common content marketing mistakes to avoid

Top 17 Common Content Marketing Mistakes To Avoid For Small Businesses With Their Website And Social Media

When planning the content marketing strategy for your business, one also needs to be careful of the most common content marketing mistakes to avoid!

Content marketing is an ocean and businesses do struggle with being able to do content marketing appropriately. Improperly done content marketing can have seriously hindering effects on your business.

Read along, as we at Towards 90 throw light on the 21 most common content marketing mistakes to avoid that businesses make- and tips we suggest dodging them:

Not understanding your target audience

When a content marketer doesn’t know who the actual intended audience is, creating content for such an audience is like an arrow in the dark.

Content marketers must take time to create a customer persona before they begin creating content. Missing this important step would mean the business is wasting time, effort, and resources to create content that leads to the attraction of leads that would never purchase your product/service.

The correct way to create content is first listening to your clients, gathering feedback from them about their problems and expectations, and then creating content highlighting solutions your business can offer to address their issues. The key to creating good content is connecting to the target audience and then proposing them a value proposition.

This way, your business can create a place for itself in the customer’s mind. It gives them a reason to care about what you are conveying. It provides them with insights, solutions, or takeaways. Such customers are even likely to share your content on social media, resulting in the attraction of even more customers. Your content now begins to drive traffic from SEO or else other mediums. 

Unattractive content

The first impression your website casts on your audience counts a lot. Research indicates that a user is likely to leave your website in 10-20 seconds if he finds the presentation unattractive. User-friendly features, colorful, attractive, and striking visuals work as magnets for keeping potential customers on your webpage. Using unique photographs adds multi-fold value to the page.

Ignoring SEO

For your content, be it in any form-text, video, audio, podcast to be visible in the online ocean has to follow the search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. It is equally important to write well and ensure SEO.

Apart from the content being engaging, it needs to have a

  • Structure
  • Appropriate headings and subheadings
  • Descriptive title
  • Descriptive URL,
  • Appropriate and relevant images etc.

Producing inappropriate content

Producing low-quality content is definitely the most harmful of all the common content marketing mistakes to avoid.

Today’s competitive environment asks for high-quality, valuable, and relevant content. Therefore publishing content for the sake of it, with just quantity in mind, compromising on quality won’t let your content break through the noise.

Sometimes businesses become over centered towards producing content that is keyword targeted. Keywords infused content works excellent for SEO purposes. However, keyword targeted, but low-quality content may make it search engine optimized, but is of no interest to the audience. They would stop following you and not willing to share your content too as it is not giving them a pleasant user experience.

Another thing that could go wrong is using evergreen keywords in your content. This is because such high volume keywords have previously been addressed many times by plentiful other websites.

SEO content is vital for good content marketing, yet a vital thing not to be overlooked is the usefulness and interest generating factor of the content.

Quality of content could mean a lot of things like

  • Not the correct topic for your business,
  • Inapt for your customer base,
  • Not value providing in nature
  • Plagiarised
  • Lastly, if your content is too promotional and pushy, it doesn’t leave a good taste in the minds of the people.

Promoting content

Creating strong content is just 50% of the task done. But without strong and proper promotion the content would not solve its purpose of reaching the target audience. A business also needs to chalk out on where such content would be promoted and where it would generate the strongest impact. There are ample places to share content, but sharing content in places that don’t have the targeted audience makes no sense at all!

All content, be it video, audio, print needs to have a strong promotion plan that involves link building, social media planning, guest posting, etc. so that influencers see and share your content across multiple channels. A business also needs to research where its target audience is likely to interact with content. Be it social media, emails, online forums, and the likes.

But too much self-promotion tops the list of social media mistakes by companies  and leads to  means putting off readers and makes them leave, never to come back. The main motive of content needs to be engagement and social interaction coupled with a subtle promotion.

Expecting quick results

Content marketing is a slow process. It takes time to deliver results, almost a year to 18 months of steady content creation. Businesses make the mistake of expecting quick results.

Related Read: How to speed up content creation for your business

Although the time each organization takes to benefit for content generation varies, the most important thing to do is to have a well-planned long term content marketing strategy. Audience building and momentum generation takes time, so marketers must have the appropriate expectations.

Only when a business works on its content marketing strategy over a while consistency will it be able to reap the best results. With an increase in good quality content about your business online on your website and across social media platforms, it is more likely to attract a higher volume of social shares along with higher links. And this way your website traffic would begin to accelerate.

Missing Setting Goals or Figuring Out KPIs

Before you begin, it is imperative you clearly spell out the goals your business wishes to achieve and set the key performance indicators (KPIs) to be used to measure success.

