The more effective your content is, the better it persuades your prospect and the more it speeds up decision-making. The whole point of content marketing is to share regularly top-quality, relevant information with prospects and existing customers through various channels.
But more often than not, basic guidelines of content marketing are forgotten and rules flouted, undoing the value of the entire effort. Look closely at various forms of content marketing that you read every day: articles, websites, webinars, newsletters, whitepapers, and even ads and demos. You are likely to find mistakes that content marketers have committed unwittingly.
Here’s a list of mistakes that we think are all too common:
1. Blowing your own trumpet: This is probably among the biggest mistakes content marketers make. If every piece of content that comes out of your system sounds like a sales pitch, more often than not, you will scare the prospect away. How many of us love door-to-door salesmen intruding into our space, boring us with their sales talk, and causing us to stop listening—even to information that might be valuable? Hard-selling, self-promoting content can have the same effect.
2. Offline only please: Many organizations still prefer to spend their big bucks on offline marketing. Despite the pervasive presence of social media and various content-sharing tools available online, our ‘love-the-offline-world’ CMOs continue to allocate larger budgets to TV, print, and radio. Although a hybrid mix of content marketing channels is recommended, it is time to explore the various tools that are available online to share and leverage the brilliant content you produce.
3. Overkill: You develop content for purposes that include lead-generation, thought- leadership, introducing brand language, direct selling, or improving customer relationships. Too much content bores your audience members. They may never want to look at your blog, website, or newsletter again. It is important that the content communicate a message concisely. The message needs to include a call-for-action that induces the prospect to become progressively more engaged with your company.
4. Forgetting the larger picture: This happens all the time not only with respect to content marketing, but also with running businesses and even with running our personal lives. It is important to analyze and understand what you want your prospect to glean from your content and do in response to it. It is also crucial to understand the messaging that is required by your marketing strategy and then develop content that communicates this message across media: blogs, tweets, press releases, videos, presentations, etc. The message needs to be coherent and support the larger picture.
5. Quantity over Quality: Jumping onto the social media bandwagon and creating accounts on a large number of social media platforms can be a waste of time. Activities such as achieving a goal of posting five blog articles each week, producing white papers just to meet a quota, and communicating the same message in different formats are of little value (and may even be detrimental) if the quality of these efforts is poor and if they are repetitive. To ensure quality, often less is more.
If you have a good marketing plan, and if you avoid these five common mistakes, your communications will have a much greater probability of supporting your plan and bringing you the desired results.