The importance and influence of content marketing continue to grow year on year and makes up a significant part of most marketing strategies.
What is content marketing? It’s the process of creating and sharing a range of informational touch points that are relevant to your brand, products, solutions, and expertise. Content marketing can take many forms in 2021. Blog posts are by far the most commonplace type of content. Video, podcasts, infographics, and guides are other popular means of sharing information. Over time, you’ll learn what messages and information are most relevant to your target audience and which techniques and insights are more likely to generate leads for your business.
We’ve written an article surrounding the most exciting 2021 trends in content marketing, but this blog is all about the mistakes that you’ll want to avoid when crafting and creating content!
WordPress announced that last year, their users created 70 million blog posts a month! That just gives you an idea of how many people and companies are investing time and money into cultivating the perfect content marketing strategy. So why do so many marketers and writers still get it wrong? Blogs can be too ‘salesy’, or will ignore the SEO value of writing. Some may write too little. Some may over-optimise!
With these many pitfalls in mind, we’ve decided to collate a list of the ‘do nots’ so you can avoid wasting your investment and get the most out of this wonderful strategy!
1: Not keeping your blog up to date and consistent
As previously mentioned, There are millions of blogs on the internet that are created, maintained for a short period of time, and then never properly looked after or updated.
Make sure your website’s blog doesn’t fall into this trap. A blog strategy must be regular and well maintained in order to maximise the potential of receiving inbound leads and traffic opportunities. What’s more, you may risk losing the interest of your readers.
Maintaining your blog and using it as a part of your marketing strategy can help increase all of the points raised above.
Users want more relevant content, and they want to access it through blogs. Utilise a consistent blog-scheduling calendar system and you are sure to see more inbound traffic during 2021.
Remember, you can teach an old blog new tricks! Go back and update those fabulous pieces of content you spent so much time working on and make them relevant again.
2: Ignoring email marketing chances
Producing a successful email marketing campaign can be extremely profitable for your business. It can help generate a subscriber base, allowing you to keep your brand and business fresh in the mind of your clients.
Some people can be put off email marketing after past experiences where click-through rates haven’t been what they expected. But using the following can help make your email a success:
- Make your emails mobile-responsive
- Adding multiple Call-To-Actions (CTA’s)
- Using custom social media links
Finally, make a catchy and memorable subject line that will create the doorway to your content. Everybody loves a good newsletter. A weekly round-up of relevant articles that are sent straight to your mobile.
3: Don’t misuse your social media channels
Social media is such a powerful tool for content marketing and the best part is, that it is free! They allow you to promote your content to a wider audience – but it is often misused.
If you do not understand your audience, if you don’t pay attention to your competitors and you fail to engage with users you are missing out on huge opportunities.
A social media presence is a must these days – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Snapchat are all powerful social tools. If you do have a social media presence and you are not posting regularly, then now is the time to build out a creative content calendar.
4: Make sure to check grammar and punctuation
This may sound simple but it is another thing that is often overlooked. Make sure your there, their, and there are all correct. Get your apostrophes in the right place.
It’s always handy to ensure that your work is being proofread by a colleague. When writing a blog it can be easy to get stuck into the detail. Having a colleague check over your work ensures grammar issues and typos are kept to a minimum, as well as ensuring the readability of the article is maintained.
There is nothing worse than clicking through to an interesting blog and seeing poor grammar. There are a few powerful grammar-checking tools that will work across your CMS, email account, and social media posts. Grammarly is probably the most well-known tool for this.
5: Not focusing on SEO
By ignoring relevant content curation, and by stuffing keywords into your text, overloading your website, and leaving content to rot into irrelevancy, you are missing out on top rankings that may be rightfully ours to own.
SEO is a constantly evolving beast and its requirements change as technology and algorithms get smarter. It is great SEO practice to constantly monitor and adapt to the latest guidelines.
On average, search engines drive 10x more traffic than any other marketing channel – even if it’s just covering the basics, you cannot afford to overlook this key component to blog and content creation.
Start with on-page SEO techniques:
- Make sure that your blog has a H1 title
- Break up your text with subheadings
- Implement internal links to other pages on your website
- Conduct keyword research about the blog topic, so you can see what terms your audience is using in their searches
Paying attention to an SEO checklist will give you better visibility with Google.
6: Short Content Pieces
Google is focusing on the user experience in a far greater depth in 2021 and is prioritising long-form, rich, relevant, and informative content when choosing ranking positions. SemRush has recently conducted a study in which they analysed hundreds of thousands of blogs that span a vast range of industries and countries. They found that:
- The top-performing articles written by marketers were about 5000 words in length.
- Blog posts that exceeded 3000 words in length were exposed to 3x the amount of web traffic than those fell below that word count.
Now, this does not mean that the answer to your content marketing problems is to spout irrelevant information in order to reach a certain word count. Google algorithm is getting smarter. They want concise yet informative content that follows the Google E.A.T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) guidelines.
7: Not mapping your content to your target audience
Firstly, make sure you have done the research into your target audience. Consider who you’re targeting, why you’re providing this information, and what the value is of the content to the reader. Your content will get the best results if it is relevant.
Although some companies prefer to sit around a bit table and throw content ideas around the room to add to the publishing calendar, it is advisable to map your content based on data.
- What are your competitors writing about?
- How often are they publishing blogs?
- How successful are they in distributing content to their audience
If you have the means in-house to conduct this research then it is a step you will be glad you took. If not, Soar Online can provide you with all of the important competitor analysis reports you require and provide digital strategies on how to displace/match them in the search rankings for your chosen keywords.
A reader sees a relevant headline that grabs their attention and appeals to their interest. They click-through, if they find the content interesting and relevant they likely will share/like it or re-engage with your brand again.
In short, take the time to understand your audience and create content that attracts them to your page.
8: Using one type of content
When creating content the average marketer uses 13 tactics including social media channels, blogs, infographics, and videos. Sticking to just one tactic limits the impact and reach of your content. We’ve already established that the internet is deeply saturated with content. It pays to mix it up, stay creative, and exploit all forms of media types available to you.
Don’t be afraid to try new tactics – the worst that can happen is that it doesn’t work and you move onto the next challenge.
9: Having no goals for your content
You should aim to create relevant, engaging content, not just noise.
Your content needs to have a goal and drive. It has to help to promote your brand, create awareness of your expertise and drive traffic to your website.
Set goals for your content. Develop a keyword list. Find out what your audience wants. Write in a style that appeals to readers.
Once you have these aspects sorted, create regular content (blogs, social media, and images) that fit into your strategy. Then adapt as your audience changes and grows.
10: Not optimising for mobile
Mobile devices are now so important for your content and have complete changed the way users access it.
It is essential for you to optimise your content not just for websites but mobile as well. Google recently introduced MFI (Mobile-First Indexing). This means that your website and all of its pages are going to be assessed based on their mobile versions before their desktop versions.
Once you’ve finished writing your blog, or editing your image, get your phone out of your pocket and check how it looks on mobile before you distribute it to your audience!
So there you have it! The ‘Do nots’ of content marketing. Avoid these mistakes at all costs and you’ve got a great chance of seeing a positive return on your content marketing ROI!