Updated: Oct 6, 2020
Content marketing is a valuable tool for small business owners looking to create and maintain a customer base. People flock to interesting and relevant content, so take advantage. However, you can’t just create content, throw it out there and expect it to be effective. Your content needs to be part of a strategy, it needs a purpose, and it should be based on solid customer research. Avoid these five common content marketing mistakes.
No Master Plan
Content marketing isn’t just about creating high quality content, there needs to be a plan. It’s important to set goals, and to have a strategy in place to meet those goals. What is your plan? How will you implement your content marketing strategy? One excellent way to go about your planning is by using the Quant strategy. Using this strategy, you will be creating goals that are smart, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-based (SMART). An example of a SMART goal would be to increase your sales by 10% in the next two months. As soon as you’ve got your goal, you simply work backwards, considering what actions you’ll need to take to make your way towards that achievement.
Creating Content for the Sake of Publishing Something
“Content should always have a purpose. You really do not want to be creating, and publishing, content for no real reason. Anytime you’re creating or posting content, ask yourself why you’re doing it,” advises Melissa Davis, content writer at BigAssignments. If you don’t, your team will quickly find itself feeling directionless and struggling to meet goals. Think about it, how can your content contribute to your goal if the piece has no purpose? Good content marketing requires people being excited and passionate about what they’re doing, and to get that you need content with a real direction. Posting consistently is good, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of your sense of direction.
Improper or Non-existent Research
This is a big one. Your content is only as effective as the research that it’s built upon. You can produce excellent, targeted content, but if it’s targeted at the wrong group it is absolutely useless. Buyer personas are important, but they need to be approached the right way. Conduct some customer surveys. Write up a brief survey that will give you some good insights on things like how they became customers, their concerns, assumptions about your company, and hesitations they experienced before purchasing. It’s also not a bad idea to try and get some customers on the phone, you can get some extra insights by engaging in an actual conversation.
Writing Poor Quality Content
You might have some great ideas for content, but if you don’t have the proper writing skills it won’t turn very well. Good writing takes time and practice, and the best way to improve is by consulting some experts. Use these tools to improve your abilities and knowledge:
StateofWriting and MyWritingWay – Do some reading on these writing blogs and check out what other content marketers have learned. There is a wealth of knowledge available about all kinds of topics related to writing.
Essayroo and Boomessays – Use these editing tools before you post anything. Editing is a process and takes time, so invest in your content and access these resources. They are reliable and have been reviewed well by Revieweal.
Writing Copy that Starts with the Product, and Not the Solution
Customers buy what the product does for them, not the product itself. Your content writing should reflect this fact. Think about the benefits and solutions your product or service is going to provide and make that the focus of your writing. Think about what problems and concerns your customers have (you should know this from your customer research) and then create content that addresses these concerns. Finally, you will present your product or service as the solution to your customers’ problem. Make your headline about your product’s most considerable benefit. Promise benefits you can actually deliver on. Write short, simple sentences that promote clarity and create interest. Give people a reason to keep reading. Write in a way that connects to the reader’s emotions.
Wrapping Things Up
Content marketing can be extremely valuable to a small business owner, but it needs to be done the correct way. Start with a good plan, and always have a purpose for the content you are creating. Make sure your content is properly written and edited. Have the content focus on the benefits of your product, and not the product itself. Avoid these five common mistakes and you’ll be well on your way to an effective content marketing strategy.