Having a strong online content marketing campaign is essential to the success of any company or a website. Your content is what keeps people coming back to your site. It’s what gets people to tell their friends about you, to ink to you, and it's why they “share” or “like” or “retweet” you on social media platforms.That’s why getting your content strategy right is so very important. If you’re making any one of these five mistakes, chances are you’re destroying your website’s chances at success. So, take a minute to go through these top content marketing no-no's, in order to get the most out of your strategy.
Mistake #1 – Relinquishing the Rights to Your Best Content Pieces
It’s very common for people to publish content on websites other than their own. For example, you might publish content on other people’s sites through guest blogging or on article submission sites (such as e-zines).
There’s nothing wrong with this. The mistake comes in when you don’t own any of your best content. For example, if your top traffic generating post isn't on your site, but a blog that belongs to another reliable source within your niche, then this is a big content marketing faux pas.
The majority of your top notch content should be on your own website. It shouldn’t be out on the internet. Your best content should be used to build your brand, not someone else’s. The trouble is that, more often than not, you don't quite know which content is going to become a major traffic generator. As such, you should be very selective about which pieces you offer as guest blog posts, as well as what content you choose to upload to the various article submission sites. If you have an inkling that it may be a big traffic generator, then put it on your own site.
Mistake #2 – Not Making an Effort to Get to Know Your Target Audience
When you created the core content for your site, chances are that you had a specific type of reader in mind. You probably had, at least, a vague notion of who you were trying to attract, and/or the reasons why they would be visiting your site. As such, you developed that core content based upon these specifications, and went to great lengths to make your site an ideal destination for them, in particular. The same principles must also be applied to your content marketing strategy...you have to make an effort to familiarize yourself with your desired readership.
Answering key questions will let you determine just who your target audience is, and what content they are looking for.
Who are you talking to? What are their needs? What have they already heard before and what are they dying to hear? What kind of words and language do they use? If you don’t have a crystal clear sense of who your target audience is, you aren’t going to be able to speak to them in a way that has them feel as though they are being understood. You have to let them know that you are willing and able to provide the information that they need, and that you care enough to conduct research into the demographics of your readership and their informational needs.
Try to get a solid sense of who your target audience is by asking them as many questions as possible. Browse internet forums to see what kind of questions they tend to ask. If a question keeps popping up (in forums or in direct emails), then that's a topic you should cover as soon as possible.
Once you are able to get a firm grasp on just who your target audience is, then, and only then, can you really begin to develop a successful content marketing plan
. This is because you will have the power to appeal to their need for knowledge that is specific to your target demographic and niche, rather than generalizing your posts.
Mistake #3 – Having Great Content Without an Effective Link-building Strategy
High quality content is important. We cannot stress that enough. However, webmasters who focus only on the quality of their content and not on SEO are probably going to be disappointed by their traffic stats.
The simple truth is that, no matter how good your content might be, it won’t spread virally without a little nudge. You won’t get ranked on the merits of your content alone. Even if your content is controversial, ground breaking, or fills an informational gap, you still need to understand the basics of SEO.
If you don't take the time to build those links and include those keywords, then how can you expect your readers to find you? Instead, you will get lost among all of the other blog sites, even if your site includes little gems of information. As we mentioned earlier, if you don't include road signs for your visitors to follow, they'll end up detouring to your competitor's site.
Therefore, you'll need to come up with a great link-building strategy to help get your high quality content in front of your readers. Then, and only then, will the great content that you're offering be able to gain the exposure that it so rightfully deserves.
Mistake #4 – Being Too “Gimmicky”
Your website’s job should first and foremost be about providing high quality content. This is what will attract people to your website. Thus, Webmasters who spend a vast majority of their web space on promotions end up shooting themselves in the foot. Why? Because it alienates their customer base. Customers don't want to log on to your site to be barraged with sales gimmicks and forceful pitches.
Don’t lock your content. Don’t put it behind newsletter walls and squeeze pages. Don’t make your customers work to view the quality of your content. Instead, put your best content right upfront, so people can see that you’re the real deal. This builds credibility and increases reader loyalty. In turn, customers will be more informed about how your products or services can help them, and you will become the one they turn to for information within your given niche.
Mistake #5 – Not Taking Advantage of Multimedia
The internet isn’t a text-based universe. It mayhave been ten years ago, but it certainly isn't today. In fact, if you’re only getting your message out by text, you’re going to get left behind, and your competitors are going to get all of that sought after traffic.
If you're skeptical about relying upon media within your content marketing campaign, then just take a look at your Facebook feed. How many articles are being shared? And how many YouTube videos are being shared? Chances are, you'll be able to see first hand how multimedia is becoming more and more prevalent, and it’s only going to get more so in the future.
This doesn't mean that you have to come up with all new content. You can develop the right content strategy by taking your already existing content, and concepts, and packaging them into different forms of content. Take your blog posts and turn them into audio podcasts that people can listen to on their iPods and iPhones while they're driving in their cars or working out. Convert your comedic or controversial ideas into videos that can spread virally.
Multimedia also removes limitations that may have prevented you from truly marketing your business image or brand. You can now brainstorm new ideas to express your opinions and your brands that wouldn’t have been possible in text, by taking full advantage of the power of new tech-based media that’s available today.
The most common misconception about using multimedia marketing is that it is too expensive. Only large companies with sizable budgets can integrate diverse forms of modern media into their strategies. That is far from the truth, however. As a matter of fact, getting into media production today is cheaper than it has ever been before. A high definition camera costs under $200. Professional grade video editing can be done at bargain prices. The level of investment simply shouldn’t be a barrier for taking your company’s content into the digital age.
These are five of the most common and fatal content strategy mistakes that people make. You should avoid these mistakes at all costs if you want your content marketing strategy to be a success.