8 Common Content Marketing Mistakes You Might be Making

MarketingPuzzle

How groundbreaking is the idea that people want to read quality content?

We know that we want to share our ideas, and we know that the first step is getting them out there. From that point the steps can seem less straight forward.

After spending your hard earned money and your valuable time creating quality content for your brand, how can you be sure you’re getting the most out of your effort?

Google has so graciously provided us the playbook.  We just have to play by the rules.

If you feel like you are playing nice, yet you’re still not getting the ROI you expect from your marketing campaign, don’t worry!  There may be just one thing that is derailing your ever so brilliant marketing strategy.  There may be a few things that aren’t perfect, but the good news is – we can fix it.

Let’s take a look at the 8 most common mistakes we are tempted to make when trying to win the love of our audience.

1. Posting Sporadically

You know the saying, “strike while the iron’s hot?”  It’s never been more crucial than with online posts.

If you write an exceptional blog on Monday that received lots of comments and re-posts, you’ve planted a seed with your readers.  If they see another great post from you within a day or two, you’ve started the process of establishing yourself as the authority on the topic.  When you let too much time go by before sharing your next article, no matter how informative the content, you’re readers may not remember you, and therefore you’re starting over on the quest to forming credibility.

  • Keep the momentum going.
  • Stay in front of your prospects.
  • Become the expert in your industry.
  • It’s all about perception!

If you have something important to say once, that’s not enough.  When you provide helpful information often, you become the expert on a topic.

Make A Schedule And Stick To It

Posting regularly takes true dedication, but it’s worth it! Programs like Hootsuite can help you front-load your funnel.  This may take a few hours at the beginning of the month, but after the initial set-up, it will run itself.

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Of course, if something relevant and exciting just happened in your field, you should interrupt your pre-scheduled posts and be the first to tell the world about it.

2.  Producing Tons of Content without Focus

Content is King.  Bad content is a crusher. If you’re not a great writer, you may fool yourself, or the guy that hired you, but you sure can’t fool Google.

There is an overabundance of people on freelance job boards who call themselves writers that cannot seamlessly construct two consecutive paragraphs.  The saddest thing is that they’re cashing in big time.

How?

Because publishers who hire them don’t know the difference between a good writer and a bad one themselves.

Until recently, we were rewarded by creating tons of content and submitting articles, blogs and posts all over the Internet.  It didn’t matter if they had substance or meaning.  It was enough to just be in many places.  Unfortunately, many business owners are still under the impression that this works. It doesn’t.

Search engines are putting your marketing skills to the test.  If you’re not an excellent writer, find one.  He or she will be your biggest asset!

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Traits of a Great Writer:
  • Understands the voice and culture of your company.
  • Stays true to your brand, consistent with your message and engaging with your prospects.
  • Knows what your readers want to hear and how to appeal to them on an emotional level.
  • Can convert a passive searcher into a loyal customer.

A writer who knows how to do this – has the ability to increase sales.  More sales are not only good for the wallet…more sales gets Google’s attention.

3.  Creating Content Just to Stay on Schedule

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If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to witness it, does it make a sound?  Who knows? One thing for certain, if you write something your prospects don’t give a flip about, they’re not going to read it.

In fact, if your follower is accustomed to receiving the latest and greatest insider information from you and you serve him up a watered down version of last month’s “nugget,” he’s going to be disappointed, and less likely to consider you the expert.

It’s easy to run out of time, but don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.  You must stay relevant and produce content that provides value to your readers.

  • An epic article can win you followers just as quickly as a poor one can lose them.

Make time to do it right.  If this means your Saturday morning, then take a few hours to create something you’ll be proud of when you post it on Wednesday.  It’s worth the effort.

4.  Believing that People Will Naturally Find Your Amazing Content

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You’re creating awesome content.  Ada baby!!  You deserve a big ‘ole pat on the back.   Now, how do you get people to read it?

