Content Marketing Duds You Need to Break Up With Now
Trying to find the right content marketing strategy that fits your brand and is compelling to the right audience can sometimes feel like trying to find a unicorn. Most marketers and business leaders are quick to admit that a true connection or conversion via content is hit or miss—trial and error—and it’s easy to get discouraged. Don’t throw the towel in completely; it’s time to ditch what’s not working.
The following are common content marketing pitfalls you don’t want to mess with:
No Long-Term Commitment
Content marketing strategies often fail because marketers give up too early. Business professionals aren’t often aware of the long-term investment they’re making.
According to a recent CMI report, only 30 percent of B2B marketers and 38 percent of B2C marketers believe their organizations are effective at content marketing.
Everyone uses content marketing, but few find success. Is your strategy working? (Tweet this!)
Many businesses want all visitors consuming their content to convert right away or assume it’s just not worth it. In reality, visitors will engage with your brand throughout their purchase process, and you want to build what Rand Fishkin at Moz calls a “positive bank account” full of experiences and touches with your brand.
These content touch points build up the “capital” in your account, and when they’re ready to buy, visitors who recognize a need for your products or services will come to you.
Or, they will perform a search query only to discover you because you’ve grown in their rankings and authority. Don’t waste time on a content marketing strategy that isn’t in it for the long haul.
Writing Just Anything
Similarly, so many teams fail to turn to numbers for their content marketing strategies. If you want your content to succeed, you have to perform keyword research. Keywords are the foundation for any successful piece of content.
To create optimized content, find the right keywords with effective tools. Make sure to take advantage of keyword density tools to measure your use of a particular keyword in a body of text or web page.
Find out how to secure high-ranking spots in SERPs through more than just a keyword rank checker. Other ranking factors include outbound links, domain authority, length and quality of content, keyword-rich anchor text and title tags and much more.
Flakey Online Presence
It’s true that “content is king,” but that’s not the full story. Your content marketing strategy may look good on paper, but is it consistent? Are you showing up regularly—interacting with your readers on all platforms—uniquely reaching out in a way that works for each social media site? Quality is important, but so is quantity. It takes time, and for that reason alone, consistency matters.
Content marketing is like a crock pot, not a microwave. (Tweet this!)
Stick to an editorial calendar so you’re always creating fresh, relevant content. If you don’t have the energy or time to post often, consider how guest contributors can help you build authority. However, guest blogging in a content marketing plan should be extremely strategic. Where that content is placed and how it is positioned represent your brand.
Part of being consistent and available online means you are easily found—with a positive user experience—on mobile devices. Mobile SEO best practices include:
- Page speed
- Site design for mobile
- Optimized for local search
- Mobile site configuration
Sending Mixed Signals
Having a cohesive brand voice is essential for any content marketing strategy. Are you conveying your message in a clear, concise way among all platforms? Do your strategies truly drive toward your goals and KPIs? Do your headlines accurately portray what’s in the article or blog post? Are your external links relevant to the article?
Part of having a cohesive brand voice means connecting your brand to relevant, informative sources. Search engines reward content based in part on external links: they recognize the trustworthiness of the linking domain, the popularity or authority of a page and more. External links are the hardest metrics to manipulate, so they’re thought of as passing “ranking power” differently than internal links.
The best way to test whether a content marketing plan that sends “mixed signals” is to (1) identify what kind of content your target audience wants to consume and (2) figure out how you can create content that aligns your brand with those characteristics.
Boring, Narcissistic or Clingy Content
The number one killer of any content marketing strategy is boring, stale, and irrelevant content. You have to step outside of the box and create more than just white papers to reach today’s searchers. Did you know 80 percent of readers never make it past the headline? Keep your content alive by always keeping your target readers in mind.
Similarly, be engaging. Don’t ignore customer questions and feedback, and watch out for overly promotional language. Customer-focused businesses seek to provide informative, practical advice—so avoid creating content that could be interpreted as spam.
“The more content, the better,” is not necessarily a black-and-white rule. Content that’s all about “me, me, me” and not what the user wants to read won’t get you far.
In other words, don’t fall for a content marketing strategy that is really only about talking more and louder to make a point.
Need a Matchmaker?
If you’re looking to grow your visibility and make your content efforts work harder, you can trust the team at Demand Signals to create a winning organic search content strategy.
Investing in organic search will move the needle for your business. It may seem daunting, but by pairing our proprietary technology and algorithms with content and search consulting, you can gain a competitive advantage and create relevant, valuable content that your customers will find.
About The Author, Mollie Turbeville
Mollie is a client content editor who loves developing writers and helping businesses tell their stories. She enjoys people, potlucks, and punctuation. She has been accused of sleeping with The Chicago Manual of Style under her pillow and drinking her weight in coffee.