lounging in a She-Shed, then you have probably made up a persona. Not because that situation isn’t realistic, but because it dives into very different parts of life. A broader persona such as “soloprenuer” who works at home is much more reasonable.
Look at your customers and their behaviors carefully before you create a buyer persona. Talk to your sales staff or ask to listen to customer service calls. Get to know your current, loyal customers.
Not Producing Helpful Content
A blog is a sword, you can wield it, or you can fall on it. Many companies have blogs for the sake of grabbing traffic online and gaining exposure for their brand. There’s no harm in that; it’s content marketing. With blogs, you can cash in on organic traffic, build relationships with your customer base, and showcase your expertise. However, if you’re just posting information to stay on a calendar or to bulk up your site, then you’re probably not delivering value.
Look at what your competitors post and give your guests something more valuable, and something different. If there are very general aspects of what you do that your customers don’t know about, then you may create a blog that says the same thing that sixty others explain. But what makes your company special, and better than the rest?
If you’re going to post on a company blog, then post helpful content. That can include information that is highly valuable or anecdotes that help customers make a purchasing decision.
Not Updating Your “Evergreen” Content
Evergreens need water, and your evergreen content needs someone to spruce it up now and then. You may have some very excellent and very valuable evergreen content. However, going through something with fresh-eyes once a year can have a significant impact on those page’s visit rates.
Your evergreen content is timeless, and that’s great. But behind the scenes, aspects such as keywords, Google algorithms, and page structure aren’t timeless. One example is the quotable sections that are appearing in many blog posts and webpages. With clever formatting, any reader can easily click on these quotes and tweet them, share them, or save them to their phone. Updating your evergreen content allows you to implement new format trends, take another run through editing, and update any information about your company which has changed since the time of publication.
Changing the Master Plan Too Often
If you have a plan, then you’re already on the right track. Now, if you’re changing that plan every couple of days, then you’ve deviated and need to take a rest. That master plan serves a great purpose for content marketing, and it guides you from one month to the next, shows your upcoming goals, and current progress.
Don’t fall prey to changing your keywords, or negative keywords list every few days because you’re not seeing the PPC results you want. Content marketing takes time for quantifiable information.
Always set quarterly plans and use A/B testing to identify what does or does not work before you change your master plan.