Content marketing is an important element in inbound marketing, and it’s something that your business can’t afford to ignore. Unlike traditional marketing tools that are becoming less and less effective, the impact of high-quality content is only getting stronger. As with anything, the key is to get it right.
Very few quarterbacks can throw a complete pass every time they throw the ball. Similarly, there are not many content writers that can produce perfect content every single time. Failures can be huge learning experiences and can provide you with insight as to what to avoid in the future. But if you don’t know what mistakes you’re making, how will you ever improve?
If you’re wondering how to improve your content marketing, here are three fatal mistakes to avoid and how to fix them:
Creating the Right Content for the Wrong Audience
This is one of the most common mistakes when it comes to content marketing. There’s a lot of really great content out there, but the problem is that much of it isn’t targeting the right audience. Whenever you create content, it’s important that you know who you’re writing for. You need to understand their demographics as well as their pain points, how they get their information, what they’re searching for, and more. For example, if you write an eBook on “the beginner’s guide to inbound marketing” and your audience is full of experienced inbound marketing professionals, you probably won’t get a lot of ROI for that piece of content.
Other ways that content can miss the mark in terms of targeting your audience includes creating content that:
- Doesn’t address the needs, interests, or pain points of your audience
- Doesn’t take into account how your audience prefers to digest content (ex: videos, images, text, short form vs. long form, etc.)
- Isn’t matched to the right reading level (ex: content that’s too technical or too “dumbed down” for the audience)
Writing for Search Engines
If you’re writing your content with the goal of getting it to rank on Google, you’re doing content marketing wrong. Stuffing your content with keywords may or may not get your content to rank, but one thing it will certainly do is deter people from reading it. It’s okay to focus on a certain set of keywords when you’re creating your content, but you should always write for humans first. Focus on their pain points, their interests, and their wants. Give them the information they’re looking for and the information they didn’t even know they needed. Be personable, and have fun with your content (people love fun).
Writing Content to Sell Your Products or Services
Content marketing isn’t about selling. It’s about giving people helpful, relevant, and useful information that they need to make a purchase decision. Content marketing is about building trust and loyalty while developing yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Your goal in content marketing should be to nurture leads down the funnel, where they can then be passed off to a member of your sales team as a qualified lead. At that point, sell all you want.
Even if you’re writing a very bottom of the funnel (BoFu) eBook that’s driving people to sign up for a conference, you still shouldn’t be salesy in your writing. It’s one thing to mention the benefits of using a specific product or service, and it’s another thing to push it down someone’s throat. No one likes to be sold to, and you should make it a goal to write more content that informs rather than sells.
Content marketing is no easy task, and knowing what you should and shouldn’t do isn’t always a simple as it seems. If you focus on eliminating these three “don’ts” from your content marketing, you will be able to take your content and inbound marketing to new heights. For more information on content marketing, download our free Inbound Marketing ebook below, it is a guide to success.