As I previously discussed, I believe there is no difference between content marketing and inbound marketing. One is a term coined by HubSpot and the other by the Content Marketing Institute. Both encompass a complete strategy that promotes your business online by providing current, relevant content that funnels your target audience through the buying process. That’s why both inbound marketing and content marketing can help all businesses.
However, that doesn’t mean there is a one-size-fits all approach that will magically increase sales. Each market and industry is different, with different objectives and customers. Before getting started, your main goal should be to develop an inbound marketing strategy that will define your objectives, plan, and timeline.
Besides not creating a strategy with clear, concise objectives, watch out for other common mistakes with content marketing.
Top 10 Common Content Marketing Mistakes
1. Not Creating Buyer Personas
When developing your strategy, one of your main goals should be to create buyer personas. Creating buyer personas will help you create targeted content. Without a targeted audience for your content, it can float aimlessly and not produce the desired results.
2. Focusing Only on Written Content
Don’t skip video! According to Forbes, 59% of executives would rather watch video rather than read text.
Blogging and other content writing should be important pieces of your content marketing strategy, but they shouldn’t be the only pieces. Video, infographics, and slideshares are just a few examples of graphics your company should be creating, posting, and sharing.
3. Not Performing a Keyword Analysis
Similar to number one, your company not only needs buyer personas for targeted content, but specific keywords tailored to specific points on the buying process. When combined with your email lists, you can see where on the buying process your visitors and subscribers fall and tailor content appropriately.
4. Producing Mediocre Content
Quality is key. Take the time to produce quality content that your visitors will want to share with their networks. No one shares mediocrity. People read, share, and comment on quality, insightful content that helps solve their problems, or provides a unique perspective.
5. Constantly Selling
Your website needs to be a sales rep for your company. However, that doesn’t mean your content should be focused on selling your products. Your visitors want information to make informed decisions. Your content marketing strategy should be based around developing trust and providing solutions for potential customers. Have specific, targeted Call-to-Actions strategically placed throughout your pages, but your content should be focused on providing solutions.
6. Not Measuring Data
Just as strategy and planning are important in the beginning, tracking data is important after your content has been posted. Which pieces of content are driving the most traffic? Which are generating the most leads? Where are your visitors leaving your site?
Develop the KPIs important to your goals and objectives before you begin so you know which pieces of content are succeeding and which need improvement. Tracking the data allows you to restructure your strategy as needed.
7. Not Using Social Media
Producing great content is only the beginning. Spread the word about your content through social media. Your audience uses social media, no matter who your target audience is. By 2018, the number of worldwide social media users is expected to reach 2.5 billion. Go find them, engage them, and share your story!
8. Not Editing Your Blog Posts
Grammar mistakes are more off-putting to visitors than “salesy” writing. Take the time and edit your content multiple times. In fact, the best strategy is to write a piece of content a week in advance, edit it a couple times in the following days, let someone else look at it, and then review the scheduled day of posting. Remember, first drafts are never publishable.
9. Thinking Blogging is a Complete Strategy
I’ve heard many businesses tell me, “I have a content marketing strategy. I blog.”
Blogging is an important part of any successful content marketing strategy, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only aspect. Content marketing is about driving traffic to your site, generating leads, and increasing sales. Blogging can help at any of the stages, but is incomplete without other pieces.
10. Not Optimizing for Conversions
Developing trust through optimized content is a very important part of your content marketing strategy. But anyone who thinks the point of content marketing isn’t to increase sales doesn’t understand business. The objective is to create sales, so your content, and your website as a whole, needs to be optimized to funnel visitors and leads through the buying process. Landing pages and CTAs should be strategically placed throughout your site. Create premium content such as whitepapers, eBooks, and case studies to generate leads and monitor which pieces of content visitors click through.
Create Your Unique Content Marketing Strategy
There is no magic, one-size-fits all approach. Your company is unique and your content should be too. Find your voice and tell your unique story. Provide the relevant information your customers are seeking to gain their trust.
1. Research Your Target Market
2. Create Buyer Personas
3. Perform Keyword Analysis
4. Create Content Schedule
5. Create Targeted Content
6. Promote Content on Social Media
7. Determine and Track KPIs
Follow these pieces of advice and your content marketing will be a success!
Continue reading on the Benefits of Inbound Marketing for Small Businesses. If you need help with your inbound marketing, schedule your Free Consultation today to learn how you can drive traffic, generate leads, and increase sales!
Create Your Story, Promote It, and Perfect Your Strategy
How to Choose a Digital Marketing Agency
Benefits of Inbound Marketing for Small Businesses
SEO vs. SEM
What is Inbound Marketing?
What is a Landing Page?
SEO and Optimized Content
Inbound Marketing Services
Social Media Marketing
Generate more leads through properly structured content. Copyright Mike D. O’Brien 2016