Avoid these 10 content writing and content marketing mistakes

Content marketing mistakes to avoid

Content marketing mistakes to avoid

Content writing and content marketing seem very easy, don’t they?

It seems as if it is just about writing and publishing blog posts and web pages on different topics (of course, on your business or topics that are relevant to your business), and you’re good to go.

Guess what. Thousands of entrepreneurs think on the same lines.

Some publish good content, and some publish mediocre content, and some even publish horrible content, but the more content there is on the web, harder it is to find your content.

In the contemporary times, content marketing is the strongest marketing tool. Never before has a marketing and promotional tool been available on such a democratic scale.

89 percent B2B small businesses use content marketing

89 percent B2B small businesses use content marketing


Why content marketing is so powerful no matter what size your business is?

It is due to its scalability.

If IBM can use content marketing so can a local computer repair shop.

All one needs to know is, choose an audience and then publish and disseminate appropriate content.

People love to do business with you if you

  • Offer them something valuable on an ongoing basis.
  • Provide useful information that they can use immediately for their benefit.
  • Solve problems for them.
  • Regularly engage them in meaningful conversations.
  • Become a pleasant part of their lives.
6 Benefits of Content Marketing

Benefits of Content Marketing

This is easily achievable, isn’t it?

Provided that you know who your audience is, you can write and publish highly targeted content, and you will get a better response.

Why content marketing fails despite being almost failsafe?

Why does content marketing fail?

Why does content marketing fail?

No clarity. Impatience. Erroneous targeting. Haphazard content publishing.

Just like everything else in the world, content marketing can either be strategic and consequently, result-oriented, or it can be random, giving you random results, and you all know what happens when you depend on random results.

For your content marketing to succeed, two attributes are very important, most critical:

  • Clearly knowing what you want to achieve.
  • Publishing/writing content that helps you achieve that.

Take for example my content writing and content marketing business.

It’s a given that I want more leads, more queries, and eventually, more clients who pay me.

But, in a world replete with “content writers” who are ready to write $ 5-articles and blog posts, and in a world replete with clients who actually believe that they can ride the wave of content marketing with such articles, how do I convince them into investing in quality content?

Therefore, through my regular content writing, content publishing and content marketing, I need to not only reach out to clients who understand how important content writing is for the growth of their business, I also need to convince them that I’m the content writer they need.

Read 5 Reasons Why Content Writing Is Important for SEO

What do I do?

Well, this blog post is not about this topic, it is about the content writing and content marketing mistakes that we commit that make even a failsafe marketing opportunity, fail. Are you committing these mistakes?

1. Not having a long-term plan for your content marketing strategy

Have a long-term content marketing plan

Have a long-term content marketing plan

Content marketing is never a rush job. Although you can say that in 2 weeks you want to launch your website and before that you want to implement a content marketing strategy, it is not going to help you much. Better rely on conventional advertising for that.

For your content marketing to succeed, you need to have a long-term vision.

Content marketing is like a fruit tree. If you want to have your own fruit tree, you need to grow it. You need to get a sapling or you need to sow a seed. You water it. You take care of it. Eventually when it grows into a tree, it begins to bear fruits.

In the same manner, your content marketing bears results when it has blossomed into a considerable presence. When people begin to recognize you for the quality of your content. When you have enough good quality content.

Takes time. Takes patience. Takes perseverance.

2. Not having a content writing and a content marketing strategy

Build a content marketing strategy

Build a content marketing strategy

I mention content writing because I provide content writing services. Writing content is a big part of providing content marketing services for my business.

Anyway, most of the content marketing strategies fail because there is no strategy.

Every successful content marketing campaign is backed by solid strategy

Every successful content marketing campaign is backed by solid strategy

Strategy vis-à-vis content marketing means

  1. Knowing what your core audience is looking for.
  2. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve through your content writing and content marketing.
  3. Strictly defining your KPIs.
  4. Writing content strictly within the framework of 1., 2. and 3. above.
  5. Distributing your content through the most appropriate channels.
  6. Analyzing data and drawing intelligence.
  7. Making changes in your content marketing according to data.
  8. Creating a sustainable cycle of 1.-7. steps.

Why is it important to have a content writing and content marketing strategy?

Strategy gives you a direction. It tells you what you need to do and what you need to avoid.

