We All Make Mistakes…
In my last blog post, I discussed the top tips you should know in order to best execute your content marketing strategy. Following this theme, I figured it’d be great to outline some common content marketing mistakes small businesses make.
And before I outline them, it’s important to note that at RedFork we thoroughly believe that you can always improve your current efforts. It’s one of the best motivational values that pushes us to strive for more.
So as you’re reading through, try to not look at these “mistakes” as black and white suggestions, where you have to think of your company as either doing these or not, because everything sits on a spectrum. You might already be using some of these tactics but aren’t investing in them properly or to the best of your abilities. (I found myself thinking the same while researching for this post 😜)
Instead, I hope to make you aware of common mistakes. or to possibly reignite some of your current efforts. So without further ado…
The Top 3 Content Marketing Mistakes
1. Not Researching Your Target Audience
This is the number one mistake small businesses make. I’ve written about it before, and I’m mentioning it now due to its monumental importance. Yeah, I said monumental… It’s that important.
Without research, you can’t be certain of what content will work best. Sure, you can make an educated guess and track your efforts in order to see what content is being received well, but why not just allot time for figuring out what will most likely work that in the beginning? This way, you can be more certain of your efforts.
Do research to learn who your target audience is. Figure out their demographics (age, gender, income, etc.) and then figure out how they receive different types of content.
You might find that they prefer to get their information from reading blogs, rather than watching videos. Or that they utilize Facebook to keep up with their favorite brands, and that they stay away from the other social networks.
“Don’t take shortcuts. They take too long.”
— Sonia Simone
The point is, that time is money… And if you invest too much time into efforts that won’t speak to your audience, or worse, share them through avenues they don’t use, it could really hurt your business.
So before creating your strategy, make sure to use online resources, read blogs, listen to podcasts, and even read books (yes, physical books 📚) to figure out who it is you’re trying to reach. Once you’ve defined your customer profile you can move on to building your content strategy.
2. Creating Bad Content
The second most common mistake small businesses make is producing mediocre content.
When consumers first see one of your content pieces, it not only needs to visually wow them, it also needs to be of value to them. This is what will drive them to return to your business.
“Mediocre content will hurt your brand more than doing nothing at all.”
— Joe Pulizzi
One way to think of this is by using a restaurant as an example…
Imagine you’re looking to try a new restaurant that just opened up, so you ask a friend to go check it out with you.
As you enter, you’re greeted warmly and love the atmosphere. The place looks clean and even has some awesome artwork from local artists. At this point, you and your friend are very impressed. You order food, and soon after, you see your food heading your way.
You feel amazed and excited to give this a try. You think to yourself, “what can go wrong? This place is incredible.”
The food arrives and you take your first bite and to your dismay, it doesn’t taste good. It catches you off guard, and so you take a second and third bite to make sure you aren’t crazy, but still, it isn’t appetizing. You both finish your meals and leave.
Do you think you’d return to this restaurant? Maybe, but probably not. Not often do people give businesses a second chance… Especially when their main product wasn’t satisfying.
The same applies to your content. It needs to bring value to your target audience. This means taking more time during your research phase to figure out what your audience best responds to, and then even more time to plan and create it in a way which tells a story, keeps them hooked, and eventually looking at you as their go-to resource within your industry.
3. Not Promoting Your Content
The last mistake most small businesses make is not promoting their content.
We tend to think that once we’ve created and uploaded our latest blog, photo, or video that the job has been done (I wish it were that simple).
Creation and is only half the battle. Without promotion, and more specifically, well-planned promotion, there’s a big chance your content will barely be seen. 😱
“It’s not the best content that wins, it’s the best promoted content.”
— Andy Crestodina
HOW DO I PROMOTE MY CONTENT?
Start by knowing where most of your audience stays connected to your business. For instance, if your biggest following is on Instagram, then promote your latest blog post there. Dedicate a picture/video post with a strong call-to-action to go read your blog. You can also utilize the Stories feature to tell your followers about it, and how to get to it.
Another way to promote your content is through email. Email newsletters continue to be a successful form of content distribution. So by collecting the emails of your followers, you can send them emails with a direct link to your latest blog or video.
Lastly, you can also pay to advertise your content. Look into Google AdWords, or posting ads through Facebook. If you want, you can start even smaller by boosting your existing posts, which is still paid but isn’t as costly as creating a full advertisement piece.
If people don’t know about your content, whether that be organically or through paid avenues, then your content won’t be seen or used… And ultimately, this slows the growth of loyal customers and doesn’t help in attracting new ones. So don’t forget to include promotion during the planning of your content distribution.
I hope you found this information helpful to your small business. As I stated earlier, we all make mistakes, and the best way to correct them is to hit the ground running, and start working on how to better your current efforts. If some of the above “mistakes” resonate with your currents strategies, make sure to invest time in revisiting them.
And if you need help in brainstorming, creating, or promoting your content or business, we’re only just a call or email away. 😁
Do you feel I’ve outlined the most common content marketing mistakes? What are other ones you think are just as important, if not more so? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Research’s Pivotal Role in the Content Marketing Revolution, Insights Association\
Content Marketing Done Wrong: How To Fail Miserably At Content Marketing, Business 2 Community
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