Content Strategy Mistakes

You’ve read all the hype, and you’re fully aware that content has been dubbed as the reigning “king” of today’s marketing culture. But despite your best efforts, your content strategy is not holding up to its royal nomenclature.

When executed and leveraged correctly, a solid content strategy will create positive brand awareness, generate loyal customers or followers, and positively impact your ROI. If you’re not seeing those results, then it’s quite possible that you’re making one or more of these common mistakes.

1. You’re ignoring Your Audience

It’s likely you’re intimately familiar with your product or service, your specific marketing goals, and many of the metrics you need to build a revenue winning campaign.

But if you’re still falling short, there may be one thing you’re not paying attention to – your audience. If you’re pushing out content and your audience simply isn’t responding, ask yourself this simple question: Who is my target audience?

If you can’t answer that question…well, at least you have an answer to your original one: “why isn’t my content working?”

As is the case with any type of writing, understanding your audience is paramount to producing quality content that will engage new and existing customers. Failure to do so makes it difficult for you to understand their problems or properly show how your products or service is the correct solution. Even if the problem/solution piece is obvious, audience awareness drives everything from what tone to use to which channel to leverage.

Content Marketing Strategy Tips2. You don’t keep the customer journey in mind

There are few sales tactics that turn me off more than pushy sales when I’m not remotely ready to buy. Conversely, it’s also frustrating when I’m ready to make a purchase but there isn’t a clear path to do so.

My sentiments aren’t unique – your customers are all in different parts of the purchasing funnel, and your content needs to reflect their needs.

As such, your content and distribution strategy should recognize that customers are all at different points in their purchasing journey.

So, what does that mean?  A comprehensive content approach must take into account the following destinations (and associated needs) on a customer’s path to purchase: Awareness, Consideration, Intent, and Purchase.

That’s not to say your job ends after the purchase is made; a good content strategy will also continue to engage with shoppers to create brand loyalist.

3. You’re discounting the value of social content

By now, it should be obvious that the customer plays a starring role in all your content efforts, and which channels you use depends entirely on your customers and their needs. Your website, company blog, and email campaign will always represent viable and reliable channels to distribute content, but your efforts shouldn’t end there.

Social media plays a huge role in successful content strategies, and what platforms you use depends entirely on your product, your target audience, and the content you’re producing.

For example, Facebook may be the best platform for the 25 – 54 age group, but if your target audience is younger, you may want to consider Snapchat or Instagram. Similarly, if you’re a B2B company, you’ll find that LinkedIn will be the best use of you time and effort.

Also keep in mind that one-size does not fit all. What works on one channel may not work on another. Be sure to mix it up.

4. You’re jumping in without a plan

Flying by the seat of your pants may be exciting, but your content strategy is not the place for living entirely in the moment (though flexibility is important). As the aforementioned points suggest, a solid content strategy is one that has multiple pieces, and without a plan, those pieces can quickly derail.

Planning should focus on both the near (monthly) and far (yearly) future as well as little stops in between (quarterly). With so many channels (email, social, blog, etc), building engaging and successful content will require a considerable amount of effort, and so you’ll need a roadmap to keep you on the right track.

New products/offerings, seasonality, shifts in the market, or campaign shortcomings will all require you to regularly review, adapt and adjust your efforts as needed. Hence, content planning should become a regular part of your marketing routine.

content marketing strategies5. You’ve assumed you can’t track ROI

For many marketers, the thought of tracking ROI for content is cringe-worthy, at best. It’s not always easy, but it’s absolutely necessary.

To properly track ROI for content, you’ll need to set specific goals and benchmarks (add that to your planning phase), and look at key campaign efforts.

For example, you’ll want to track website/blog content, social media content, and email content, but the path to each may vary slightly (i.e., there is no all-encompassing method for determining content ROI across various channels).

Overall, you’ll want to include metrics that focus on things like social referrals, overall engagement, lead generation, time a customer spends on your site, and conversion rates. Then, use those to analyze the big picture.

Keep in mind that content ROI differs from CPC or email ROI, where the outcome is often quick and obvious. Content requires regular efforts and the true impact will be visible overtime, not the day after a content-marketing campaign.

6. You’re putting quantity ahead of quality

Once upon a time, pages brimming with keywords and shallow content was enough to get you top spot in search results. That time, thankfully, is long gone. Your customers expect more from you, and so do popular search engines.

In the game of content, slow and steady wins the race. Your content should be produced to provide consumers with useful information because that’s exactly what they want; content should be thoughtful and engaging.

Take the time to write quality content or employ a company that can consistently provide that service. Anything else is a waste time and money, and in the long run, can lead to missed opportunities and those dollars on the dreaded table.

A well-planned, audience aware content strategy can make your brand stand out from the rest. Building engaging and useful content is well worth the time and effort, and by avoiding some of these common mistakes, you’ll find that content really can become that revenue earning ruler everyone keeps talking about.