Majority of the companies believe in content marketing as the largest commercial impact creator for their business and the trend is all set to go up in the coming years. Still, content marketing doesn’t seem to be working for everyone. You have a beautiful website with well-written blog posts still no one is buying your products or services, Why? In this article, we will discuss the content marketing mistakes, the blogging booboos that sabotage your blog even before you launch it.
The content marketing muse showers her blessings on everyone. With content marketing done right, you can out-market big budget companies even if you are a solopreneur. But, these teeny-tiny content marketing mistakes that we ignore, become a big deal when the competition is high and space is crowded.
Are you making any of these content marketing mistakes?
But before jumping straight to the mistakes let us first understand what are the points at which your audience touches base with your brand:
The 5-step buyer-interaction framework
Here is a typical (yea, oversimplified) buyer’s journey. Call it a funnel, journey, pathways or touch-points they all are the same.
A visitor interacts with your brand in these 5 steps. Here’s how a 5-step buyer-interaction framework works:
Ideally, you put a visitor in the funnel and should get a buyer at the end. And all that happens with the magic wand called content marketing.
Step 1- A visitor comes to your website through social media or your guest post and reads your posts.
Step 2- She gets attracted to your lead magnet.
Step 3- She downloads it in exchange for her email id.
Step 4- Now she receives value-packed emails from you.
Step 5- Eventually, one day she buys from you.
As mentioned it’s a bird’s eye view of the process and does not happen automatically.
You need persuasive content for each of these stages to nudge them to the next step.
Now that you know the bigger picture it would be easier to pinch out all the cracks and gaps and cement them one by one.
Content marketing mistakes that kill your blog
1- Writing for Everyone
So here’s how I defined my audience for my last blog – ‘Anyone who wants to startup’ Facepalm!
This is too vague. It includes almost everyone. Be it a student, housewife, a fresh graduate. Who doesn’t want to work for their own self? Yes, it’s embarrassing to look back to this. But it’s never too late to zero-in on your niche and start writing for that one person. It takes time, just be there and keep on improving your persona.
It took me months to finally zero in on my audience.
If you’re writing for everyone you’re writing for none. I’m sorry to burst this bubble.
When you talk about solving a problem knowing and keeping in mind their constraints they will sense it. It will be a tailored solution that they are looking for.
Don’t step in her shoes, be a ghost enter in her body :D. See what she sees, feel what she feels, hear what she hear. Stalk her on social media (not literally). Check out the communities she follows, authors she read. Steal her words, use her vocabulary, throw her words back to her and that’s how she will relate to you.
2- Not Having A Content Plan (content marketing means more than just publishing blog posts)
If you still think that having a content calendar is what it all means to have a content plan then- same pinch!! I was there too- filling my content calendar with random ideas and inspirations from the internet.
Downloading scads of blog post ideas, oodles of documents promising high converting subject lines but still wondering what to write. I won’t say they are useless but they definitely cramp your style. Because you are writing on topics someone else thought could benefit your reader. These are good filler topics but should not be the only ones you should be writing on.
Next time you say I’m not writing because I’m having writer’s block… check your blog planner for goals. What’s your goal for this month or quarter? How does content fit in your strategy to achieve those goals.
3- Not Producing Valuable Content
If you have taken care of the mistakes 1&2 you’ll not make this mistake. If you know your audience well and have a bigger plan behind each blog post and email, it will be valuable.
Social listening is the best way to create content that helps. Join every group your target audience is active in and closely watch the questions they are asking.
In the search bar type
“Problem with”, “how to”, “help with”, “question on’, “answer”, “advice” “need help”, “newbie” and see what they are struggling with. Create content on these issues.
How to check whether you’re making this content marketing mistake- check the comments people are dropping on your site, emails responses you are getting. If you’re getting some praises you’re probably on the right path.
4- When the shiny object syndrome takes you over
You don’t remember exactly what goals you had set in the start, changes them quite often, gets so much influenced by other’s blog that you change your business model, every other business idea attracts you- if this is you read on!
There is no dearth of inspiration on the internet. People are doing amazing stuff and their blogs are magnets that will pull you, choco lava you will drool over. It’s easy to get carried away and deviating from your blog. You change your blog’s look, feel, fonts, colours, to even the business model of your website.
That’s okay if it is a very thoughtful and a must do action but, if you, do it often you’ll simply end up looking wishy-washy and directionless.
WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS get it tattooed on your head! I can’t insist this enough. Stick to your goals. Plan out and jot down every task you should do to attain that goal. Have a system and follow it religiously- be it a vision board, a physical planner or a digital planner. Don’t give yourself this sh*t- I’ll remember it in my head. Planning and keeping a journal is a habit that takes conscious efforts.
