In a market competing for eyeballs and attention spans, great content is key to business success. Most people recognise good copy when they read it. They also know it when writing is stale and uninspiring. In this article I will break down the 10 marketing mistakes content creators should avoid so you can improve your copy and boost your viewership.
No plan, no structure
It doesn’t matter how good your copy is if you don’t have a plan for executing it effectively. Unfortunately, many companies hire great content writers and give them no long-term plan or structure. While this might lead to some good writing, it’ll always appear like you’re winging it.
You’re doing too much social media and not enough marketing
Don’t get me wrong – social media and content marketing go together like peanut butter and jelly. But when creating content, your goal shouldn’t be to simply share and disseminate it. Each word should strive to produce tangible business results. Get strategic with your social media channel and don’t forget to tie it all back to your business goals.
Not speaking to your audience
Good copy usually boils down to convincing your audience to try your product and service. But if you don’t know your target audience, you stand little chance of convincing people to try you out. If you want to be a great content writer, you must get in tune with things like market research and market segmentation. You also need to pin-point exactly who you are selling to. Once you identify your end market, sell to them!
Not creating dialogue
In the digital era, it’s impossible to divorce PR from social media. Great content resides on both sides and your goal should be to promote meaningful dialogue with your brand. Great content shares itself. Before you start your next marketing campaign, ask whether people will think and reflect on the subject matter. The more they think about it, the more likely they are to share it and come back for more.
In the era of freelance work and flexible workplaces, many talented people stumble upon copy writing without a formal background in marketing. While this is perfectly okay, it’s no excuse to neglect market research. It’s difficult to sell anything these days without the right insights about your market. If you’re a writer, make research part of your career.
Relying on industry buzzwords
Want to make your content a snooze fest? Easy! Just regurgitate industry buzzwords and stale one-liners that have been used a million times already. While keywords are crucial to copywriting, so is creativity! So think of new, engaging ways to interact with your audience.
Publishing content for the sake of publishing content
We get it: you want to roll out content on a regular, recurring basis. This is important not only for rank and SEO purposes, but also for audience engagement. But before you click “post,” ask yourself whether this piece is necessary, or whether you’re just wasting precious time and resources on material nobody will ever read.
One of the biggest sins in the world of content marketing is lacking empathy for the customer you are targeting. Companies that don’t understand important questions customers have are much less likely to develop meaningful connections with them. Business is a two-way street – create value to receive it!
Not staying relevant
Successful brands evolve over time and curate content that speaks to the current times in which we live. Although “staying relevant” might mean different things to different businesses, it should force them to think about their ability to influence their target market. Asking how your company fits in the big picture will force you to answer some difficult questions about your business.
Your content sucks
This point has to be said bluntly: if your content sucks, nothing can save it! We’ve all heard the phrase “quality over quantity.” This one certainly applies to the world of content marketing. Have some pride and make sure you produce top-notch content. There are some things that cannot be marketed effectively and poor content is one of them.
Not using the abundance of analytics tools out there
One of the advantages of being a content marketer in the digital age is the sheer abundance of tools and resources you can use to measure the success of your marketing strategy. Social listing and data analytics are necessary to gain a competitive edge. These tools can help you understand which content gets the most page views and which strategies produce the most engagement. The good news is, many of these tools are extremely easy to use, so you don’t have to be a math whiz or statistician to figure it out.
If you found yourself committing one of these ten content marketing mistakes, don’t worry! This article wasn’t meant to point fingers, but to help you reflect on your content marketing strategies. With the new year upon us, now is as good of a time as any to turn these bad habits into good ones.
Contact me for assistance with shaping up your content for 2017