Many businesses around the world have adopted a content marketing strategy and as a result have experienced several positive effects building their brand; increased website traffic, higher sales revenue, improved brand reputation, and a better overall relationship with consumers.
But, if content marketing is such a powerful tool in a marketing plan, why do so many businesses fail or lack efficiency in implementing it into their strategy?
Unfortunately, many businesses are greatly challenged when trying to execute their content marketing strategy. In most cases, the strategies implemented are not the issue. The problem is the implementation of those strategies.
Below you will find some common mistakes businesses make with content marketing and how they can be remedied.
1. The Audience
Building an audience for your content is absolutely crucial. Your content must begin and end with your audience persona in order for it to be effective. It is no surprise that businesses who do not have a clearly defined audience person experience issues with their marketing strategy. This should be your business’ first step. If this step has issues, you can bet the rest of the plan will too.
A common mistake businesses make is making things up about their customers. Several business owners attempt to retrieve data from product experts, online leads, sales reps or employees within the organization. This is completely wrong!
Instead, take the time to interview and have a conversation with buyers. This will give you incredible insight. Furthermore, it will tell you, with accuracy, precisely what you need to do to create content that will make buyers choose you over anybody else.
Why is it important?
Adele Revella, author of The Buyer Persona Manifesto, defines the persona as “a composite picture of the real people who buy, or might buy, products like the one you market, based on what you’ve learned in direct interviews with real buyers.”
The audience person is what gives context to your content marketing strategy. It is who you are speaking to through your content. Moreover, the persona keeps those collaborating on content being created on the same page in relation to whom you are talking to and why the communication matters in the first place.
Developing too many audience personas can hurt you, too. Many companies believe it is necessary to create a buyer persona for each of their customer type. While this may seem like a good idea, it is more efficient to consolidate and target specific personas that are relevant to the business.
There should only be a separate persona created when there is a significant difference in your audience. A good story that communicates your message clearly to audiences that are similar ensures you will be more efficient with your content.
2. Creating Quality Content
During the content creation process, problems seem to arise for many businesses. A recurring problem with much of the content being is centered on quality.
For example, there are many blog posts that are too short, very vague, or unclear. Creating generic 500 word posts is not beneficial. This is not a strategy that will allow you to become authoritative and will not progress your business toward it’s ultimate goal of becoming a thought leader in its field.
If this is your problem, try to increase the frequency or make post longer. Blogs that receive the most attention are lengthy and cover the needs and wants of its targeted audience persona.
I know what you’re thinking, “where will we find the time to create quality content on a consistent basis?”
Your company is not the only one out there who creating content. Take advantage of that by curating some content for your audience. This allows you to take other peoples content and feature it along with your relevant content. It’s fast, easy and cheap. Something as simple as a link or blog post can be considered curating.
Furthermore, businesses often lack diversity in the content they are producing. In other words, brands tend to create the same content over and over again. Creating redundant content does not add value in any way and is a waste of time.
Instead, look to repurpose the content that has already been created. Reformatting your content can help your business reach other audiences whilst reusing the golden content you’ve already created. This can be achieved by adding more infographics in place of statistics or vice versa. It is important to note that your followers prefer some formats over another. Some prefer eBooks over podcasts. Take advantage of their preferences.
3. Content Performance
After you publish your content, it is important to evaluate its performance regularly. Content marketing is a process – one that is ongoing. There is no “set it and forget it” strategy that has been proven to be effective. It requires that you constantly update and revise content you have already published.
If your content is underperforming, ask yourself questions to uncover the reason(s) why. Is your content about you or your customers? Will anyone want to share and spread your content to others? Will anyone search for your content? Is it so engaging that people will want to follow you?
By auditing your content, you will be able to answer these questions and find out why your content is not performing as it should. This process is crucial for another reason, too.
When you review your content, you will have a greater understanding of what content you already own. This will give you direction to what content you should produce next. Keeping an inventory of your content is important. This way, there is no chance you will spend hours creating a piece of content only to find out it has already been created.
Ok. So you’ve gone back and you are convinced your content has an audience, it is grade A quality, and you’ve updated it. Why is it still not working??
It could be due to the lack of promotion for your content.
There are millions of content pieces being published daily. As awesome as you think your content may be, it is not going to be noticed or stand out amongst all the other content out there. Needle in a haystack has never been more true.
To be noticed, your company is going to need to advertise on social media, through paid channels, and basic public relations. Give your content the chance it needs to reach its intended audience.
There are many ways businesses fail to institute content marketing. But, just as there are many ways to fail, there are many ways to succeed. Make sure you have solid audience personas. Remember that quality content is what readers are looking for. And don’t forget to review your content and support it through promotion.