Top 4 Content Marketing Mistakes—and How to Avoid Them

content marketing, content strategy

September 27, 2013 by

content marketing mistakeEverybody’s talking about content marketing—but how many brands are actually doing it right? From an inconsistent brand voice to a lack of momentum, here are 4 all-too-common content marketing mistakes you must avoid:

1. Not Setting Clear Goals

Attempting content marketing without clear goals is like starting a business without a product: pointless. Your content can’t achieve what you want it to when you don’t know what exactly that is. So to reduce the amount of wasted time and energy expended in your efforts, take the time to determine what you need to do. Your content marketing goals might be:

  • Generating new leads
  • Increasing website traffic
  • Generating referrals
  • Bringing in new business
  • Building brand awareness

Once you’ve established your specific goal(s), break them down into subgoals that you can take steps to achieve. Set timelines in order to keep yourself accountable. Then, use those steps to guide your content marketing efforts. RELATED CLASS: Measuring Your Content Marketing Success

2. Losing Momentum

It’s common for brands to start out fast and furious in their content efforts but then lose steam over time. Has this happened to your brand? Did you launch a blog and then let it grow stagnant? Did you start an email newsletter and then quit sending it? If so, it’s time to regroup and return to your goals. One reason brands lose momentum is because they are trying to bite off more than they can chew—when the pace gets overwhelming, they back off. If this sounds like you, return to your specific goals, break those goals down, and tackle one step at a time. RELATED CLASS: Real Time or Die: Feeding the Content Beast

3. Talking and Never Listening

Nothing’s worse online than a brand that’s a loudspeaker. Does this describe you on your social networks? Is your blog just one sales pitch after another? If so, you’re missing valuable opportunities to learn about your audience and engage with your fans. Rather than only talking online, make it part of your strategy to listen. When you pay attention to what your audience is saying on social networks, both about you and about other interests, you learn more about them. Likewise, you’re able to respond to relevant concerns and to engage your followers. Here are a few ideas for engaging your followers and protecting yourself from becoming a blowhard:

  • Ask questions (and respond to answers!)
  • Respond to readers’ questions and comments
  • Respond to relevant content on other blogs and from connections on social networks
  • Retweet interesting and relevant posts from others on Twitter
  • Post more than your own content on social networks—link to others, too

4. Multiple Personality Disorder

Here’s a big one. If one week you’re the formal brand that talks about stats and data, but the next you’re the funny brand cracking jokes and posting cartoons, you are the online equivalent of someone with multiple personality disorder. Better to know who you are and to stick to it—this ensures you communicate a clear, cohesive message to your fans. Do you know who you want your brand to be online? Nail down a clear, specific outline of your voice, tone, mission, and goals—and use it to guide your communication both online and off.

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