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Content marketing’s easy right? All you need to do is write a blog, post it to your site and watch all your new customers roll in right? Sorry, but if it were not that easy, no one would be doing anything else.
Content marketing is more than just updating your website content or writing a few blogs every now and then on this and that. Believe it or not, there is a science to it and if you’re using the wrong equation, chances are your content marketing efforts are failing.
Many businesses choose to use content marketing because it’s free and effective, but only if you’re doing it right. So make sure you don’t get caught making these four content marketing mistakes.
1. Too much content. Too much marketing
Yes, it’s called content marketing because it uses content to market. But there is such thing as too much content and too much marketing and it will drive people away all too fast. Blogs, articles, or any kind of post on your site should have content, visuals, pictures, animations, videos or anything that will interest the reader.
If a visitor clicks onto your post and sees nothing but text completely overwhelming the page, more times than not they won’t even make it past the first few sentences. As for the marketing, your content’s purpose is to inform and engage, not to sell.
If you sound like an annoyingly cheap salesperson (and we all know what they sound like) when writing your content, readers will do what they usually do best when they encounter a salesperson… bounce. Your content writing should speak to your customer as an equal. Teach them what you know, but throw in some of your enchantingly charming personality at the same time.
2. There is no next step
You did it; you wrote a fabtacular blog, you posted it to your site, and you got visitors to come and read it-the whole thing! Well, at least you hope they read the entire piece. Now what? Your content marketing could have all the right elements, but if there’s nothing to do after reading it, then your potential reader will most likely never become a lead.
You don’t have to necessarily direct them to a service or product, but there’s has to be a next step, a call to action (CTA). It could be to subscribe to your newsletter, an invitation to download your newest E-book or whitepaper, or simply a link to read another post. The point is to not only capture their attention with your cleverly creative content, but continuously engage your brand with your audience.
3. You’re writing for the wrong person
Your content will not appeal to everybody, and that’s okay. However, it’s important to know and understand exactly who you are trying to appeal to. This is called your buyer persona, or your target audience. There’s no point in writing an interesting and well-informed blog about how to cook vegan if your content is going to be read by meat-eaters.
There’s no point in writing an article about the top ten basketball players if it’s to be read by fashionistas. Content marketing isn’t about your content being seen; it’s about what comes next. If 10 000 people read your writing, but only 100 are interested in what you have to offer, that isn’t nearly as effective as if 3 000 people read your content and 500 are interested in what you have to offer. Effective content marketing is about quality, not quantity.
4. You’re BORING
At the end of the day, a reader’s attention will only be held for so long. Half the challenge of marketing is capturing the reader’s interest in the first place. Why is your content marketing failing? Probably because you’re boring.
I’d say not to take it personally, but if you make your content read like a frumpy text book or lecture, then you’ve earned the title of “boring”. Use a tone, or give a voice in your content. It could be serious or comical, heartwarming or witty; either way for the love of disarming content, just don’t make it dull. Although certain industries must be professionally dry, there is no reason why they can’t be compelling, engrossing, and a damn good read.
All of this boils down to a pretty simple maxim: don’t let your content suck. Never use the excuse “I’m not a good writer”. Great writing comes from within and having passion for what you do, and that passion shines through when you create content. The best way to improve your content marketing skills is to practice, practice, practice, not only in theory, but in well, you know…in practice.