A successful content marketing plan can become your strongest ally in attracting clients and candidates and retaining your current audience’s attention. A successful strategy will need to be not only well focused on the needs of a target audience, but also avoid being too salesy or not informative enough.
In this blog, I will cover the 7 most common mistakes marketeers commit in their approach to content marketing – and how to avoid them.
Not posting regularly
It is always best practice to spend some time planning what you are going to post for the upcoming week (or month!) - keeping a tight schedule in mind and having a target amount of posts you would like to share per week allows you to build interest across all channels and keep your audience attentive. However, when planning what is coming up in your feed, it is important to keep a consistent balance of the distinct types of content you are sharing, which can allow you to sell your business to prospects, but also engage client and stakeholders and make yourself stand out as the brand of choice. At BlueSky PR, we recommend using the ‘Rule of Thirds’ – which allows you to give equal space to promotional content for your business, curated content and branded content.
An effective way to supplement your content marketing plan with lighter and more digestible posts is using ‘snackable content’ - a type post where information can be absorbed by your audience quickly and effortlessly. Snackable content can also be used as part of a wider campaign, which could not only encourage a consistent level of engagement with your audience, but also become a platform to showcase your expertise with prospective clients and leave them wanting more. Two particularly popular examples of this are #MondayMotivation and #FAQWednesday, which you can use to share a gold nugget of your knowledge with the audience on a weekly basis.
Not using the right medium
Marketeers can sometimes feel spread too thin when it comes to sharing content – with so many platforms available, and the constant need for updates in the fast-paced world we live in, it can sometimes feel like the content we spent months planning around has disappeared into a dark hole.
A good rule of thumb to make sure you are making the most of the latest opportunities available is asking yourself 3 questions:
- Who makes up your audience, and where do they reside?
- What is something you have not yet tried?
- What could you do with this piece of content to truly make it shine?
Naturally, the blog you have just written is full of valuable information, but to really make sure it excels you will need to know where you are coming from and who you want to reach. Educate yourself on the latest tools the various platforms are offering (we have all been spending the better part of our days on Instagram reels lately!) and think about how your black words on a white page could benefit from being visually ‘spiced up’ to catch your audience’s attention.
Not paying attention to your website’s SEO
Do you really know your audience’s needs and cravings? Fantastic! But how can you establish yourself as the person who is able to answer all their questions and more?
SEO is a fairly uncomplicated way to make sure you are always top of the list when anyone, across the world, is looking for the answer to a particular question – so why are you still not optimising your blog posts?! Using well thought-out, targeted keywords, after a thorough research of the market and of your competitors’ offerings, is one of the most effective way to push your website, and therefore your brand, to the top of the charts. Take a look at this BlueSky PR blog if you are in need of SEO tips – but do not forget to tailor this advice to your brand and your business.
Not producing high-quality content
I have said it before and I will say it again - the centre of content marketing is, of course, the content. Sure, sharing content regularly is important, but a good strategy needs to base itself on the needs of the audience to keep the readers engaged.
Educating yourself on the topic you are about to write on is fundamental – there cannot be any ‘fake it till you make it’ in a successful marketing strategy. If you want your content to reflect yours and your brand’s expertise then keep it insightful, snappy, and engaging - and please, do not forget to give it yet another proofread!
If you would like to establish yourself as an expert in a particular field, it could be useful to look at evergreen content – this could do wonders for your business’ engagement, SEO, and ultimately reputation in the long run.
Disregarding mobile optimisation
82.9 per cent of people in the UK are smartphone users – and you are most likely reading this through your phone’s screen right now. It would be highly counter intuitive, in 2021, to not optimise your website or your social media platforms for the small screen, and it could lose you not only engagement, but ultimately clients and candidates.
If you make the smart choice to optimise your content for mobile users, you will not only need to keep an eye on the look of your words on the webpage, but you will also need to ‘pay attention to your audience’s attention span’ – this changes greatly when someone is about to hop off a crowded train rather than at home on a monitor!
Not tracking analytics
In 2021 there is really no excuse anymore for not tracking how well your website and social media is performing. Every social media platform produces analytics reports bespoke to your account, and you can often access even more precise numbers through any of the scheduling apps you use daily.
Google Analytics can track pretty much anything and anyone under the sun, and if you find the platform intimidating, there are plenty of other systems you could use. If you are still unsure about which metrics you should be keeping an eye on, this article can help you identify them quickly and successfully.
Not being reactive
If there is one thing you should be taking away from 2020, it is how important hand sanitiser is – and that keeping up with the times is a constant challenge. The memory of the pandemic will be the constant reminder that no matter how good your marketing strategy is, it could still be scrapped last minute, binned, and you will find yourself having to start from scratch, reading the latest news and stats and dealing with the latest press release. Not being flexible could quickly drag your marketing plans down – so always keep both eyes wide open and be ready to sprint and rise to the occasion.