Content marketing looks easy. All you have to do is identify your market, and then produce content people in that market want.

So if you’re a movie theatre, all you need to do is create a movie review blog to intrigue customers into making a movie date. Or if you sell landscaping supplies, then managing a video channel full of gardening tips will help you fire up your potential customer base, getting them ready to buy everything from work gloves to bags of seed.

Sorry but content marketing isn’t that easy. Even if you have superb content, and you find an audience who likes it, there’s still plenty of wiggle room for your fish to get off the hook you’ve so carefully baited. Here are some of the biggest mistakes you might be making, and some suggestions for what you should do instead.

Mistake #1: Putting Content Before Information

When you’re creating content, you might be thinking of it in terms of what it looks like. It is an infographic, a listicle, a video, etc.? However, this is sort of putting the cart before the horse. First, you need to know the information you’re giving your audience. The information in your post is where you need to start. Once you know what you’re trying to communicate, that is when you can decide how it needs to look. Doing it the other way around is a recipe for disaster.

River with barbed wire and no entry deep water sign

Mistake #2: An Assembly Line, But No Master Plan

Establishing a content assembly line is fairly simple. You start a blog, a video channel, a podcast, and then you simply create more content around your area of expertise. Whether it’s how to make the best pizza, care and cleaning of leather shoes, or how to get good deals on groceries, you know your niche.

The problem is that you’re not just creating content; you’re trying to accomplish a goal. Or you should be, at least. So before you start cranking out content, it’s important to know what you’re trying to accomplish. Otherwise, you have no way of knowing if your campaign is failing, succeeding, or simply treading water.

Mistake #3: Trusting Your Research Over The Actual Numbers

Research is an important part of any marketing campaign. You need to see what the trends are, get a sense of the size of your audience, and figure out which platforms you’re going to be using for promotion. In the process of doing all that research, you’ll get an idea of what should work. Of course, once you actually start putting your content out into the world, you’ll have metrics feeding you back information about what does work. Everything from likes and shares, to views, click-through rate, and a thousand other pieces of data.

Don’t get so caught up in your idea of what should work that you ignore the numbers telling you what is actually working… or not working, as the case might be.

Mistake #4: You Don’t Understand Your Audience (Or What They Need)

When you get involved in content marketing your goal is to give your customers what they need. The problem is that the people you think you’re making content for, and the people who are actually looking at your content need to be the same people. Otherwise, you simply aren’t going to get the response you’re looking for.

This can happen for a dozen reasons, but one of the most common ones is that you use the wrong models and buyer personas for your audience. You can correct this over time by listening to feedback, and alter your attempts according to polls, surveys, comments, and other communications from your audience, but it will take time. Remember that no campaign hits the bulls-eye on the first throw, and don’t be afraid to adjust your aim.

To correct mistakes you might be making with your content marketing campaign, contact us today!

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