Read How your typical content marketing evolves

You may have the following goals and KPIs for your content marketing:

  • Brand awareness
  • Lead generation
  • SEO
  • Customer acquisition
  • Customer retention and customer loyalty
  • Thought leadership
  • More website traffic
  • Better engagement

For example, if this year you want to increase your newsletter subscribers from 1000 to 10,000, you will need to observe what sort of content gets you more subscribers, and then publish that content more often.

If there is some type of content that does not get you lots of newsletter subscribers, then maybe you shouldn’t spend too much time on that content.

This is, assuming that your sole purpose is to increase your number of subscribers from 1000 to 10,000. Of course, you may have different key performance indicators.

In the absence of a content writing and content marketing strategy, you go on publishing content, without ever finding out whether the content is helping you OR not and then, mistakenly, you are disenchanted with your content marketing.

3. Not promoting your content aggressively

Promote your content

Promote your content

Even when you are publishing high-quality content unless you promote your content it is going to be difficult for your core audience to find it simply because there is too much content on the Internet.

People may never come to your website directly unless they need to purchase something from you or do business with you or get something that is only available on your website and nowhere else.

With so many channels available these days (sometimes I get clients directly from LinkedIn and they never even visit my website), even when doing business with you they may never visit your website.

This is why, it is important that you make your content available through the channels they use.

If most of your audience is on Instagram, then you need to promote your content on Instagram.

If your audience is on Facebook, then you need to promote your content on Facebook.

Build your audience, and promote your content.

4. Not focusing on SEO

content marketing improves SEO

Content marketing to boost your SEO

Searching on search engines is a big part of trying to find something. If you want to find some information before you make a purchase, you go to Google and not to Facebook.

If my clients want to find a competent and professional content writer, they are going to use Google and not Facebook although, they may find my content on Facebook.

This is why it is very important that they are able to find my content on Google and other search engines.

Now, ideally, we all want better search engine rankings for our target keywords and search terms.

Some people overdo it and hence, get penalized.

Some people completely ignore it, living in denial that they don’t need it.

Some get it and reap the benefits.

It is very important for you to get found on search engines because one, it is a never-ending free supply of leads and sales, and two, it brings you exposure that further improves your SEO.

If your product or service is of such type that people need to do some research, they need to acquaint themselves with the nitty-gritty of your product or service, when they need to read reviews and opinions, they’re going to use Google or Bing.

Optimizing your content writing for search engines isn’t as difficult as it seems. It becomes difficult when people are in a rush and want to push their way into the top 10 results. This doesn’t work if you face competition.

Provide value. Write in a language people use.

Check out Professional SEO content writing services.

5. Ignoring mobile audience for your content writing and content marketing strategy

Write and publish content for mobile audience

Write and publish content for mobile audience

Mobile-friendly content writing means writing very short sentences and organizing the sentences in short paragraphs.

Usually, you must have noticed these days, people write a single sentence in one paragraph.

It may seem odd, but it looks good on mobile phones.

Using simple words.

If you go on and on and on, writing a very big sentence and then you have multiple sentences in a single paragraph, your readers are going to end up distracted.

On mobile phones, they want to be able to read quickly. Write accordingly.

Read How to do content writing for the mobile-first experience

6. Not working with an experienced content writer

Work with an experienced content writer

Work with an experienced content writer

Now, you may think that I’m writing this because I provide content writing services, and in a way, I won’t blame you if you think that way.

Content marketing, and consequently, writing content, is an ongoing job.

You need someone who can write good content regularly, without compromising on quality.

Quality is of paramount importance.

Without quality there is no engagement. There is no value addition. Very bad search engine rankings.

Can write well yourself? Good.

Can write well, regularly? Marvelous.

No? Then you need a content writer. Don’t waste time.

7. Not building a dedicated content writing and content marketing team

Build a dedicated content marketing team

Build a dedicated content marketing team

The need to build a content writing and content marketing team may differ from business to business. Some businesses need lots of content and lots of marketing, some don’t.

But if you think that lack of manpower is stopping you from moving on to the next level, then you need to build a dedicated content writing and content marketing team. Without it, your entire strategy crumbles.

As your content marketing scales and matures, you will need people with diverse talents including

  • Content writing & copywriting
  • Graphic design
  • Video and animation skills
  • Social media marketing
  • Data analytics
  • Strategy
  • SEO
  • Web design

Putting off the decision to build a dedicated content writing and content marketing team, especially when your business is on the path of growing, is going to cost you dearly.

