Common Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2020

Content Marketing is a marketing strategy driven by the provision of relevant informational content to a target audience in order to improve sales. Content marketing hinges on building a relationship with your customers over time and winning their loyalty. Unlike other forms of marketing, it is a rather long-term approach, with continuous results.

But it is not so simple. Over the years, content marketing has grown in scope and form. The industry is expected to have grown to $400 billion by this year’s end. Therefore, the actual process of content marketing is much more nuanced than simply posting content on a consistent basis.

There is no doubt that content marketing is a smart investment – companies that blog regularly produce 67% more leads than those that don’t. Yet, there are many ways things could go wrong. To maximize your chances of success, here are some mistakes to avoid. And if perhaps you are making some of them already, there are solutions on how to remedy the situation.

1. Lack of Strategy

The first obvious step to content marketing success (or anything at all) is to create a plan. But content strategy goes beyond creating a plan (usually simply an editorial calendar). Some marketers don’t set goals, against which latter results would be measured, to define success or failure. Reports of a study showed that having a documented content marketing strategy contributed to the success of 69% of B2B marketers.

Before beginning content marketing, think long-term and come up with KPIs and SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound) goals. These would help you determine if your marketing efforts are yielding the right fruits.

2. Lack of Audience Research

In an old study, 55% of participants claimed that the content they get from brands isn’t relevant or important to them. Many content marketing efforts fail because the marketers know neither who their audience is nor what they want. It is not enough to conduct keyword research and find trending topics to talk about. If your posts don’t address the needs of your audience, then there is almost no point in putting out content.

Audience research is defining who your readers are, their interests, and their needs. Your content should not be for the ‘general public‘ as targeting too broad may derail your goals. Define your target audience and tailor content that fits their needs.

3. Lack of Diversity

Smart marketers don’t communicate using one medium only. Integrate photos and videos in your blog posts to engage the visual senses of your audience. Infographics do particularly well since they break down long-form content into more accessible visual formats. Video consumption is, particularly on a steep rise. According to Hubspot, video has overtaken blogs and infographics to become the most common content marketing format.

And you don’t even have to come up with fresh content for each medium. You can easily repurpose blog content into YouTube videos, podcast episodes, newsletters, etc. For instance, 37% (more than one-third) of Americans are now regular podcast listeners, up from 32% in 2019.

Experiment with various content formats until you find the ones that fit your audience best.

4. Lack of CTAs

When I see a marketing post without a call-to-action, I immediately figure that the author doesn’t understand the essence of content marketing. It is high time marketers stopped ignoring the marketing in ‘content marketing’. After making your audience read your blog post or watch your video, do you offer them value – a next step? In ‘content marketing’, we use content to sell products and brands. Your posts shouldn’t just be informative, but they should include a next step for the audience too.

There are a lot of statistics to prove that having a CTA is effective for sales. You may have 10,000 blog visitors or newsletter readers, but what is the point of such a following if you don’t convert the traffic into leads? Always include a CTA on all your posts, even if it is as simple as collecting emails.

5. Lack of Analytics

Again, there is the mistake of assuming that your work ends when you have fine-tuned a post and when you click on ‘publish’. In 2019, only 32% of selected bloggers reported always checking the analytics of their blog posts. That’s wrong. Without going through the data from analytics, you would keep doing the same things and keep making uninformed, regrettable decisions.

There is no shortage of analytics tools to know what’s up about a piece of content you have posted. There is Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Moz, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and many more. Analytics would help you determine if your strategy works or there are edges to smoothen.

Conclusion

Content marketing may be a long-drawn process, but you can still get it right by avoiding these common pitfalls. In all, it helps to understand that your strategy must be unique to your business. What works for one brand may not work for you. Simply find the path that fits your business, then follow the best practices to ensure success.

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