Content marketing is the hot topic every business is trying to capitalise on these days. In theory, it sounds great. Customers these days are savvy, and they recognize traditional marketing when it comes their way. So they tune out, and ignore it. They don’t read newspaper or magazine ads, they change the channel on the TV and radio, and they install ad block on their mobile devices so they never have to see another pop-up. So, instead of trying to overcome customer resistance to traditional marketing, companies are using content marketing as a way to dig under their customer’s defenses. By giving the customers something they want, something they value, the business creating that content buys a customer’s good will.
Content marketing takes a variety of forms. One business may run an entertaining blog, another may have a video channel on YouTube, and another might put up weekly, themed photo series on Pinterest, but whatever the business is doing, it’s creating value that potential customers want. It’s like putting out bait to draw the animals to you, instead of crashing through the forest trying to catch them. However, while content marketing sounds easy, it most definitely is not. If you’re laying the groundwork for your content marketing strategy, be sure you avoid the following mistakes, brought to you by Business 2 Community, Inman, and Hub Spot.
Content marketing is like building a house; you need to have an image of the finished product in your mind, but you also need to understand what it takes to get from point A to point B. When building a house, you don’t put the carpets down at the same time you’re framing the second story. The same logic applies to your content marketing. Don’t try to do everything at once. Instead, lay out a timeline, and create a plan that will let you grow into a successful content marketer.
Put another way, don’t try to crank out blog entries, perfect your social media posting strategy, and re-organize your email marketing list on day one. If you try to do it all at once, your house is going to fall down as soon as you try to climb the stairs.
We’ve all been to websites where a headline caught our eye, but as soon as we went to scroll down the screen locked up, and demanded we provide our email address in order to continue. When that happens, how often do you sign up just to read one article?
It’s not very often, is it?
It’s important to remember that content marketing is not transactional. You’re not offering your content on the condition that your audience gives you something in return, even if that something isn’t money. The point is that you are giving your audience what they want. You’re building up a rapport, and earning their trust. You don’t become friends with someone by demanding they give you their personal details before you’ll have a conversation with them.
Anyone can run a content marketing campaign, just like anyone can technically play football. However, if you don’t know the rules of the game, and you have no idea what your goal is, then you’re not going to be able to score. Before you begin your content marketing campaign, you need to decide what your goals are, and you need to have metrics in place to measure your activity. For example, you might set a goal of getting 1,000 hits a day on your blog as an introductory goal, and then once you’ve reached that, set new goals.
Content marketing is a constantly changing sea, and you have to be able to set a course through it if you’re going to be successful.
A call to action is a necessity whenever you’re creating content. Whether you’re writing a blog, posting pictures, or making videos, you want to be sure you include a call to action because it capitalizes on your readers’ willingness to follow your lead. Generally speaking, though, you only want to have a single call to action in your content. Something like, “Follow me on Facebook,” or, “Sign up Today so you never miss another update.” You want your call to be clear, concise, and you want there to be as few clicks as possible between your reader seeing the call, and following it.
What you do not want to do is put half a dozen calls to action in your content. Much like explosions in a movie, one can get a big reaction. If you put them every ten feet, though, they lose their impact on the audience.
Think about a new year’s resolution to get in shape, and workout. Someone buys a gym membership, puts a program together, and starts following it. Then they skip a day, telling themselves they’ll make it up later. Then another day, and another day, until pretty soon they haven’t been to the gym in six months, and their plan has completely fallen by the wayside. That will happen with your content marketing plan if you don’t actively pursue it, and make it a priority.
If you find your content marketing is getting the short end of time, investment, and effort, change those priorities. You get out what you put in.
For more information on how you can run a successful content marketing campaign, and how to avoid other pitfalls, simply contact us today!
What could you do if your business simply… worked?