Content marketing is the backbone of your digital marketing strategy. Whether it is a blog post, a video or a photograph, your content needs to be valuable to readers (educational, humorous, or similar) as well as easily accessible through search engines to better attract new viewers.
You may not know it, but you may be shooting yourself in the foot if you are making one of the following five mistakes with your content marketing. Read on to learn about the five biggest mistakes that could be killing your content marketing and how to fix or avoid them.
Using only one form of content marketing
When marketers discuss their content marketing, they are talking about a wide range of content in various forms. In general, there are two major components of content: original blog posts, videos, images and other content your create and the mediums through which you share the content, which includes email and social media.
Focusing on one form of original content and one medium of delivery narrows your reach significantly. Not all of your social media followers or email subscribers consume content in the same manner. Some people do not have the time to read in-depth articles or blogs and would rather scroll through pictures. When creating how-to content, some people would rather read a step-by-step guide while others would rather watch a video.
You also can’t assume that all your Facebook followers are also on your emailing list and vice versa. If you are only sending out content on social media, you might miss a whole section of your followers who are only on your emailing list.
Sticking to one form of content and one medium of delivery alienates some of your followers. Use different forms of content to reach all of your followers. If your financial firm posts a blog about different types of business accounts, create a talking head video with one of your financial advisors, who adds a human touch to the piece.
Too much social media
Have you ever looked at the social media accounts of small businesses that seem to be on every social media platform? If you have, then you probably noticed how little each account is used, or you have noticed that each account has the same posts. There is nothing to distinguish one from the other, and there is a good chance that everything is automated.
Small businesses usually do not have the time, staff or the need to be on every social media platform, especially if they have no idea how to use the platform for effective marketing. What is the point of having an Instagram account if you do not post images or having a YouTube channel if you never create videos? Is your audience even on those platforms? If not, then why waste your time?
Before you start creating social media accounts for your business, do some research and find where your audience is and how they would most likely interact with your content. Companies with a more visual component, such as a property development company, might find Pinterest or Instagram to be their preferred sites, or if you have the time and budget, you might be able to create more videos for YouTube.
No matter how large or small your marketing staff is, however, you should still be on either Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or some combination of the three. Both Facebook and Twitter allow you to get information out quickly to a large audience, and LinkedIn provides your company access to a more professional audience.
Ignoring the call-to-action
One of the biggest mistakes many small business content marketers make is forgetting the call-to-action (CTA) in their content. While you should create content solely to educate and inform, you should still be tying in some sort of CTA in each post.
Your CTAs can be as simple as ‘leave us a comment’ or ‘sign up for out emailing list for more information,’ but some CTA should be on every type of content. This keeps readers engaged and stops them from leaving your site directly after they finish reading. By giving readers a place to go next or a reason to stay on your site, you will keep readers on your site longer, which helps keep your bounce rate low and improve your search engine optimisation (SEO).
When you finish a blog or video, ask yourself, ‘What do I want them to do next?’ and then give followers an opportunity to do so. If you want them to comment or leave a message, ask them at the end of the blog. If you want them to share your content, make sure you have accessible social media buttons that will allow users to easily share. If you want them to join your emailing list, use a pop-up or keep the subscriber box on the side pane of the screen. Have it scroll down with the user as they read your content.
Forgetting to research keywords
Having great keywords is like having a great location for your shop. If your shop is out in the middle of nowhere, how many visitors can you really expect to have? If no one is searching for the keywords in your content, then what are the chances of your content being found through a search engine?
When you are creating content, it is important to think about keywords before you begin work. Keywords will ensure that your content is found by the right people, and the right keywords will help your bounce rate stay low.
If you create a blog post about the different types of savings accounts but use ‘checking accounts’ as a keyword, people actively searching for information about savings accounts will never find your content. People searching for checking accounts might click to your content but then immediately click away when they see that the content will not help them.
Research relevant keywords for your content and weave them in. Find which keywords are trending, which phrases are being used and which ones are not. Do not assume to know which words and phrases your readers are using to search.
Failing to track your content’s progress
Your small business has been creating quality content and sharing it on a few carefully selected social media platforms as well as through email for six months now. What do you have to show for it?
If you do not track the progress of your content, you may never know how useful it is or whether or not it is helping your sales. You might create 10 quality pieces of content per day, but you are wasting your time if you do not know whether or not your content is being shared or whether or not people adhered to your CTA.
To find out how many leads your content is generating through different mediums, you need to open accounts with Google Analytics, Kissmetrics or other analytics tracking software companies. These accounts will help you better understand customer behaviour and their interactions with your content.
In recent years, content marketing has become an essential component of any digital marketing strategy. Do not negate your hard work by making these content-killing mistakes.