Imagine all of the hard work you’d put into purchasing, remodeling and decorating a new home.  At the end of it all, you’d want people to see your accomplishments, so you’d have a house warming party, right?

How would people know to come to your house warming party? …Because you’d invited them, of course.  If you want people to receive your message, you have to invite them over.
  • Social media is the best way to lure prospects to your site.
    • Post a tease and embed a link to your article on your website.
    • Submit your work to as many submission sites as possible.

Don’t let your hard work sit on a page with no visitors.  Consider all the avenues within the Internet as your personal POSTman – there to deliver your invitation.

5.  Stuffing your Content with Keywords

Remember that kid in school who always cheated?  He’d round second base and miss it by a foot, but said he really did tag the base?

Or maybe you have that uncle who always wants to play cards on the family beach trip, but years ago you noted his knack for fuzzy math.

Both cases result in you preferring not to play with them anymore.

Not to sound trivial, but Google doesn’t like to play with cheaters either.

Stuffing

Google has a lot of crawling to do.  When you abuse the system by overusing key words, Google has to take the extra time to determine whether or not you’re stuffing.  When you’re caught overusing your key terms for SEO, Google will penalize you.  You’ll be put in timeout for a considerable amount of time.

No one likes a cheater.  Especially Google.  Play fair and you’ll be rewarded.

6.  Making Sure Your Content is Absolutely Perfect

Nothing kills your credibility like the miss-use of language.  Just ask George W. As the president of the U.S. addressed the nation on “nucular” warfare, the media had a field day discrediting him for his mistake.  Or how about the frenzy Dan Quayle caused with his slip-up on “Potatoe.” It can happen to anyone.

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We can’t be right all of the time.  We will make grammatical errors; misspell words and forget a comma here and there.  The problem is, those who pride themselves on their ability to get it right most of the time will take offense to those who don’t.

There is no such thing as perfect, but we should all apply due diligence to getting it right.

Make an effort to spell-check your work, and when possible, run it by a second pair of eyes before posting.

7.  Trying to Manage an Entire Content Marketing Campaign Alone

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You may be working with a limited budget.  In most cases, you’re expected to write, post, promote, update, and – oh yea, come up with the next winning strategy to keep the momentum going.  It’s a lot.

If it gets overwhelming, you’re better off admitting that it’s too much, and asking for help – than you’ll be if you drop the ball and the boss or client didn’t see it coming.

Always have back up.

If you know that you’re unable to afford the extra help, be on the look out anyway.  Everyone knows that guy who has a ridiculously affordable and talented “guy” in India.  Well, guess what, he probably went through a dozen horribly untalented “guys” in India who cost him time, money (and almost a client) before he found the right one.

  • Skype, email and get to know talent and their abilities.
  • Don’t wait for the big project to come along that affords you the ability to bring on some help.  By then, it’s too late.  Have him or her lined up and ready to go.

Also, consider hiring a non-paid intern who can pick up the slack.  Even if he or she is doing minimal tasks, these things are now off your plate.

8.  Not Knowing When Enough Is Enough

If you’ve made it thus far reading this article, that means you remained engaged by valuable information you feel will improve your content marketing efforts.

If the paragraphs were filled with fluff in order to meet a 1200 – 1500 word requirement, you’d most likely feel a bit miffed because your time was wasted.  We want quality information and we want it quickly.

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The time it takes you to read these “8 Mistakes” is time taken out of your day – and you need answers now.  You need to know the 8 Mistakes you could be making, so you can ensure that your strategy is as efficient and effective as it can be.

We are all stretched for time.  If you’re asking someone to read your message, make sure they walk away feeling that it was a good use of their time.  If it’s good enough, they’ll want to share it – and that’s exactly what it’s all about.

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About Kaitlynn Russo

Kaitlynn is the Marketing Automation Manager at Ebyline, a platform that connects companies with freelancers to create exclusive, high-quality content. Find her on Twitter. Ebyline Freelancer.

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