Last summer, I wrote my first post on this topic, 5 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Content Marketing, and now I’m back with three more things you could be doing unconsciously that could derail your content marketing strategy.
Your content isn’t coming off as authentic. Brand authenticity is much more than a buzz phrase or an ideal standard. Consumers want to connect and associate themselves with brands that have clear missions and stay true to their values now more than ever. And a recent article in AdWeek, In a Digitalized World, Consumers Yearn for Authenticity From Brands, points out that so much content can be faked—whether with filters or photoshop that consumers are becoming more skeptical.
Being authentic means allowing your customers an unfiltered peak into your reality. The AdWeek article offers some great advice on how to show your authenticity. One, take a risk and letting people know where you brand stands on big issues. Two, sound human (not bots thank you) and three, invest in creative that is provocative and provides a personal experience. Sparking real conversation gets you noticed.
Your content isn’t creating a personal experience. Customers want personalized experiences in their interactions with businesses. Give people a reason to come to page and stay. The longer people stay on your page, the more your SEO improves.
If you haven’t created your buyer personas yet, there’s no time like the present. Thinking of your audience as individual humans with their own habits and preferences rather than a group of faceless members will help you understand what they want from your brand and create content that appeals to them. You can also target your messages to the right audience members more easily.
But don’t take personalization too far! The creep factor is a big turnoff for consumers. After all, who wants to feel like their being eavesdropped on? The best way to find the sweet spot is to make your content feel like you’re hearing their needs without using too much overt personal information.
You’re veering too far away from your written strategy. To be clear, strategies are made to be flexible, but getting completely off course defeats the purpose of having a plan in the first place. There are a million good ideas when it comes to content marketing. Part of building a strategy means sorting through the possibilities and rating how effective they will be in reaching your goals versus the amount of time and effort you’ll have to put in. (Obviously, you always want to get equal to or more out of the effort than the time you put in.)
Time/Effort Spent ≤ Results of Effort
Once you’ve done this, you can move into execute mode, transferring your efforts into creation and distribution. Nice. Then a snowflake appears—we’ve got a new opportunity to participate in an event or we could reach out to the press with this strategy—and you have to decide if you add this to your strategy. Veering off course now and then is fine, no strategy is ever written in stone, but it’s critical to weigh the value of the opportunity each and every time.
Will this opportunity deliver more toward your results than the amount of time required for it? Than the other things that will have to be forgone to do it? If you accept every opportunity that comes along, why have a written strategy at all? You won’t be able to accurately measure your tactics and really work to achieve the bottom line goals.
It’s easy to sabotage your content marketing strategy without even realizing it. That’s why it’s a good idea to check in periodically—I suggest once a quarter—to make sure that you’re still on the track you intended.