Content Marketing is one of the biggest things to have happened to the world of business in the last few years. Perhaps second only to Social Media and the two aren’t exclusive of each other either. The kind of success that has been put on a show by some of the best in the world has shown us what great content marketing can do.

Why is your content marketing failing?

However, like every shiny new object, most of us have made the mistake of jumping the gun too soon. Now, everyone does content – from publication houses to mortgage businesses, to auto repair shops. How do you stand out among the noise? Here are 5 most common content marketing mistakes people make:

1. you have not defined your Audience well enough

Consider your business offers smartphone repair solutions. You have written an in-depth blog post, looking at the latest smartphone developments. It’s well researched, factually correct, and insightful, offering opinions and valuable information. You see traffic to your blog because it’s a trending topic with lots of buying intent among the readers.

However, you do not see any sales lead generating from the content. The peak that you saw in your blog’s traffic does grow to become a swell. It settles down and your readers are not coming back tour blog. What went wrong? The issue here is that there was a mismatch between your product offering and your content.

Your target audience should be people who already own smartphones are possibly looking at guides or tips on how to take good care of it. If you are planning to target a bigger base, possibly include content focuses on the durability and the ease of repair of new phones.

Clearly define the following and create content that connects with them:

  • What are the main problems your business’ customers have?
  • How are you best positioned to solve these problems?
  • What is the usual demography of your audience – age, gender, locations?
  • Where do they usually go to find answers to their problems?

Answering the above questions is going to give you a sound idea as to what type to content to create.

 

2. You think Distribution comes second to creating content

Once the content has been completed, you’re only half way there. A robust and adaptable distribution strategy is required to make the most of the top-notch content you’re pumping out. In order to create one, you’ll have to think about the method that will help you achieve this.

Again, this is very dependent on the type of content and the audience you’re speaking to. Email contact lists, social media, paid search, guest blogging, collaborating with influencers are some of the most common methods of distribution. The approach will vary depending on the channels you chose to distribute in. You must have a plan in place that accounts for the variables that make a piece of content click. Emails that bounce back are a common obstacle for example, and this can be resolved by qualifying each contact before reaching out to them.

 

3. not defining goals for your content

While everyone has varying reasons why they do content marketing (as a funnel to generate leads, brand awareness, etc.), it’s imperative that you define clear and measurable goals for your efforts.

Remember that KPIs (Key Performance Indices) are not the same as goals. KPIs will tell you if your content engine is functioning as well as you’d want it to. Goals, on the other hand, will tell you if your efforts are yielding any real business goals or not.

For example, a KPI would be bounce-rates – how many people landed on your content pages and left without spending any time on it. High bounce rates are obviously bad (not in all cases, though. But bad for content publishers). It does not, however, tell you if you are generating leads from your content pages. That is a goal.

As yourself why you are doing content marketing. Don’t do it because everyone else is. Not every business needs to market content, especially not if it is at a high opportunity cost.

It’s easy to convince yourself that your latest blog post will urge people to buy something from your site, but that’s almost never the case. Most of your audience will need constant persuasion.

Conversion funnels are a great way to plan the buyers journey from beginning to end. Each stage has a clear function, which moves the audience from one to the next, culminating in a sale and transformation to brand advocate, where they will help generate further business.

Working on your calls to action is an essential skill too, as they are the catalyst for the next step. These punchy little sentences need to excite the reader and entice them to go further.

 

4. you are not analysing performance

It’s easy to confuse motion with action and it is one of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to content marketing. Creating tons of content and pushing them out mindlessly is worse than not doing any marketing at all.

Always run a periodic deep-level analysis. Divide your analysis into three parts – KPI based, Goals based and Audience Analytics.

KPI based analysis:

How is your content performing in terms of engagement? This the fundamental question – are people spending enough time on your blog posts?

  • Why are there no comments on your articles?
  • Is traffic to your content pages growing week-on-week?
  • What is the average bounce rate?
  • How many page views do you get per user session?
  • How many repeat visitors do you get?

These are some of the most important KPIs to watch out for.

 

Goals based analysis: 

Are your readers performing the desired actions? Have you attached a specific goal for every single piece of content that you created? If yes (if no, stop creating content. Right now), analyse how many of your readers are converting.

  • Is the conversion rate increasing with time?
  • What kind of content performs the best when it comes to conversions?

Sometimes, you’ll notice that your best content in terms of traffic might not always be the best one in terms of conversion. This will allow you to better distribute your efforts.

 

Audience analytics:

Analyse your audience to understand why a piece of content worked or did not work for them. This will help you create the right kind of content for your audience.

  • Which part of the world are they coming from?
  • What source did the traffic originate from – what are your referral sources?
  • What are the age and gender divisions of your visitors?
  • What are the common traits of the people who bounced away from your pages?
  • What are the common traits of the people who converted?

The temptation is to create something you think is going to be of high value, then chuck it out there and hope it generates some kind of traction. An integral part of any content marketing campaign is an analysis of data.

Essentially you want to guarantee that your content is working, and the only way to do this is through analysis of the data.

 

5. You are not telling stories

Remember that all content needs to tell a convincing story. Even if you are writing an article which is stock full of numbers, the numbers should tell a story. There needs to be a problem, a solution, and an analysis in everything you create.

If your content pieces do not flow in a logical manner, you’ll not be able to connect with your readers on a personal or emotional level. They will either drop off before they perform the desired action or not return again.

 

We all make mistakes

While there is a number of other pretty important things to watch out for when you decide on jumping on the content marketing bandwagon, these, I have found, to be the most common content marketing mistakes people make.

Chances are you’ve made a few yourself. The best of us have. If you’re about to embark on a content marketing path,  you could do worse than bearing these common mistakes in mind.