Content marketing is an integral part of most digital marketing strategies today. Whilst the old adage “content is king” has been used to death, content is certainly an important aspect of your digital marketing efforts.
If you are struggling to make headway with the tactics you are deploying, there may be a few common mistakes you are making that could be preventing you from generating the return on investment you could and should be achieving.
Content marketing is not easy. There are so many aspects to consider, not least of which is deciding where to publish your content and the type of content that will most likely resonate with your audience.
Then you’ve got to find the budget to create this content. Let’s say your audience prefers video content. That’s not something most of us can simply whip up in a few hours, if at all. Whilst a blog post is typically something most content marketers are happy to tackle themselves, some content types are not that straightforward.
Infographics need a designer. Video content needs the right equipment and the necessary skills to film and edit. Podcasts need the right recording equipment, not to mention an engaging personality to deliver the podcast.
Whilst many big brands make these types of content look easy, they often have bottomless pockets when it comes to funding these content pieces and small and medium businesses simply don’t have that kind of resource.
Therefore, we must focus on our strengths. And we need to make sure that everything we do is optimised. The mistakes covered below are common amongst content marketers and they could be holding you back from achieving your goals.
By tightening up every aspect of your content marketing, you give yourself a much better chance of competing with bigger brands, even if you don’t have the same budget.
With more people than ever searching on Google, are you maximising your organic opportunities or are these common mistakes holding you back?
1. Optimise your content
One of the main reasons we create content is for the SEO benefits. We want our content to rank well in Google search, or to add topical relevance to our website to help other key pages on our website to rank well by using internal linking.
When you are creating any piece of content, whilst it is important to write naturally and not for search engines, it’s also important to follow SEO best practices to maximise the opportunities for your content to rank well.
Make sure you conduct in-depth keyword research for every piece of content and identify not just one or two head keywords, but a collection of topically relevant keywords that also cover the long tail.
Optimising your title and headings goes without saying and make sure you conduct regular reviews of your existing content to see if there are opportunities to update outdated or stake content.
2. Quantity over quality
According to research by Orbit Media Studios, the average time that writers spend creating a single blog post has jumped from 2 hours and 24 minutes in 2014 to 4 hours and 1 minute in 2021. This suggests that bloggers are moving towards a focus on quality over quantity and this is only a good thing for users.
Google has placed a much bigger focus on quality and relevance over the past five years and it is important to focus on creating content that is highly relevant to your audience, well-written, well-structured, and accessible across all devices.
Cover topics in-depth and provide helpful links to supporting content where relevant to help you to take your visitors on a journey of discovery. At every stage, make sure the content matches their expectations – don’t produce one awesome piece of content only for the rest to let them down.
3. Publish regularly
Whilst this may seem to contradict the above point, this is again about meeting expectations. Having an active website, where you publish content on a regular basis helps Google to understand more about your business, products, and services. It also helps visitors to see that you are an active and engaging business.
Publishing regularly requires good planning and understanding of your resources. Create a content plan and stick to it. If your resource allows for just one post a month, then make sure you deliver one high-quality piece of content every month.
If you have more resources, stick to a schedule, and publish as regularly as you can. Research from HubSpot found that “Customers with blogs gathered 68% more leads than customers without blogs. Growing articles starts to impact lead growth once 20+ articles become available.”
A small typo might not seem like such a big deal, however, it can have a seriously negative impact on the user experience. Online readers are getting more critical as they consume more and more content. A simple spelling or grammatical error can be a real turn off for visitors so take the time to proofread your content, or better still, get someone else to do it for you.
There are several tools you can use to limit the grammatical and spelling mistakes in your content, and you should never be too proud to use them – we all need a helping hand from time to time. A basic spellchecker is a given, however, you should also consider a Chrome Extension such as Grammarly which not only flags spelling mistakes but also highlights grammatical errors too.
Error-free content indicates a certain level of professionalism as well as showcasing a care factor in the content you publish.
5. Keep it relevant
As you start to publish quality content on a regular basis, it is likely you will start to gather a following, especially if you are sharing that content on relevant social media platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn.
People that engage with your content on a regular basis – whether that’s a blog, podcast, vlog, or even email – have certain expectations when it comes to the type of content you publish.
Don’t suddenly go rogue and write about something completely irrelevant. Always remember who your audience is and why they engage with your content. Keep everything completely relevant to your business and you will find that the much more consistent approach delivers much better results.
When we talk about content marketing, a lot of us immediately think about blogs (and we’re just as guilty of it as anyone). That’s because blogs are typically the easiest form of content marketing and can deliver outstanding results, however, if you fail to look beyond blogs, you might be missing out on some big opportunities.
A diversified content marketing strategy is important. Look at all the options available to your business and consider which ones will resonate with your target audience. Content marketing includes channels such as email or even SMS marketing and these can both yield very good ROI.
Social media is another important channel when it comes to content marketing and failing on social media is one of the biggest factors holding businesses back. It’s important to understand your audience, pay attention to competitors and engage with followers across all your channels.
Effective social media management is not about scheduling a load of posts and then forgetting about them. It’s about engagement – responding to comments, answering all DMs, and considering the type of content you post to the different platforms.
Diversification is crucial to content marketing success. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – typically the blog basket – when other opportunities exist.
7. Set goals
Perhaps one of the most common mistakes we see with content marketing is not setting goals. You need to understand what you are trying to achieve if you want to determine if the work you are doing is effective.
There are several KPIs you can set for the content you are creating – traffic, comments, time on page, amount of video watched etc – your content goals should align with your overall business objectives and be easy to measure.
By putting clear goals in place, you are better placed to review each content piece and determine what works for your audience and what doesn’t. That way, you can easily refine your content strategy on an ongoing basis and focus on the content that delivers the best ROI.
These are seven of the most common mistakes we see when we work with clients and our goal is to tighten everything up and ensure that their content strategy is as efficient as it can be, delivering a strong ROI.
If you are struggling with your own content, or you are thinking about investing in content marketing for the first time, talk to the team at Digital Hothouse and find out how we can help you to get more bang for your buck when it comes to content marketing.