Businesses are increasingly jumping on the Content Marketing bandwagon – adding content creation and creating a sales funnel to take advantage of the client-attracting aspects of this new content. With that said, each step of the Content Marketing process has opportunities for mis-steps and pitfalls. Here are six that I regularly witness in my company’s consulting practice.
1) Inconsistent content creation
“Consistency is King” in my book. Too many companies struggle over creating great content and then burn out or get overwhelmed by the next piece. Don’t get me wrong, your content should be as good as possible (even great), but companies need to find ways to make content creation easier and faster and part of the culture. You also need to commit to creating content, develop a plan and have a point person to crack the content whip!
2) Being “me-centric” with their content
I was with one client team brainstorming content and everything that came out sounded like a commercial. I had to push the reset button. Content is not about constantly pitching your products and services – like a an advertorial on your blog. It’s about educating, entertaining or engaging your audience (potential clients, industry influencers, potential advocates and others) on topics they care about. And if they happen to take you up on your free webinar, free checklist, or consultation, that’s great. With targeted and consistent content, you’ll grow your audience and they’ll start to take you up on your offers.
Okay, so content is not just about educating, entertaining and engaging. You do want a percentage of visitors to take you up on your offers or to connect with you long term (via Facebook, Twitter, etc.). People are more likely to take you up on these offers if you explicitly ask them while they’re already consuming relevant content. So, don’t forget to ask! And no, having one call to action in the sidebar is not enough.
4) Ignoring the power of landing pages
The big cultural shift that I often fight against is “Landing Page-itis”. Some companies just don’t want to create them. This means they don’t have pages specifically designed to sell people on attending their event, grabbing their ebook or signing up for that consultation. Landing pages are great places to send people clicking from blog posts, from social media or from emails. They allow companies more space to sell people on signing up for their offers.
5) Not tying the “real world” to their online content
Companies often run their “real business” separately from what happens online. That’s a big mistake. Real world items such as events, seasonal changes, special customers, daily specials, the local weather, promotions, VIP sightings, new customer visits, new products, partners, and production runs can be fodder for blog or social media content. For example, a wedding at your site, a scenic sunny day in the winter, a blooper reel of an attempted interview, a picture of a new product (a new dish, a new color widget) or a visit from an industry “star” can be great content. Don’t forget to have your camera, video camera, and something to write with handy at all times.
6) Putting all their eggs in one Social Media basket
Many companies have gotten used to interacting with their audience in only one place – often Facebook. I applaud them, especially if they can get real engagement and continue to grow their fan base. The problem is, Facebook has its limits and is changing all the time (have you been reading about the controveries over Edgerank, declining reach of posts, and the need for promoted posts in order to reach your audience?). Also, your audience and other industry players are also likely spending time on other sites like Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube or Google+. Establish a base and gain competency in other platforms. You’ll thank me if or when Facebook starts to decline.
Is your company making any of these mistakes?
Do you see your company making any of these mistakes? Do you see others? Be careful, in many cases, fixing these mistakes requires overcoming organizational inertia or bad habits.
Let me know in the comments – which Content Marketing mistakes you see companies making? If you want to find fast content creation methods for your company, learn about Fast, Easy Blogging here.