7 Mistakes Will Kill Your Content Strategy
Sometimes it's not the speed that matters but rather the direction. After all, it doesn't matter how fast you're going if you're moving in the wrong direction. People new to the marketing world often think that producing more and more content is a solid marketing strategy, living by the rule 'the more, the merrier.' But a professional writing service will tell you otherwise because, in content marketing, more content does not necessarily mean better results. You need to work smarter, and for that, you need a strategy.
Having a great strategy is more effective than producing great content because if your content doesn't reach your audience or doesn't produce the intended effect, that content is essentially useless. Even the best of strategies fall victim to avoidable mistakes.. If that happens, you're back to square one - with a lot of content but of no use.
In this article, we will discuss some of the biggest mistakes that could end up killing your strategy. These mistakes can be in the content that you're generating or in the strategy itself. Read on so you can be sure to avoid them.
1. Having No Strategy at All
The first mistake is going in without a strategy believing that your content is all that matters. There are still crowds of writers that are churning up words in the form of blogs and articles trying to meet their deadlines but have no strategy at all. Well, let this be your wake-up call. It's 2021. Content marketing is not some new fad; it has evolved into a fully developed marketing practice with thousands of competitors.
If you have ever hired, worked with, or worked for a professional writing service, you would know just how much emphasis they place on their strategy because the content is incomplete without a strategy in place.
Putting up content without a solid strategy is like going to war with a pair of chopsticks. Before you start planning your strategy, however, wait just a minute. You should know that you don't have to come up with a world-class strategy immediately. It's not entirely possible either. Start with something simple and then build upon it. And remember, content marketing is an ever-growing industry; strategies get outdated pretty fast, so keep improving. Simply put, what works today might not work tomorrow.
2. Not Documenting Plans and Goals
In this developing field of content strategy, it is crucial to document your strategies and goals. Although it seems kind of insignificant, it's a really effective way to keep you focused. Don't believe it? Well then, let's talk numbers.
According to this research done by CoSchedule, content marketers with a documented strategy are more than 500% more likely to be successful than those who don't document their strategies. People put off doing this thinking it's wasting their time, and that's understandable. Time is precious. But all said and done, this is one habit that can significantly increase your chances of success.
3. Not Having Tangible Content
This is one of the biggest and most common mistakes that fail a marketing strategy. People that are new to the content marketing world can sometimes be very imposing about their product or service.
This results in the content becoming too direct or excessively focused on the product they're trying to market. We need to get this straight; you want to write articles and blogs, not brochures for the product.
You're probably thinking, "what's the point of the content then?" Well, the point is to be tangible to the product, not be entirely based on it.
Tangible content is related to your product, but indirectly. For example, the product could be an answer or solution to some problem. You need to reel in your readers first and bring up your product as a recommendation instead of forcing it upon them. The primary purpose of the content is to be read and shared by as many people as possible, if your readers catch a whiff of sales in the content, they might lose their interest and move on.
The sales point is important as well, obviously, but the product should be pitched in a smooth way, not abruptly. Not all of your content has to be this way; you can have content that is focused on your product as well, but just not all of it.
4. Not Knowing Your Audience
Knowing your audience is the most important factor for successful marketing. One of the best ways to get to know your readers is to read the comments and entertain them. Focus on what people think is lacking in the content, or there is too much of it.
You could also put in a survey and ask your audience what their occupation is, what age group they fall into, and their ambitions. This would tell you much about who you're writing for, and you can tailor the content around their preferences.
5. Poor Representation
Many people hire content writers from a professional writing service; they get the perfect content written but ignore the presentation of their webpage and websites. Visual presentation is also important to many readers; a cluttered and messy web page will only drive traffic away.
Many companies that provide professional writing services also usually provide services such as web development. You can easily have them design your blog and/or your website for you. An added benefit of this would be that since the content and the web page are coming from the same organization, they would be better integrated compared to getting both things done separately.
6. Developing Content for Only One Phase
Remember that your content is a journey you take with your audience where you're guiding them to your product. You're funneling your readers into being customers of your product or service so you need to be making content for each stage of the funnel.
The initial stage is the discovery phase, where readers will discover your product or service and why they need what you're offering. But you need to take them along with you down the funnel. You need content that traps them, draws them in and engages them - you need to convince them why it's you they should choose over your competitors. This is when you give them content more focused to you and your product or service. Target each persona of the audience.
A lot of content marketers who are just starting out in this field tend to stick to one stage. They either keep promoting themselves or they play it safe, staying on the shore of the discovery stage. This leaves their communication strategy incomplete, and it eventually fails. It plateaus and eventually sinks.
7. Use of Unreliable Sources
Now this is a real strategy killer. People come to your articles and blogs for information. If you use unauthentic sources or just make up statistics to support your argument or your pitch, you're driving people away. People check up on the sources you mention; when they find that they're not trustworthy or credible, they're going to think the same about you as well and write you off.
That's why you should avoid using questionable sources in your content. If you want to add statistics, make sure they're from scientific papers, academic journals, trusted news channels or magazines, or from industry experts. You don't want your readers to think you're deceiving them; it leaves a really bad impression. What's worse is that once your readers consider you untrustworthy, they'll avoid your content.
To sum it all up, gauging how well you're doing in terms of content marketing by the amount of content you produce is not an accurate measure. The content marketing field is continuously growing and developing. Having good content is not enough if it is not backed by a solid strategy to go along with it. There are many more tips about marketing strategies and SEO that you should look into.
This guest article was written by Dave Brown, an expert marketing analyst and strategist. He also offers consultations for content writing services. When he's not working, he loves spending time with his dog.