Content is one of your strongest marketing tools – when written and produced right. However, many businesses and marketers fall into these common traps.
Out of all the different kinds of marketing, one of the most effective is content marketing. Business owners around the world create content relating to their niche in an attempt to bring in potential customers and those with general inquiries.
The process of creating content seems straightforward, but there's a shocking number of nuances that you must pay attention to when creating articles for your website. Without even realizing it, marketers end up making numerous mistakes while creating and publishing content, which keeps the content from working as well as it should.
We are going to look at some of the most common content marketing mistakes – and what you can do to fix them on your website.
1. You're not creating enough value.
The first thing you have to ask yourself is, "Am I writing content that provides value to my audience?" If the answer is no, then you have to rethink the entire post.
The general rule of thumb is that all of the content you create for marketing must either answer a question or solve a problem. Think about what you're writing, why someone is going to land on your article, and what they are likely hoping to achieve by reading your content.
One rule we like to use is to create a list of questions before writing. When you have the topic of the piece in mind, write down questions people might ask themselves as they are reading. By the time you finish your piece, all of the questions you came up with should be answered in the text.
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2. Your content isn't evergreen.
Another common problem content creators run into is not making their content evergreen. When creating articles, think about whether or not they will still be valid months or years from now.
There are numerous ways you can make sure your content remains fresh long after it's published. When thinking of ideas, try to focus on information that will essentially be timeless. These are some types of timeless content:
- How-to guides
- History of ...
- Tips on ...
What makes articles like these valuable is they can never be replaced. If you create a piece discussing tips on how to do something technical, and suddenly a new method to do the aforementioned technical thing is discovered, you can simply update your article.
If you write evergreen content, visitors will be able to enjoy it for years to come. You can update and revise them through the years and repost them to spark interest. This technique will ensure that it doesn't get buried underneath new posts in your blog.
3. Your distribution is lacking.
After you create a new piece of content, how do you share it with your audience? Most companies will simply retweet their article to followers, and that can get you traffic, no doubt. However, you can do better.
Take advantage of your subscriber list. They signed up for your newsletter because they are interested in what you're doing. You can either send out individual articles or create a weekly roundup of your content.
Research shows that the best time to send emails and get click-throughs is on Tuesday. You could send out your newsletter from the week before every Tuesday and generate traffic through this means of distribution.
You can also take your social media publishing a step further. Instead of just reaching out to your followers on Facebook and Twitter by posting your article, make sure you invest in ad campaigns. The purpose of the ad campaigns is to reach out to a greater audience.
If you have a particularly special or detailed piece coming out, you may want to set up a specific ad campaign targeting people who are interested in the topic. Facebook Ads Manager can help you pinpoint specific audiences and expand your distribution on a massive scale.
4. You're not using SEO.
Misuse or lack of search engine optimization is one of the biggest content marketing mistakes business owners make. In general, SEO is a method to increase visibility in Google's search algorithm. The goal is to make it on the top of the first page when someone searches for the keywords you use for your website.
Plenty of factors go into your ranking, such as the number of backlinks you use and have, your authority, and your social media presence. But you have to make sure you are implementing SEO properly in everything you do.
Avoid overusing SEO words, also known as keyword stuffing. Make sure to use the words in all of your images and meta descriptions. While writing your content, let the keywords flow naturally. Your readers (and Google) will know if you're jamming words into your piece just for the sake of ranking.
There are plenty of guides out there to help you understand the nuances and ever-changing algorithms within the SEO formula. You just have to make sure it's properly implemented in your content if you want to successfully market to a large audience.
Content marketing is a tricky area of every business. You have to find a happy middle ground between developing interesting content, using tools like SEO and backlinks, and reaching a wide audience.
It may seem like a struggle at first to fix all of these mistakes at once if you're making two or more of them in your content. Don't fret! You can become a marketing powerhouse if you take the time to consider your content, your audience and the resources at your disposal.
As you begin to create new content and generate traffic, your audience will grow, you'll get more followers and subscribers, and creating new content will become easier. As you get a larger sample size of the people interested in your content, you can work on developing articles that will have your audience checking back daily. Implement SEO, backlinks and smart sharing behind the scenes to overcome these common content marketing mistakes.