In today’s online market, most companies seem to understand the importance of a content marketing strategy. If this isn’t the case for your team, allow me to quickly say: content marketing is very important!
Leveraging the content on your business’ website is paramount to SEO success. Strong and useful content can act as a bridge between you and interested prospects. Your overall strategy covers several channels:
- Educational and resourceful content signals to search engines, like Google, that your company has authority on relevant topics. This can be rewarded with higher ranking placement in search engine results pages, giving you an edge over competitors.
- Having strong blog articles can inform strategy for social media and digital PR. Both efforts are made much easier when you have valuable information to offer and link back to.
- Content marketing goes hand in hand with the sales funnel. You can cater specific pieces to target each stage of the process, making your site useful to those who are curious about your services - to those looking to convert right away.
As with any marketing strategy, simply checking off the boxes and implementing anything is not the right way to go. In fact, there are several mistakes that a company can make when executing their content marketing strategy. In this article, we’ll outline some of the top pitfalls of content marketing strategies, so that your team can avoid them and put your best foot forward online.
1. Assuming You Know it All About your Audience
Sometimes on marketing campaigns, too many assumptions are made about the audience without any research. When content is produced with general ideas about who your target is, you miss out on being able to truly tailor your material to the readers. We certainly wouldn’t accuse companies of knowing nothing about their customers, but valuable insights can be generated when you take more into consideration.
To remedy this, we suggest creating specific buyer personas before making any content. You likely have different types of customers; think customer that isn’t familiar with technology & needs lots of guidance and data-driven specialists looking for an exact fit. Try to be as specific as possible.
Once you’ve identified your personas, it’s time to research. Customers that are unfamiliar with your service will likely not understand jargon or the high-level solutions your service provides. Your team should research the keywords they use, and the types of questions they usually ask. Furthermore, take note of which of those terms carry the highest search volume monthly. Do the same for your more savvy personas as well, being sure to create content with authority that will match the expertise of this type of prospect.
2. Targeting One Piece of the Buyer’s Journey
Another common mistake to avoid is only going after one stage of the buyer’s journey. As a refresher, the journey goes as follows:
- Awareness Stage: your prospect is aware that there’s a problem that needs to be solved, and is looking for information to find out more.
- Consideration Stage: your prospect has a better concept of their problem, and are interested in learning more about the different ways to solve it.
- Decision Stage: your prospect is ready to make a move on the solution they need, and just need to figure out the best company/service to pursue it.
Lots of teams tend to only focus on generating content for potential customers in the lower part of the sales funnel. They’ll prioritize blog posts like “Why Our Company is the Best for [Service]” or “How Our Service Solves [Issue}.” Make no mistake, these are great topics for your prospects in the Decision Stage! But be mindful of all of the other users you miss out on by only focusing one one segment.
When drawing up content ideas, consider the Buyer’s Journey before putting pen to paper. Informative blogs for the Awareness Stage shouldn’t come off as too salesy - just focus on being informative and helpful. For the Consideration Stage, don’t spend too much time on the basics, because they’re after solution-oriented information. When you keep all 3 stages in mind for your strategy, you can offer value for all of your team’s prospects.
3. Adopting a One-and-Done Approach
Some marketers will put a lot of focus on constantly creating new and unique content for their site. While it’s great to avoid repetition, you shouldn’t let quality pieces of content collect dust. Repurposing content is key to content marketing and SEO.
Tapping into your website’s analytics data will be a huge help in deciding what piece of content could take on a new life. Your step-by-step guide blog could be a great infographic, which would target more visual prospects and make for a valuable social media post. Your site’s Glossary page could be a handy ebook for clients to refer to. The introductory post you wrote about your service could make for an excellent video or podcast. Consider all the possibilities and remember - the hard part of creating the content is already finished, all you have to do is reshape it based on your goals!
(By the way, we wrote an entire blog about repurposing content, with helpful questions to consider and a step-by-step guide to repurposing materials.)
4. Not Paying Attention to Data & Results
It can be easy to focus on the front half of a content strategy; the creative process can be quite fun! But when you aren’t paying attention to how your content performs online, you do your strategy a disservice. The insights generated from Google Analytics (page views, time on page), Google Search Console (average ranking, click through rate), and social media (shares, engagement metrics)—to name a few—will all be helpful in guiding your ongoing strategy.
As mentioned in the previous section, content that is performing well should be considered when deciding what to write more about, or what to repurpose. Furthermore, did the content achieve the intended goal - or just get a lot of attention? Maybe the content needs a CTR or lead magnet to push things even further.
For content that didn’t perform well, you’ll want to do some investigating. Try and figure out why it didn’t produce the same results as more popular posts did. Below are some guiding questions:
- Did it not solve the question it set out to answer?
- Did it not contain enough information?
- Is it not as organized as a competitor’s post (with headings, images, schema markup, etc.)?
- Was the audience too broad or too small?
- Did it not feature prominent keywords?
The great thing about content marketing is that it is an ever-evolving process for all teams. If you made any of the mistakes in the above, it’s never too late to fix your strategy and move on. In fact, mistakes are almost necessary to the process, as the lessons you’ll learn will only strengthen your strategy.
If your team is looking to kill the content game and boost your online performance, contact Jordan Digital Marketing. With strong research, quality content creation, and data-driven feedback; we can take your company to the next level.