Increasingly, companies and sales professionals are becoming more reliant on content marketing to drive demand gen. Sadly, most content marketing is wasted because of simple mistakes. Don’t allow these 25 content marketing mistakes to hold you back.
Not knowing your audience.
…Or thinking too generically about your audience. Details matter here. It’s the details that make the difference between lackluster, boring content, and content that changes minds and motivates.
Thinking that product features and benefits are what prospects care about.
You’ve got to earn the right to talk to prospects about yourself. They won’t pay attention unless what you are offering is relevant and meaningful to their situation.
Not knowing the process prospects go through to make a purchasing decision.
If you understand the types of questions your prospect asks, then you know the information your need to present at each stage of their journey. Providing information about a solution before your prospect knows they have a problem isn’t going to produce the desired results.
Not differentiating your content.
Your content should demonstrate your company’s brand— not make you sound like every other company in your space.
Not amplifying it.
This the “build it and they will come” syndrome. Just because you’ve written an interesting piece of content or created a cool video doesn’t mean people will flock to it. You have to proactively and intentionally get it in front of your target audience.
Not involving influencers.
Utilize these people as resources— for topics, angles, and opinions to help build out your content. They are immersed in the industry and can provide valuable insight into your targets’ greatest concerns.
Ignoring in-house experts.
Sometimes, the people who have the insights and knowledge your prospects need sit in the cube next door. From customer success and product management to sales, asking people inside your company about customer needs can uncover real content gems.
Make multiple pieces of content in different formats and be creative about the different ways people might consume your content. One webinar can turn into a blog article, a downloadable guide, a checklist, and an infographic.
Sometimes brilliant content is hidden behind a boring façade. Ensure the format and design of your content reflect the research and thought you put into creating it.
Not tying your content to your business objectives.
If the content you produce does not create business, then it is a wasted effort. Make sure that your content marketing strategy is a lead generator and profit driver for your brand.
Ignoring SEO opportunities.
Keywords still matter. Part of knowing your customers pain points is understanding how they look for answers. A quick review of keywords via Google’s keyword planner can be very insightful.
Ignoring lead generation opportunities.
It still amazes me how much good, free content is available without any kind of gate to gather contact information.
Not mapping the content to the buyers’ journey.
Take a step back and determine how your content addresses each step for the buyers’ journey. Do you have something for each stage your prospects go through to make a buying decision?
It’s just a bunch of chest-pounding.
No one likes being bragged to or pitched at. This is an excellent lesson in “showing” and not “telling”. Instead of making grand claims about how incredible your product, service, or company is— demonstrate that to your audience by showing them how it could make a difference for their organization.
Having no way to measure the impact of your content.
It’s helpful to know how many downloads or views or how much time is spent watching each piece of content. That activity has to be tied to each lead through the sales funnel, if it is going to have a real impact on your business. Metrics count.
Writing for the company instead of the customer.
Make sure to keep the customers’ point of view central to your content strategy and each piece of content that you develop.
Not promoting, aggregating and curating great content from others.
It’s true, you don’t have to produce the content to provide value to your potential clients. Compiling interesting articles from thought leaders and making it easier for your audience to access provides a service to your prospects and puts your company in a good light.
Only producing written content.
People consume information in all sorts of formats. Don’t’ forget about video, podcasts or infographics.
Focusing on quantity over quality.
The amount of output doesn’t make a difference if the content is poorly developed or distributed without a strategy.
Believing that only one person creates all of the content.
Make content development a company-wide initiative. Marketing may own content strategy, but they don’t control the market on great content. Tap everyone from the top executives to the more junior members of the team. As long as they are writing for the customer, it’s a win!
No editing or quality review.
Always, always have someone review what you’ve produced. Not only for proper grammar and typos, but also for structure, content, and audience.
Poor writing with excessive amounts of passive voice.
If writing doesn’t come naturally to you, have someone you trust review your work and act as your editor. But don’t give up. Take a class or read a book to learn how to improve. Whatever you do, keep writing. Practice is key.
Stopping before you start.
We all have that mental block that paralyzes us whenever you sit down to write something from time to time. Don’t let this stop you.
Inconsistency with your messaging/positioning.
Make sure you have a broad enough strategy that covers how you connect the topics and points-of-view of your content with the company’s mission and product or service’s core benefits. Don’t let your content sell your competitors’ products.
Not encouraging and participating in two-way communication.
Make your content interactive or prompt readers, visitors, and followers to get in touch with you. Reply to any comments or feedback that they do leave. This connection creates familiarity and builds credibility.
There are more ways to screw up content than there is to win at it. But you can stack the deck in your favor by taking the Content Marketing That Converts course on Sales Gravy University. You’ll learn strategies and applied best practices to convert more leads with content marketing.
About the author
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of…