By Penny M Oct 12, 2023 8:45:00 AM
Content marketing can be a game-changer, but it's not always a guaranteed success. Surprising, right?
Well, according to the Content Marketing Institute, 88% of B2B marketers use content marketing, but only 30% find it effective. That means a whopping 70% of businesses are investing in content marketing without seeing the desired results – talk about a reality check!
But fear not, here's the silver lining. There are reasons why your content marketing efforts might not be hitting the mark.
Now, let's dive into the 7 Deadly (ish) Sins of Content Marketing and discover how you can avoid them.
The 7 Deadly (ish) Sins of Content Marketing
Sin #1: You're keyword stuffing
It happens. You get so caught up in generating SEO-optimized content that you start designing your content around keywords instead of focusing on providing high-quality information to your audience.
We call that keyword stuffing. Don’t do it. It doesn’t work.
Don’t get it twisted - SEO is extremely important. It’s the #1 driver of traffic to content sites.
If you want to boost your rankings on Google, it's important to prioritize high-quality content over keyword-stuffed content. Keyword stuffing not only erodes your audience's trust but also negatively impacts your conversions in the long run.
How to fix Sin #1
Instead of focusing on solely on keyword optimization, go back to the basics. Write long-form, comprehensive content that covers every angle of the subject you’re discussing.
It doesn't mean you have to pack your website with tons of content, fancy graphics, and visuals.
Instead, deliver information that's truly relevant and helpful to your specific audience. Quality over quantity.
Sin #2: Guessing about your audience, not getting to know them
Assumptions, assumptions, assumptions.
That’s what you’re making.
It’s not enough to assume you know what your audience is interested in or that if it’s interesting to you, it’s interesting to others - it’s probably not.
To effectively reach your audience, it's crucial to have a deep understanding of their desires, needs, concerns, and what motivates them to make a purchase.
How to fix Sin #2
Researching the trends around your target market is the only way you can target your customers effectively by using the same language as them to describe their problems. Use the tools, they’re free!
Sin #3: You’re selling yourself, not teaching
Educate first, sell second.
Remember that. Embrace it. Leverage it.
Your main goal should be to teach your readers how to solve their problems.
If readers are trying to fix a drywall, they shouldn’t walk away with the definition of what a drywall is - they should walk away knowing exactly what to do after reading your content.
You need to look like the expert in your field, not the salesperson.
If you’re now trolling through your website’s content and see that you’ve only mentioned yourself, how awesome your company is, how long you’ve been in business, or the certification you received 5 years ago…
It’s time for a clean up.
How to fix Sin #3
If you’re going to mention yourself or your business, a general rule of thumb is not to do so until the call to action at the end of your content.
You need to put yourself in the shoes of your customer.
A big mistake made by small businesses is the tendency to focus on themselves, products, and services. For content to properly resonate with customers, it needs to speak directly to them and their needs.
Don’t treat your web visitors like human beings who like to read or readers of printed text, treat your web visitors as humans who are hunting for information or products.
Quick tips: Avoid needless repetition, shorten your 700-word paragraph on your certifications, and avoid passive tense.
Sin #4: You give up
Consistency is absolutely crucial. The success of your content hinges on its regularity and avoiding abrupt halts.
If you haven't updated your content since the day you launched your website, then this message is for you.
Stay persistent and don't throw in the towel.
How to fix Sin #4
A consistent effort to learn more about your customers’ needs and wants will be beneficial for you in the long run, fact.
You do that by learning from the above sins, using Google trends, updating your website's content to contain only relevant, unique content, or using the right keyword planning tools is a start to the road of consistency.
However, consistency in your brand goes far beyond an updated tagline or logo.
Everything a customer sees before, during, and after a purchase is important. Keep in mind, you only have a few seconds to capture someone’s attention.
Those seconds are crucial, and you need to make a lasting impression.
Your brand, from emails to Facebook posts, should be cohesive in some way. It should be consistent throughout your entire site.
Brand management is an ongoing process. It’s not a do-it-once-and-leave-it gig.
Sin #5: Your calls-to-action are dead
Content marketing isn’t magic.
You don’t just write the content and expect it to do it’s own marketing.
You can’t expect consumers to read your content and instantly become engaged, loyal customers. You have to encourage them (gently) to take the next step in the purchase process.
A clear call-to-action is essential. It's all about marketing the "desire to have people take action (make a purchase) based on the information they just received."
If your website doesn't have a single call-to-action, you're missing out on a crucial element.
And if you're using the same call-to-action repeatedly, you're also missing the mark.
Why? Because not everyone is at the same stage of the buying cycle.
You need to tailor your calls-to-action to specific stages within the sales process.
How to fix Sin #5
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But, that was somewhat motivating, right?
We got your attention somewhat, right?
In marketing your calls-to-action, the more information you provide for your potential customers, the better it will be for all parties involved.
You need command verbs, words that provoke emotion or motivation, and also a reason why your audience should take the action.
Think “what’s in it for me?” with every call-to-action you write.
Sin #6: You aren’t marketing your content
Content marketing as we emphasized before, is not a “set-it-and-forget-it” kind of gig.
It comes down to 3 things:
- Creating great content
- Making sure it gets found in search engines
- Promoting it to your followers and customers
If you never market the content you write, it won’t bring any new customers or followers.
If you’re one of the many small businesses with no email marketing campaigns, no Adwords campaigns, or even social media campaigns, this ones for you.
You need to give your content the promotional support it needs - all it takes is a few simple steps.
How to fix Sin #6
Get your audience excited about your content so they share it and network on your behalf.
You can do that by sharing your content on social media sites, setting up email marketing campaigns where you can send out monthly newsletters of what’s new to your customers, or even create a Google Adwords display campaign if you are promoting a new product or service.
All in all, this will help build your subscriber base - and help you stay on top of your readers’ minds.
Sin #7: You’re not measuring your data
Let’s be honest, tracking analytics efficiently is a struggle for many brands - especially for small businesses. Between the 20+ metrics, it can be difficult to know what to concentrate on.
However, without tracking, you won’t be equipped to make informed decisions about how to market your content if you have no idea what’s resonating with your audience and what’s not.
You’ll never know where your leads came from, your cost per new customer, or any understanding of your marketing efforts.
That’s another problem you can fix, Houston.
How to fix Sin #7
A well-organized web analytics tool lets you track the effectiveness of your online marketing with great accuracy, we recommend Google Analytics.
You can view your website's reports at a fine level of detail. You’ll be able to see which search terms lead to a web visit or which Facebook page of yours generated the most clicks on your banner ad.
Sin #8 (If there were such a thing): You hired the wrong marketing agency
At High Level Marketing, we understand content marketing.
Literally - it’s in our name.
Your content marketing strategy can be instrumental in boosting your brand awareness, building trust, authority, and generating leads - and we can help make that happen.
If you’re a business who wants to stop committing the above sins and hand your content marketing strategy over, give High Level Marketing a call.
With a team of marketing experts, we have proven and affordable services that can help you grow - contact us today get started.
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