The Content Marketing Landscape
Content marketing constantly changes and evolves, much like the associated technology, and the consumers to which it appeals. As we begin a new year, we can expect to see an increasing focus on quality content, and a move away from junk and filler content. There’s also likely to be more interest in content investment and content marketing technology, and an emphasis on building not just an overall brand, but a content identity as well.
While content is definitely at the forefront of most marketing initiatives, some common mistakes are coming from even the most seasoned professionals.
1. Not Working to Ensure People See It
Quality content is great, but not if no one is reading it. Many times we see organizations that put a tremendous amount of focus on the creation of strong content, but they fall short when it comes to marketing it and ensuring it’s actually being viewed. You can’t have one without the other and expect your content marketing strategy to work.
2. It’s All About the Ads
People are looking for content that is relevant to their lives and also useful to them. They’re constantly bombarded with advertisements, and if your content reeks of an ad, it’s going to turn them off. Instead of making content about your product or services, make it about the customer.
3. Lacking a Loyalty Strategy
You don’t want content that feels like it exists in a vacuum, which is what happens either when you cut your efforts off too quickly, or you create content for specific campaigns, where the focus is on the short-term instead of the long-term. You want to work on creating content that’s going to not just appeal briefly to your targeted audience, but that will help you build a brand and loyalty over the long-term.
4. No Basis in Big Data
Big data is no longer exclusively reserved for big corporations. There are an abundance of software options and inexpensive tools that can help even small businesses collect the big data they need to make compelling and targeted content. Take advantage of these resources as a way to drive a more effective content marketing strategy.
5. Lacking the “Why”
Do you ever feel like you’re not even sure why you’re producing a bit of content? Then your audience will likely feel the same way. If you want more successful marketing, always ensure you have a solid “why” in place that serves as the driver of your content. If you can’t answer why you’re putting something out there, why would your audience find it something useful or relevant to their own lives?
6. Creating Headlines As an Afterthought
You may have been in the situation where you craft a great bit of content, and you’re ready to put it out there. There’s just one thing stopping you—you don’t have a headline, so you hastily slap one on, and you’re ready to go. Right? Think again. Your headline is everything, and it should be where you put a significant portion of your time during the creation process.
Perfecting Your Skills
Above all else, content marketing is a craft and skill that needs to be refined and learned. Much like social media, businesses that tend to see the least amount of traction from content marketing efforts are those that attempt to throw something together with little thought toward the science of content. A good first step to mastering content creation is avoiding the mistakes listed above, and then moving toward a greater understanding of not just what quality means in your industry, but how to make it work for you.