While good content marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies out there, bad content marketing can easily become a drain on your resources and damage your brand’s reputation.
In this article, we will show you how to recognize bad content marketing, as well as share 12 mistakes content marketing beginners often make.
How to Recognize Bad Content Marketing
To determine if your content marketing strategy has failed, you need to know what would have been considered a success.
Take a look at these metrics to see how good or bad your strategy is working.
- Follower/subscriber count. If you are engaging your audience with your content, these numbers should be steadily increasing over time.
- Traffic. If content marketing is doing its job, it should increase organic search traffic.
- On-page time. If this is under 2 minutes, your content is not engaging enough to keep your visitors around.
- Engagement rates. Likes, shares, and comments are a good indicator of how engaged your audience is with your content.
Not every piece of content you create has to be a hit with your audience.
However, if you have been using content marketing for a while, you should have at least a few standout pieces of content on your website.
If you do not, it could be a sign of bad content marketing.
12 Content Marketing Mistakes You Might Be Making
Mistake #1: Lots of Action, No Game Plan
Companies with a well-documented content marketing strategy consistently report seeing better results that companies without a strategy, or a verbal strategy only.
If you have been cranking out lots of content, but seeing a bad return on investment (ROI), you might need to sit down and hammer out a proper content marketing strategy.
How to fix it: Set S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, time-based) goals when thinking about your strategy. Break them down into smaller steps, then get to work!
Mistake #2: Excellent Game Plan, No Action
Spending all your time on planning won’t help you move the needle forward, either.
While you want to focus on creating high-quality content, done is often better than perfect.
How to fix it: Don’t let the fear of not being good enough stop you from creating content.
Publish that blog post you’ve been sitting on for weeks and move on to the next one!
Mistake #3: You Are Only Publishing Blog Posts
Content is king, but blog posts are not the only type of content you can create.
How to fix it: Think about other types of content that would appeal to your target customer.
For example, business-to-business (B2B) customers prefer ebooks, white papers, and case studies. Have you created any yet?
Mistake #4: Superficial Buyer Personas
You have probably heard about the importance of creating a buyer persona.
However, if your buyer personas are only hypothetical, or only cover basic demographic factors like age and gender, you are not giving content marketing everything you’ve got.
How to fix it: Conduct customer surveys and in-person interviews to get real insights and create in-depth buyer personas.
Mistake #5: Not Understanding Your Audience
According to a 2015 study by IBM, 63% of customers do not feel understood by the brands and businesses they love.
How to fix it: Look at your engagement metrics (likes, shares, comments) to see if you are really connecting with your audience.
If they are less than stellar, you may need to do more audience research and adjust your content strategy accordingly.
Mistake #6: Not Promoting Your Content Enough
Publishing a blog post every week does not make content marketer.
Unless you actively put your content out there, it is unlikely to make a big impact on your companyš bottom line.
How to fix it: Follow the 80/20 rule: spend 20% of your time creating content, and 80% promoting it.
Mistake #7: Not Understanding that SEO Has Evolved
SEO is no longer about publishing a large number of posts every week.
If it was, eZine articles would be dominating search engine results!
How to fix it: Check out our guide to on-page and off-page SEO to see what else you should be doing to increase the traffic you get from content marketing and SEO.
Mistake #8: Publishing Low-quality Content
Pushing out content for content’s sake will not generate a great ROI.
How to fix it: Instead of publishing 10 mediocre posts, use the budget allocated for those ten posts to create 1 outstanding one.
Mistake #9: Expecting Instant Results
While it is possible for a blog post to go viral and give you an instant boost of traffic and revenue, most of content marketing results will only appear months later.
How to fix it: There is nothing to fix, really. Be patient, and make sure you are doing all the right things to make content marketing work for you.
Mistake #10: Trying to Do Too Much
There are many channels you can utilize as a part of your content marketing efforts.
Each is beneficial in its own way, but trying to use all of them at once will lead to poor performance on all of them.
How to fix it: Choose just a couple of channels to start with, or hire a content marketing agency to help you hit more of them at once.
Mistake #11: Selling Too Hard
Yes, content marketing is about generating more traffic and revenue.
However, your customer does not have to be reminded of that at the end of every sentence.
How to fix it: Keep your sales pitches to your calls to action (CTAs) and use the rest of your content to educate your customer.
Mistake #12: Refusing to Let Go of “Best Practices”
Yes, best practices are called best practices for a reason.
However, if you want to stand out in the online world, you are going to have to go off the beaten path and try something new.
How to fix it: If you have a hypothesis you want to test, do it! It’s the only way to know if it’ll work.
How Handmade SEO Can Help
Have you been making any of these content marketing mistakes? Are your traffic and engagement numbers less than stellar?
Just give us a call!
Here at Handmade SEO, we create and execute complete content marketing strategies that help you get more organic search traffic and build trust with your customers.
Want to see how we can work together?