8. Ignoring email marketing

Email marketing is an integral part of content marketing

Email marketing is an integral part of content marketing

86% business professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes, according to Hubspopt.

According to a Radicati report, by 2020, 3 billion people will be using emails (just in case, this is December-end, 2018, when I’m writing this). The report also says that 205 billion emails are sent every day these days, and by the end of 2019, the count will be 246 billion.

Anyway, these are big numbers, but the point is, people still use emails.

It is the best way of making it possible for them to discover your new content and re-appreciate your existing content.

How does your email marketing help boost your content marketing effort? It’s a self-serving relationship.

  • Email marketing is only effective if you build your own mailing list.
  • You build your own mailing list only when people subscribe to your updates on their own.
  • They will subscribe to your updates only when they think that they are going to receive something valuable.
  • They think that they will receive something valuable only when they find valuable content on your website and hence, are driven to subscribe to your email updates.
  • You will need to publish valuable content on your website.
  • You will need to make it possible for them to discover your valuable content.
  • You will need to publish content they don’t want to miss.
  • Hence, you will be continuously publishing high-quality content.
  • This will boost your content marketing.

Frankly, there is no meaning to content marketing without email marketing.

Read Importance of segmentation in email marketing

9. Thinking that publishing blog posts is content marketing

Simply blogging doesn't mean content marketing

Simply blogging doesn’t mean content marketing

Although blogging is my favorite form of content marketing, it isn’t the only way you disseminate your content.

Content marketing also means publishing

  • White papers
  • FAQs
  • Press releases
  • Case studies
  • Infographics
  • Social media posts
  • Long and short videos
  • Memes
  • GIFs
  • Podcasts
  • Graphics and images
  • Animations
  • PDFs
  • Slides

and a horde of other things.

I’m not suggesting that you put your energies and budget into all forms of content listed above. You will have to find what interests your audience the most.

White papers are preferred by those who want to access substantive content that educates and informs. This is a good way of showing how deep you have gone in your profession.

Case studies tell how your product or service solves problems and benefits businesses and individuals.

Memes allow you to participate in ongoing trends.

You will have to know how your audience reacts to different formats and then once you have found that out, you need to focus there.

10. Thinking that content marketing is a one-time affair or it is a single campaign

Content marketing is an ongoing commitment new

Content marketing is an ongoing commitment

Content writing and content marketing is an ongoing affair.

The simple reason is, if you are publishing blog posts and articles and then disseminating them using various channels, so is your competition. So are numerous other businesses that may not be directly your competitors, but have content that can compete with your content.

Take the example of traditional advertising. Do you see Johnson & Johnson’s ads on TV? Do you see Intel ads? McDonald’s? Pepsi? The iPhone?

If these are renowned brands, why do they still need to advertise constantly?

Because there are scores of, if not hundreds of, alternatives on the market. It just takes a couple of seconds for the customer to get distracted and end up purchasing another product and then switching to that product for ever.

Similarly, in content marketing, thousands of blog posts, web pages, articles, press releases and social media updates are being crawled and indexed by the search engines on a daily basis.

You need to maintain a presence. You have to convey to the search engines and your prospective customers and clients that you are still in the game.

Of course, you’re not a publishing company and like my business, you are also not into content writing and content marketing. So, you don’t have to publish every day.

Still, you need to have a schedule. And this schedule should continue and then scale according to the growth of your business.

Conclusion – what makes content writing and content marketing work for your business?

Persistence. Clarity. Persistence.

Over the years I have seen many content marketing efforts fail because they’re not persistent.

They had the clarity. They had the vision. They also had the needed enthusiasm in the beginning.

Then they lost steam.

As I have written above, the benefits of content marketing manifest like the benefits of growing a fruit tree.

In the beginning you need to invest before you can see results.

It’s like, to be able to use your office to do business, you first need to build the office, or purchase the office and then set up the paraphernalia. Until these basic steps are done, you cannot start doing your business.

Similarly, content marketing means creating a presence through high-quality content. You cannot build a presence with 5-10 blog posts and web pages and then spreading them across your social media profiles.

Strategy doesn’t happen in a week or a couple of months. And there’s a reason why it is called content marketing strategy.

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