Here are 10 serious mistakes that content marketing pros make on a regular basis. The good news is that most of these errors are easily fixable.
1. Losing focus of your audience
You can write the best content in the world, but if you fail to remember who you’re writing for, it won’t matter. A highly technical article on any subject is not going to be appreciated or understood by the average layperson reading your content. On the other hand, a simple down to earth blog post is not going to be read by someone researching for the thesis for their master’s degree program. Knowing who you are trying to reach and staying on their level of learning is vital. Sometimes, you just have to step back and reevaluate your content and audience to make sure you are still on track.
2. Producing boring, repeated content
Because the Internet is constantly evolving, content quickly gets old. Gone are the days when you could create web content and plan on it lasting for 5-10 years. Due to the fact that Internet content is constantly being recycled, along with the fact that people are now expecting new information on a regular basis, it is important to update your knowledge regularly. This means being on a constant search for new information to add to your website or blog in order to keep your audience interested in what you have to offer them. You also need to be sure that none of your content is copied from any other websites. A plagiarism check is in order to be certain that your content is not duplicated anywhere online.
3. Neglecting calls to action
There should be a purpose and goal for every piece of content that is produced and posted online. Rather your content is for information, marketing, SEO, or just for pleasure, you must stop and ask yourself what you want from your audience. Once you figure that out, you must take the time provide a place for your audience to pursue things further. What is their next step, what should they do if they want more information, where are more resources? If you neglect your call to action, it looks as there is no purpose for your content. Your call to action does not need to be a huge sales pitch, but it should provide a place for interested readers to find more information.
4. Too much fluff
One common problem with content today is too much fluff and not enough rich content. With Google’s changes in algorithms and SEO’s ever-changing dynamics, the “rules” for good content are always evolving. However, regardless of what is decided is best for marketing and SEO, a piece of content should be filled with interesting, factual, and educational information. It’s vital that you are the “expert” in your field, and that is only possible if you are proving that with content that is fresh with up to date links and new information.
5. Failing to have a plan
While content directors and managers know what they “need” to keep their clients happy, they often fail to create a long-term plan. Without a content marketing plan, it’s easy to lose focus of the goals and expectations of your content. Every marketing plan is different for every website and therefore, it’s important to have a strategy for each one and not assume that all strategies will be the same for every marketing campaign. Take the time to research your competitors and develop a plan that is better than theirs. The good news is that most people aren’t bothering to do this, so if you spend any time at all on creating a content plan, you will likely be ahead of the game.
6. Ignoring SEO
We have been told that Google hates keyword stuffing and fluffy content without meaning, instead preferring content that is filled with expert information. However, people must be able to find your online content, and without using some SEO practices, it’s not likely that will happen. Researching keywords, adding meta tags, checking current Google Analytics, creating the best titles, and using regular calls to action can only help you increase your visibility. You don’t have to be an SEO guru to make this happen; simply educating yourself on some simple SEO practices can make a huge difference.
7. Neglecting to add the right images
We live in a visual world. People expect to see images intermingled with content. When it comes to creating content for your website or blog, a picture truly is worth a thousand words. The right (or wrong) image can make all the difference in rather or not someone will read your content. Take the time to add an image that is applicable and interesting. Be sure that you have rights to use and change images for your site before adding them so you don’t run into any copyright issues.
8. Producing work with errors
Mistakes happen and it’s nearly impossible to produce a perfect piece of content without any typos or grammatical errors. However, it should never be accepted as the norm. Every effort should be made to produce content without errors, and that will require more proofreading. Even if you are an expert in your field with a superb website, if you have grammar errors or typos, people will judge you and not consider you an expert. Take the time to get it right so you can shine and allow people to see you in the very best light.
9. Ignoring headlines and subtitles
Your headlines and subtitles are the most important part of your content. Why? Because five times more people read your headlines than the body of your content. You should take the time to produce headlines, subtitles, bullets, and well-crafted documents so that your content is easier for people to peruse. It may make the difference of rather or not your content will be read.
10. Not sticking to a schedule
As stated in #2 and #5, it is vital that your content not be boring, repeated, or unplanned. These things usually happen because there is no definite schedule for content. In order for your website to stay interesting and searchable, you must continue to add new content on a regular basis. Google will rank websites higher if they have fresh content on a consistent schedule. Add new content regularly so people will continue to find your site.
Doing content marketing the right way really is important these days if you are want an online presence, so take the time to do it right and get the Internet presence you want and deserve.