Marketers are generating content at breakneck speed in the name of content marketing campaigns. But how do you know if working smart or just working hard? Here are five ways you could be undermining the effort you’re making without realizing it.
You don’t have a written strategy. Enjoy playing pin the tail on the donkey? Without a written content strategy, you’re basically hoping to find new customers while blindfolded. A good content strategy defines the goals; identifies the target audience and their challenges/needs/interests and more; and outlines the messages and distribution channels that will reach the audience, grab their attention and provide them value.
If you don’t have a written content strategy, the investment you make in content marketing won’t achieve its maximum potential for success and that’s frustrating to all of the organization’s stakeholders. Here’s more on the planning stage of content marketing by Content Marketing Institute.
You create content for content’s sake. You need more things to post on social media so you just create, create, create. Or one department wants a new webinar, another an infographic, another an ebook and video and on and on so you create it. As a content marketer, I’m not afraid to say there is such a thing as too much content. If you’re creating content that doesn’t provide value to your audience or posting so much that the really important stuff gets lost, they’ll tune it out.
It all comes back to the strategy. Each content idea needs to be weighed against the strategy to understand if spending the resources to create the piece will meet the needs of the audience and push them through the buying decision making process. If an idea doesn’t meet the requirements, cut it.
You veer away from your brand story. Brand authenticity is important. Like, really important. What does your brand stand for? The topics you focus your content on, the case studies you share, the company news you announce all need to speak with the same tone and voice. Be honest, and don’t be someone you’re not, even if you think it’s the only way to keep up with your competition.
If a trending issue is not your issue, don’t jump on the bandwagon without something tangible to back it up or you’ll be called out on it and then you’ll have to deal with a much bigger reputation problem. Customers will notice if your online content is one thing and the in person experience is another. Ashley Deibert wrote on Forbes, “Don’t portray yourself as a luxury brand if your product is actually a value play. Stay in your lane, be the best in your sector, and know your customer and their expectations.”
You collect data about your audience, but don’t use it. Marketers are getting pretty good at data collection, whether during an event or webinar registration process or tracking their online habits, but using it effectively another story. Lee Odden wrote in Data Is Vital Ingredient in Content Marketing Success that, “Forrester reports that companies only analyse 12% of the data they have available. Furthermore, a 2016 study by Conductor found that 38% of content marketers rarely use data, and 45% of B2C content marketers don’t target their content.”
Not using data renders the aforementioned strategy useless. Customers want personal experiences with brands and if you’re not using the data you already have to inform your content marketing decisions you’re missing an opportunity to be successful.
Marsha Riefer Johnston wrote in Why Marketers Need to Think Like Data Scientists (And How to Do It), “Data scientists can build predictive models to make content marketing more effective. Here are some common things these models predict: Total addressable market (TAM), segmentation and account selection, demand generation and lead scoring.”
You don’t distribute your content correctly. If good content is never viewed, does it really exist? Don’t just wait for the right people to stumble upon your website content through a Google search or some other method. Put it out there. Strategically.
Content distribution amplifies the work you’ve done to create well-crafted pieces that speak to your audience. There are many channels through which to distribute the same piece of content and you need to make sure you’re executing all of them well in order to drive traffic to your content. Again, use your data to know where your audience is spending their time online and when; and to determine where, when and how often you should post. Plus, check out these 16 Tips from Neil Patel.
The good news is all of these mistakes are fixable! Contact glee Content Marketing to stop sabotaging your content marketing.