Most companies are still adjusting to marketing in the digital age. While 86% of marketers used content marketing in 2017, only 18% of marketers rate their organization’s content marketing approach as “much more successful” compared to the year before.
Mistakes that scare off leads are bound to happen, but marketers may not even know that they are making them. Results from content marketing efforts can take months—sometimes even more than a year—to be realized. This lag can make mistakes more detrimental than other marketing efforts because they can take longer to recognize, understand, and resolve.
Here are 7 common content marketing mistakes to avoid:
Do you have a website that showcases your brand? That’s great, but how often is it updated? If your home page looks obsolete, if your last blog post is from several months ago, it’s going to concern your potential leads. Your website is your virtual storefront and should be cared for with routine updates and new content appearing regularly. If it’s outdated, it’s the digital equivalent of showcasing items that are out of stock or collecting dust.
Leads need to be persuaded that both your brand and its products are right for them. Marketers don’t have full control over whether a lead will buy from them or not, but they do have control over the upkeep of their storefront.
Not Knowing Your Buyer
If you are developing content without a clear understanding of who exactly it’s for, people will be able to tell.
Do your research! Collect data from customer surveys, your sales team, and anywhere else that will provide useful information about your buyer personas. It’s harder to sell a product as a solution if you don’t fully understand why a buyer is having the problem in the first place.
Not knowing your customers makes lead nurturing difficult and will result in high website bounce rates, which consequently hurts your status in Google’s algorithm. Even worse, your leads could end up believing that your product isn’t right for them when it actually is.
To coincide with not knowing your buyers, if you don’t have a sound marketing strategy in place, your content may be wildly inconsistent. You need a clear brand message that is repeated throughout all of your forms of content (or at least interconnected with the rest of your content in a visible way). Without one, your leads will lose confidence in your product.
When developing your content, you have to keep in mind your ultimate goal: that your potential leads will find this content useful and help draw them into the next stage of the marketing funnel. Imagine yourself in your lead’s shoes when outlining their buyer’s journey. What information would they find helpful, and how can it be delivered in a way that grabs their attention? Keeping this in mind will help keep your messages aligned throughout your work and minimize your content marketing mistakes.
No Clear Way to Measure Progress
Not having a quantifiable way to measure progress hinders your ability to track your campaign’s success. It also makes it difficult to determine where you are making mistakes. Certain content or practices could be scaring leads off, but without knowing where these errors are, you won’t be able to correct them.
As you’re mapping out your campaign, you should also be figuring out how best to measure its results. Google analytics is just one of the many programs that helps you determine progress. Find software that best fits the needs of your marketing team, and keeps track of the data you’re gathering. It will help you immensely when you’re analyzing and revising your campaign strategy.
Bad SEO Practices
Poor SEO practices such as keyword stuffing, creating irrelevant backlinks, or duplicating web content to improve search results can result in a high bounce rate and ultimately leave you behind as Google’s algorithm evolves. Leads may be scared off when they see the same keywords repeated over and over again solely for the sake of SEO. The content winds up looking unprofessional and isn’t as valuable as it could be. While you think that you may be improving your ranking in Google, you are actually hurting it. High bounce rates and low engagement harms your ranking. If you also don’t have a way of measuring this, you won’t even know it’s a problem.
There are plenty of ways to improve your SEO practices. Brands like Yoast, Moz, and Hubspot provide lots of extensive resources on it. Be sure that you’re writing compelling meta titles and descriptions, as these often act as modern-day subheads. Create internal links to help users better navigate other pages of relevant content and fix 404 errors that inhibit the user experience. When you are linking to other pages, make sure that their content is factual. If any of these best practices aren’t in place, you’ll be that much likelier to lose that lead.
Lacking Content Promotion
Creating new content is essential to generating new business. However, your leads won’t know that it exists if you don’t promote it. If they stumble upon your content via social media and see that it lacks in comments, likes, and shares, they might believe that you don’t know how to sell what you’re selling.
Create a clear call to action when promoting your content. When leads find it, it gives them the opportunity to act as influencers by spreading the word about your brand. Reach out to friends and other people in your industry for additional support to get the ball rolling. Also, encourage website visitors to subscribe to your page to receive additional content as it’s published.
If there’s ever a surefire way for your leads to mistrust you, it’s if they find multiple grammatical errors in your content. If your business doesn’t care enough to read over and correct your content, why would leads think that your products are worth buying? Proofread everything before publishing, or hire a copyeditor to do it for you. Using programs like Grammarly can mean the difference between acquiring a lead and scaring one away.
Making content marketing mistakes are going to happen. No campaign is perfect, and no single piece of content is going to turn everyone who sees it into a buyer. However, by learning from this common mistakes and avoiding them, you’re one step closer from turning a potentially scared lead into a customer.