Content marketing is a tool frequently used by online businesses and brands to generate interest, awareness, chatter, and hopefully sales leads for new or repeat business. As a result, quite a bit of activity is dedicated to this approach to not only keep the content provided interesting but also new and different on a regular basis. However, brands frequently make common mistakes with content marketing because the use of the tool is still fairly new. It’s important to avoid the following mistakes not only because they cost customers and money, but because they are entirely avoidable as well.
Lack of Planning
Too often brands are just putting out content because someone else is. There is no goal involved. There’s no rhyme or reason, just doing. As a result, a lot of work and energy gets spent without a whole lot of return. With no plan, content is placed without any kind of direction. Readers sense this infrequent frequency and soon lose interest. Instead, brands need to have a plan and purpose with content, driving readers to a desired destination and result. That then turns into interest and eventually sales leads.
Stop Talking About Yourself
Smart content doesn’t spend pages yammering on about how wonderful the brand is. Instead, it provides case studies and information how the brand can provide a solution to someone’s problem. Good content shows how people can utilize the brand as a tool, integrating it into their lives and becoming better in the process. If the service or product is good, the reputation will follow. Shameless plugging isn’t necessary.
Let Your Content Program Grow on Its Own
Too often brands and their businesses redirect resources from existing programs to make content marketing “happen.” This is a mistake. Content marketing programs need to grow on their own. This provides the best type of content because it grows “organically,” from good creative thinking, not from pushed material or recycled marketing projects previously used.
Figure Out What Customers Want to Hear
Again, many brands think they already have the answers to what customers want but in practice they are not connecting. Instead, their marketing content needs to be focused on what customers want to hear. That means stopping the assumptions and doing some research on what customers really want. Once a person is interested, they will keep coming back for more content, but primary interest is the critical spark that starts the relationship.
Don’t Spam Consumers
Another big mistake is that brands overwhelm their customers and prospects with too much content rather than quality content. Putting out a bunch of blather is just that, a whole lot of blather. Content needs to be valuable timely to customers. Again, the information should direct a customer to realizing a service or product is a solution to his need or problem. Just overwhelming him with untargeted information is a quick way of driving a customer away.
Good content marketing follows a plan, answers a need or solution, and provides quality information. Those three elements are critical to making content marketing work for a brand. Otherwise, it just ends being a lot of energy and money being spent without real results. And in tight markets and economies, wasting valuable resources is simply a bad trend to follow.