Five Content Marketing Mistakes That Spell Disaster

Social media, SEO, brand awareness, consumer interaction, and many other aspects of a successful business depend on a strong content marketing strategy. That’s why it can cause panic when content marketing starts to stagnate or decline. Or, maybe the content portion of the brand’s strategy has never done very well. Before throwing thousands of dollars at it, examine it all carefully to make sure the issues aren’t caused by a simple mistake.

Failing to Target the Right Audience

Companies generally use content to attract potential customers. However, the content they publish doesn’t always achieve that goal. Consider a carpenter who publishes content that only other carpenters appreciate. He then wonders why his content marketing hasn’t brought in any work. The problem is the content’s audience. Other carpenters don’t hire him. Therefore, the carpenter’s content should attract and be of interest to businesses and individuals who might hire him. It would also provide his clients with added value and help him build authority with them.

No Pillar Content

Shorter pieces of content are great for earning traffic and getting visitors to keep coming back, but it has limits. Successful content strategies include well-researched, authoritative pieces that earn links from other businesses. Called pillar content, they are often large articles or a series of articles that examine a topic in-depth. They may be guides, how-to pieces, or act as references. However, these aren’t the only options. Courses, videos, ebooks, reports, white papers, and other formats can work just as well as traditional pillar content. Sometimes, they might do even better.

Before investing in pillar content, businesses should research the competition to see what already exists and what the industry needs. Make note of resources that are out-of-date or poorly done. Other places to gather information and ideas for pillar content include CRM software, the target audience, and complementary businesses. Then, make pillar content a regular habit. Publishing a larger piece a few times a year will be enough to keep a regular influx of new visitors and give the website’s SEO a much-needed boost.

Not Enough Evergreen Content

News items, announcements, and other time-relevant content can do a great job of attracting attention. Unfortunately, their value doesn’t last long. After a few months, these posts are no longer news, so they stop bringing in traffic. This doesn’t mean the business should stop publishing these kinds of pieces, however.

Good content marketing includes a mix of content types. “Evergreen content,” which is content that ages very slowly, should be mixed with news items, fun pieces, pillar content, and a variety of mediums. This method ensures there’s something for everyone, but it also addresses the needs of the company and its SEO.

Forgetting to Include Internal Links

Businesses often link out to other posts or resources, but they forget to link to other pages on their own website. Internal links help to move traffic from one page to another while providing the reader with added information. They can also benefit the site’s SEO by building and moving page authority.

To make linking easier and give the content strategy some cohesiveness, plan it ahead of time. Create a list of tentative titles or topics and include all of the resources, outbound, and internal links each piece will use. Not only is it possible to make sure everything gets the links it needs, but it will keep everything organized. Content will even be easier to write since the authors will already know what to write and where to find related pages.

Not Making Relevant Content Easy to Find or Scan

Visitors won’t hunt to find the content they need. They’ll simply go elsewhere. That’s why all content needs to be easy for visitors to locate and read. Start by making titles descriptive and recognizable. Then, format the post with subheadings, bullet points, images, and short paragraphs to make it easy for readers to see what kind of information the post contains.

When a series of posts have been created, consider gathering them together in one place into a valuable resource. For example, a carpenter could craft a post called, “The Ultimate Guide for First-Time Homeowners.” Then, on the page, he could include links to all of the posts he has published that first-time homeowners would find helpful. These would be organized into lists and might even include a downloadable version with some additional hints and tips.

Content strategy can affect all areas of a business or organization. That’s why it’s important to get it right. Most of the changes cost nothing and don’t take long to put into place. Give it a try and watch the number of visitors to the content soar.

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