If you have a website or a blog, you engage in content marketing every time you publish a page or post – whether you realize it or not.
As the business world continues to evolve with the Internet age, content blogging has become a booming market. However, many small businesses are making a lot of avoidable mistakes or simply missing out on an opportunity to get the most out of their expensive content.
If you own a site or blog, you know how expensive and time-intensive getting quality content published can be.
So get the most out of your content and avoid these costly mistakes.
#1. No Plan
The first and most obvious content marketing problem is the complete lack of a plan. Most firms have a short term plan at best – they might know what the next few blog posts will be or what pages on their site need to be added.
But what about the big picture? How is your content adding value? Does your content coach a potential customer into and through the sales funnel? Are you tracking responses to your content so you can improve as you go?
These are just a few questions to get you started. The point is to get a plan on paper that goes beyond the next few weeks’ worth of content.
#2. Wrong Purpose
Content writers can fall into many traps that steal them away from the actual goal of content. Content writing is not about the writer, a random topic, or a selling point. All of these types of writing will frustrate and alienate your readers. The goal of content writing is to spread valid professional advice about a topic that relates to your business. Think about your audience. Who do you want to read your content? Then ask this audience what topics they wish to read about. Your readers might then become customers if you establish yourself as an expert in your business field.
The purpose is not to make a quick sell. Content comes in many forms, but the goal is to create value. This can look like a FAQ section on your site, how-to guides for troubleshooting, or general industry information. Avoid salesy content at all cost.
Businesses sometimes forget to make sure their content writing is professional. Content writing does need to be grammatically correct, clear, and valid. Your content should be interesting, engaging, and meaningful to your readers. Hiring an ad agency or PR firm is not always a good way to solve this problem unless they have specific training in content writing. Invest in a service or writer who will be worth your time and money.
#4. Social Media
Publishers will have one of two problems with social media. Either they will never use it and lose all the potential marketing benefits or they will rely too heavily on it to do all the marketing for them. Content needs to be consistently spread through social media outlets, but it must be valuable to your readers and be professionally written.
Encourage readers to share your content using social media buttons on your site by using Twitter and other social media techniques to share your news. But you must understand, they will only share high-value content.
#5. Search Engine Optimization
One of the many reasons to engage in content marketing is to improve your search engine rankings – a process called search engine optimization (SEO). But a common problem with a content marketing campaign is that it does not properly incorporate the latest SEO techniques.
This is an industry in and of itself. Very few inexperienced staff will be able to fully take advantage of up-to-date SEO information. At a minimum, you’ll want to engage an SEO professional to get you some policy in place regarding how to publish your content and best-practices for any social media content you publish. Ideally, you can have an SEO expert involved from start to finish so they can monitor progress and adapt your campaign on the fly.
#6. Untapped Resources
Another common content marketing mistake is failing to use your company’s resources. Get creative with your content and find ways to incorporate your business’s specific strengths and expertise. Have your employees come up with ideas and even write articles for you. The more you set your company apart, the more likely your customers and readers will get behind your content and eventually your company.
Guest Author: Tara Hornor has a degree in English and has found her niche writing about marketing, advertising and branding, She writes for PrintPlace.com, an online printing company. Connect with @TaraHornor on Twitter.
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