Do You Make These 5 Mistakes in Content Marketing?
It’s the start of a new year. We’ve made resolutions to fix mistakes we make in our diet, in our exercise frequency and in our relationships – put content marketing on your list as well.
Mistake #1. Toeing the company line
Sure, your company is engaged in content marketing because it has a message to get out in the world.
But nobody, except maybe your agency and brand police, cares about that message.
They care about themselves. Content marketing is inherently permission-based and inbound. Your content marketing needs to focus on what the customer really cares about.
The headline for this blog post was (lovingly) ripped off a legendary, high-performing ad for Sherwin Cody’s English course.
Sherwin explained, “There is but one sane, salesmanlike way to begin a selling letter, and that is with the customer and his needs, his troubles, his fight for life and success.”
That rings even more true in content marketing.
Overcome Mistake #1. How to use social media to help discover why customers buy from you
Mistake #2. Teasing
Local TV news promo commercials are the worst. They always hint at something of value, but only deliver if you tune in to the newscast.
Content marketing should, in and of itself, deliver value. It should help fulfill a customer need. It should help solve a customer’s trouble.
Overcome Mistake #2. Focus on value, not length
Mistake #3. Lonely content
No content is an island.
How does the content you’re creating tie into every other way your company is communicating?
Ideally, you would have an overall structure for your content with logical paths for the reader to follow. Those paths aren’t always linear since human decision making in a data-rich world is not linear.
However, they offer logical progressions and opportunities for further engagement through channels that your audience already uses.
Overcome Mistake #3. A process for evaluating content channels
Mistake #4. Telling customers how brilliant your company is
The people in your company are likely brilliant at something. Your software engineers are brilliant at de-bugging Java. Your project managers are brilliant at scheduling. Your audio engineers are brilliant at sound mixing.
They’re just not brilliant at creating content.
Because of this, your company’s brilliance is hidden. By using content marketing to pull back the curtain and shine a little light while not being overly concerned with corporate secrecy, you show the world how the brilliant people in your company can help members of your audience overcome their challenges.
Overcome Mistake #4. How to get your subject matter experts on your corporate blog
Mistake #5. “Free” content
Perhaps you think you’re producing free content because you don’t charge dollars or euros or Bitcoins for it.
But you’re not – customers are paying for your content with their time, their attention, and sometimes, their information.
Therefore, you need to sell your free content. Sometimes with other content (this ties into Mistake #3), and sometimes with actual paid advertisements.
Even press releases can help.
Overcome Mistake #5. Selling Free Content: Why Seth Godin never gives anything away for free
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