It’s 2015, and content marketing is still all the rage, to use an overused cliche. And for good reason, because it still gets results, and will far, far into the foreseeable future. Maybe forever, for all we know, or until CNN finally gets to use its Doomsday video.
Now one would think, with the Internet chock full of content marketing gurus serving up tons of free advice, that everyone would be an expert and every SMB would would be a finely-tuned CM machine.
Sadly, that’s not the case. Anyone who spends any time at all on the Internet sees plenty of perfectly good products and services being marketed with terrible content. So in the spirit of helping you achieve dazzling content marketing triumphs this year, here are five simple content marketing mistakes to avoid:
- Not having a content marketing plan. Believe it or not, there are still lots of businesses out there with no coherent content strategy, and of those that do, it’s only a verbal plan with no documentation for distribution. We’ve even heard strange rumors that there are businesses with no website, if you can imagine, but we scoff at that.
- Not using all your content resources. Content is more than written text. You’ve got infographics, videos, cool photographs, podcasts, and weird cartoons in your content arsenal, and they’re easier to produce than ever before. Bring all your multimedia weapons to bear. It makes your content more interesting, and your message will reach a wider audience.
- Not crafting your content to appeal to your audience. For instance, it’s easy for freelance medical writers, tech writers, and professionals of all stripes to get carried away with technical jargon that’s over-the-head of the customer. On the other hand, poorly written, overly-simple writing won’t hold a reader’s interest and reflects poorly on your business. Know thy audience, and adjust your content accordingly. And be willing to pay for good content.
- Not considering user intent with keywords. Google has been trying to improve user experience for years, and a large part of their effort is determining user intent with search terms. Just doing some cursory keyword research and dropping them in here and there in your content isn’t enough for optimal results anymore. Analyzing your keywords for intent potential can make a huge difference.
- Not measuring the results of your content marketing strategy. Let’s face it, keeping tabs on what’s working and what isn’t is time consuming and a major hassle. So much so apparently, that the Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 survey shows that only 23% of marketers consider themselves successful at it. Many businesses don’t do it at all. Yet it’s essential to an effective plan. Look for more software solutions to become available as the year progresses.
Bob P is an expatriate Hoosier currently living in the wilds of Appalachia. He enjoys books and reading, hunting and fishing, wildflowers, and finely crafted brews like Blatz, Old Milwaukee and PBR. Sometimes all at the same time. He’s available to write content for a small monetary consideration. Or a chicken.