In a survey of B2B companies, 62 percent reported that they felt content marketing was a high priority for their company, with many naming it as one of the top three items in their overall marketing strategy. While businesses are recognizing the importance of content more and more, many are still struggling with execution and making errors that cost them readers and, eventually, customers. Here are four content marketing mistakes you can’t afford to make:
Not Blogging at All
For the uninitiated, blogging can seem like the thing that emo teenagers or amateur bakers do rather than an essential tool for multi-million dollar corporations, but the truth is that it’s both. Whether your message is simple or complicated, intended for tweens or CEOs, full of pictures or laden with statistics, blogging is your chance to deliver that message in an accessible, read-at-your-own-pace format. Some 61 percent of consumers prefer companies that publish custom content, and better yet they’re more likely to buy from the companies that do, too.
Prizing Quantity – or Price Point – Over Quality
As a freelance content writer, I’ve seen a lot of bargain barrel orders come my way. They go back the way they came pretty quickly, but they linger in my email inbox just long enough for me to sigh and try to change the sender’s mine. In content marketing you really do get what you pay for, and if you’re only paying a writer enough money to toss off a hastily written piece with little research and even less effort, that’s exactly what the end result will look like. A cheap content writer will get you words, but a quality content writer makes those words actually mean something.
Forgetting Who You’re Writing For
Surprise! Your blog isn’t about you – or at least it shouldn’t be. People don’t really love listening to other people talk about themselves, and the same goes for business content. Have your freelance writer for hire create content that answers the question, “What’s in it for me?” How will your service help consumers? What problem does your product solve? How will you make their lives easier?
Don’t be afraid to customize your content for the person reading it, too; studies have found that emails with personalized subject lines are more likely to opened by a rate 22.2 percent. Simply adding in a first name (email and newsletter management companies have tools for you to do this in bulk) shrinks your mass email down to an almost personal level.
Getting Stuck in a Rut
There are tons of blogs that offer interesting and actionable ideas of even step-by-step formulas detailing how to write in a way that attracts traffic and is easy to read, but if you write every piece in that same, formulaic way, your message will get swallowed up by the sameness. Variety is the spice of content marketing, so to speak, and you can add that spice by incorporating visual storytelling, adding curated content into your rotation, or varying the length or style (journalistic vs. first-person, humorous vs. data-driven, etc.) of your blogs.
Alana M is a content marketing maven. When she isn’t hard at work writing all kinds of witty and engaging content, she enjoys long walks on the beach, lion taming, nuclear physics and lying about her hobbies.