What mistakes to avoid when getting started in content marketing
Content comes in a lot of forms. All of the different avenues of producing and distributing it, leaves some pretty serious room for error. So whether you are writing content for your blog, copy for your website, or creating other forms of content like podcasts and video, everyone getting started deserves to know what mistakes they can avoid right off the bat.
10 Content Marketing Mistakes—And How to Avoid Them.
- Not posting regularly. In the content marketing world, consistency is king. It trumps all of those strategies to “get more followers” or “optimize your website”. If you’re looking to up your content marketing game, first and foremost, post on a consistent and regular basis. That doesn’t mean you have to post everyday, but set a schedule and stick to it. Yakkety Yak Tip: Miss a day? Don’t give up. Just pick up right where you left off.
- Disregarding your content calendar. It’s no secret that posting content consistently is difficult. That’s why content or editorial calendars are so important. Get organized and don’t treat your content marketing as an afterthought. If you’re online, the content on your website is as important as the sign that’s hanging outside of your store. Yakkety Yak Tip: Plan your editorial calendar in advance so you are never scrambling for topics. Read more here.
- Not working on your headlines. Headlines are tough! It’s hard to come up with one that shocks and isn’t a cliché, so sometimes we save them for the very end and just slap one on at the last minute because, “done is better than perfect.” Here’s a tip: make your headlines a priority—that’s how you get your readers to click, after all. Yakkety Yak Tip: Write your headlines first.
- Producing poor quality content. Having a content marketing strategy is pointless if you’re not producing high quality content. We see some SEO experts hacking the system time and again, filling the web-o-sphere with substandard articles and blog posts. Thankfully, search engines work constantly to combat this—so go ahead and put your best stuff out there. Yakkety Yak Tip: Quality doesn’t mean you have to write hundreds of words. Say what you want to say and move onto the next post.
- Not keeping your target audience in mind. Writing can be personal and that’s why we tend to write for ourselves, from our perspective. But, when you’re writing to sell your product or services to someone else, keep your audience in mind, writing for them to the best of your ability. They want to read content from someone who is on their side. Yakkety Yak Tip: Define your target audience from the beginning, by creating a persona and writing for one specific person. It will help keep your voice consistent. Download our free worksheet to get started: Identifying Your Target Audience Worksheet
- Pitching at every stage. Clicking through your site and reading your blogs is a time investment on the part of your customers or audience members. Remember the rule of 80/20. You should be giving away advice, tips, and information 80% of the time. Once you’ve given valuable content for your readers, you can think about pitching for sales the other 20% of the time. Yakkety Yak Tip: Position your language so selling feels more like an offering that your audience won’t want to miss.
- Forgetting your calls to action. A CTA needs to be included in every single bit of content you produce. Whether it’s asking your audience to share something, comment or to take the leap and make the purchase, every post should have clear instructions for a next step. Get your audience engaged through calls to action first, then you will see them be able to tap into that behavior in the future when you need them to buy. Yakkety Yak Tip: CTAs don’t need to feel like a sales pitch. Casually provide instructions that will keep them on your page to keep them loyal and engaged.
- Not leaning on visual support. Images are a reader’s best friend. It takes much less time for a reader to understand images than it does for them to read a paragraph and digest it. Visuals provide exceptional support for your content’s readability. Yakkety Yak Tip: Don’t be afraid to experiment. Think about other types of visuals and content types like audio and video elements and start working them in.
- Doing it all solo. Your content efforts can only go so far, especially with the vast amount of content online today and Facebook and Google’s unique algorithms of who sees what. Put yourself out there and collaborate with other brands and influencers. Write guest posts and host guest posts. Engage with your followers on social media by liking, commenting on and sharing their unique content to build reciprocal relationships and loyalty among readers. Yakkety Yak Tip: Your success in content marketing will heavily rely on how hard you are willing to hustle your content. Put yourself out there and go.
- Not building your list and paying attention to analytics. Building your list and researching analytics are two tasks that are time consuming and sometimes stressful. But these two items are why you’re in the business of content marketing in the first place, and frankly, the key to your long term success. Focus on building your list so you can reach the readers that want to see your stuff at any moment, and focus on your analytics because you’ll learn who those readers are who want to see your stuff. Yakkety Yak Tip: Build intuitive and creative opt ins on your website. This could mean a free download or another incentive, but the goal is to inspire readers to enter their contact information and sign up!
Content marketing has many steps to success and many mistakes to avoid. Luckily, we have made most of them so you don’t have to! Follow our guide and take advantage of our tips to keep your content marketing on the up and up. And, of course, if you have any questions, contact us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. We’d love to hear from you.