With a clear idea of goals, it is easier to spell out the ‘why’ about your content. It is essential to keep the content focused and on track. He helps to ensure that the content serves its purpose for either of the parties, namely the business and the target audience.

KPIs help in success evaluation. Depending on the goal of for content creation the KPIs would set parameters. Like

Goal For Content CreationKPI parameters
Brand AwarenessImpressions, time on page, visits, shares
Lead GenerationDownloads, Calls, Form submissions

This way a business can analyze whether the content met its goal, what went wrong if not, and how could be done to do better.

Ignoring testing and measurement

The only way to actually determine if your content is making a difference is by testing and measurement. We have just learned about the goal of content and KPI parameters. But the data thus derived needs to be used! It would help the business analyze the underperforming areas and work on them. It also gives a business an idea of what is working and what areas is the content exceeding expectations!

Such a process ensures continuous evaluation and derives the most from the content.

Engaging with customers/followers

The KPI of social media marketing is increased engagement. When businesses miss out on engaging with the readers’ comments on their posts, it sends out a negative impression of the business not being interested in communicating with customers. This is one of the most important things to avoid on social media.

A quick reply from the business’s end on a customer post ensures higher customer engagement. It’s an opportunity to draw more customer attention. This leads to an increase in followers.

Call to Actions – (CTAs)

The content your business creates needs to serve a purpose. It helps your business to connect with potential customers, develop a relationship with them, and then convert them to leads. Therefore content should also have logical next steps for your potential customers to follow.

But without these steps- calls-to-action (CTA’s) your content is likely to fall flat. CTAs are the logical next step the potential leads could follow. It could be to drop an email to you, fill a questionnaire for you, call you, subscribe for your newsletter-anything!

Yes, showing the future path they could take doesn’t guarantee conversion, but it certainly makes it easy for those who wish to.

Not having a social media marketing strategy

This is another of the major social media mistakes by companies. Just like a business needs to have an overall marketing strategy, in today’s world, having a well laid out social media strategy is also extremely essential.

Laying out a social media plan and sticking to it ensures your business doesn’t waste precious time as social media is an ocean and a business can end up spending hours of productive time without generating positive results. Predefined goals and time limits ensure you don’t waste days on unfruitful endeavours.

Inappropriate dealing of negative social media feedback

Businesses fear negative feedback and the devastating effect it can have on their reputation. But actually negative feedback is usually an honest opinion about a customer’s experience. It is actually a pathway to an opportunity to progress.

Social media has the unique benefit of being able to begin a conversation. Businesses should use them appropriately.

Never ignore any negative comments. Doing so would add to negative emotions. And more importantly, never delete a negative comment. Politely respond to the customer to email or call you. Ensure them that by doing this you are trying to solve their issue. Deleting or reacting poorly is only going to multiply the negative effects. It is going to make them angrier and give them a chance to cause further problems.

When the negative comment is about a solvable problem you should solve it quickly before it blows in proportion. 

Acting quickly is the key. And remember never to argue even if the facts support your side and never to make personal attacks on the customer. Also, bad-mouthing others (competitors or anyone in general) is terrible for a business’s goodwill. Never forget, social media is all about people. And everyone wishes to be treated with respect.

Presence on multiple social media platforms

Another vital of the things to avoid on social media is presence on multiple platforms. Managing a lot of platforms, each with different styles and parameters is extremely time-consuming. Social media presence is great, but being on fewer channels means being able to create more and better-focused content.

A small business needs to choose 1 or maximum 2 social media channels based on their needs, as each channel has different features, strengths, features, kind of audience, and marketing tools.

Each social network is not the same, so it is not possible tan hat a business benefit by simply duplicating content over different channels. 

Fake followers

Building a fake followers list is easy, but it is not helping a business in any way. By organizing content where a business gives away attractive prizes like iPads is luring but this way it is ending up in fake followers. This just increases numbers on the list, and does not contribute to rising sales!

My Two Cents On Captivation With Content

Yes, planning the right kind of content marketing strategy is a huge challenge for any business. It calls for a lot of persistence coupled with the correct mindset so that a business can reap higher sales and conversions. There is no single well-defined solution a business should follow to make a top-notch social marketing strategy. It calls for the culmination of a bunch of strategies. While working on its content marketing strategy, a business needs to ensure it doesn’t make the above-mentioned content creation mistakes to ensure that its marketing efforts reap benefits.

Keep the above common content marketing mistakes to avoid in mind while you diligently work on your content creation strategy.  Schedule a call with Towards 90 if you are looking to improve your content marketing strategy so that your customer base grows and skyrockets your ROI!