5- No Email Marketing Strategy in place
Why at first place you should collect emails?
You don’t want to build a house on someone else’s land, do you?
So stop relying on social media for carrying your message to your readers. You know what Facebook did to its algorithm that sank your page’s organic reach to almost zero. This is true for every platform Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest or LinkedIn.
But, email marketing makes you sit in the driver seat of your business so you have full control of what content your readers see and when.
5- Not Having Opt-ins
First, what the heck are they?
Basically, Opt-ins and lead magnets are the same. A lead magnet/opt-in is an offer on your website that asks the visitor to opt-in for your email list by downloading the offer. While lead magnets are more general, content upgrades are more specific to the blog post and live within the post.
Have Opt-ins, lead magnets, content upgrades on your site. Don’t limit to one. Just don’t let them go without giving away their email id. Create something valuable they can use and interact with your brand. And, that’s your chance to build a relationship.
6- No Sequence/Welcome Email
Not sending them emails after collecting hundreds of the ids? You’re charged guilty, so am I 🙁
If the content is the king engagement is the queen who rules the house. How do you bring engagement?
A blog post is mostly the first interaction you have with the audience after they discover you on social media. So, don’t expect the crowd falling for you in your comments section. You are only scratching the surface in the post. The magic happens in the email list where you dig deeper and get them thinking.
Not engaging with your readers is the biggest content marketing mistake.
7- Your Welcome Email does not land immediately
Welcome emails have the highest open rates of a whopping 50%. A subscriber is most engaged when she has just downloaded your opt-in. In fact, stats say 74% of the subscribers look forward to receiving your email immediately.
Welcome emails, not just have the maximum open and click-through rates, but a subscriber who receives a welcome email shows 33% more engagement.
Forget the numbers just imagine you meet someone for the first time and don’t introduce yourself how does it feel? In fact, this is your golden chance to introduce yourself, your brand and show off your badges and medals to impress her. Tell her what she can expect from you- how you can help her, what emails you’ll be sending and when. Prepare her for receiving more emails from you.
8- Killing their apprehensions with content?
We often limit our content marketing efforts to just writing and promoting blog posts. That’st there but what next? Blog posts do a good job of getting people to your site and creating some brand awareness. But, that’s not sufficient to convert them into paying customers.
Look at the 5-Step- Buyer-Interaction Framework and write down the questions she might have at each stage that’s stopping her to move to the next step.
Have your answers ready. It’s not necessary you need a blog post on each. It could be a FAQ, testimonial, pricing page or even an email.
9- Spreading yourself too thin
Have you heard that 20/80 rule? It says you should spend 20 per cent of the time creating content and 80% times promoting it.
Does it mean grab the link and dump, dump, dump, spam spam spam every platform every group you’re in?
You need not and cannot be present everywhere.
Start with one platform. Go crazy over it. Make it deliver results for you. Then only switch to the net one. I create ¾ pins per article to promote it on Pinterest. Though this platform has started showing results for me I am yet to grill it more for better results.
Simply dumping the link on all your social media profiles is not content marketing You need to be present, engage on add value to actually make it work for you.
10- 20/80 Rule exploited well?
Redress the content you create. You created a blog post, published it and that’s it?
No, what you created is a piece of content that you can use in different ways. A blog post can be converted to a video, SlideShare, ebook, Quora/Reddit answers, podcast, social media quotes even an email course. Possibilities are endless. Again, I am not in the favour of redressing your content for every platform. The crux is don’t create new content before utilising the full potential of your existing content.
11- Not making it clear on your homepage- check your content above the fold
While there are many important website content pieces that I am dying to talk to you about I cherry-picked home page for discussion in this post because of the simple reason it’s your first touch point with your subscriber and fairly important.
What the heck is above the fold? Simply the part of the screen you see without scrolling down.
Now, coming to the point- What content you should have on the home page? Explain what your business does for them. They are only interested in WIIFM (What’s in it for me) and follow the 10-sec rule (can they understand what you do in 10 sec?). Next check do you have a CTA. See how these site do it:
Wrapping it up:
You don’t want to be just the average. Because, average brands have no space on people’s vision boards, inboxes, and credit cards. You want to create a leakproof system of content that helps you build a list of raving and loyal fans who follow your advice, wait for your emails and buy from you as soon as you put it on sale.
Before you go on to make your blog stand out with drooling images and distinct fonts, cement these content cracks first.
Did I miss any content marketing mistake?
Over to you.