Effective content marketing can be one of the most rewarding marketing strategies out there – the mediums to reach your audience are endless, from social to email, blog posts to long-form video, and those funny dances on Tik Tok we just can’t nail. Although the large variety of content marketing channels and tactics provide flexibility to cater your strategy to one that will resonate most with your target audience, the large variety may also increase the likelihood of making a few mistakes along the way.
While mistakes are inevitable, learning from them and regularly improving is what will ultimately help provide value to your audience and effectively drive engagement and acquisition.
Here are a few of the most common mistakes we see in content marketing efforts, and what you can do to avoid them.
1. Not Using Custom Content
Digital marketers use lots of different definitions of “custom content” but we like to think of it like the difference between an off-the-rack-suit, and a fine Italian tailor.
We all know that first impressions are important. Even at a young age we’re taught to say please and thank you, open the door for others, greet new acquaintances with a confident smile and a firm handshake. Why? Because those seemingly insignificant interactions will make a lasting impression on those you come in contact with.
Your content functions exactly the same way.
So many brands forget the importance of this, and their content ultimately functions like a limp handshake and a forgotten name in the digital landscape. It’s not making the positive, lasting impression that it could be with your target audience. Furthermore, consumers are bombarded with these types of generic marketing messages every day. And frankly, they’re tired of them.
To maximize the impact of your message and actually gain the attention of your target audience, use custom branded content to adequately portray your unique brand ethos and resonate with your audience on a deeper level.
2. Limiting Yourself to One Format of Content
It’s hard to churn out the variety of content required to fill your marketing funnel, so it is natural that many individuals tend to focus on one area of another. But the best content marketing strategies use a diverse set of channels to reach their target audience.
How individuals opt to consume information is highly subjective; one consumer may prefer to listen to podcasts while another prefers blog articles. By not utilizing a variety of content formats, you may end up missing out on a key target audience.
Combat this by changing up the areas where you are spreading your message. If you’re only using social media or only blogging, try creating videos or podcasts and see how they perform.
Here’s a list of ideas for inspiration about other areas to create content:
- How To Guides
- Short rants
- Short form videos (e.g. TikTok, Reels, etc.)
- Longer form docu-style videos (e.g. YouTube)
- Case Studies
- Social media posts
- Photographic images
3. Not Creating Evergreen Content
We’re all familiar with the phrase “work smarter, not harder” and that’s especially important when it comes to your creative content strategy. If you’re creating content that will become outdated the second you post it, you’re not using your content as effectively as you could be.
Evergreen content is a type of content that doesn’t go out of date. It‘s based on topics that are always relevant to readers, regardless of the current news cycle or season. If you’re only prioritizing content on topics that will be irrelevant to your audience in 6 months or writing articles full of statistics that will soon be outdated, you’re missing out on the compounding potential of evergreen content.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you should stop everything you’re doing with your current news related thought posts or downloadable content with the latest industry insights. But it does mean that you should start to mix things up and add some evergreen content to the mix.
Here are a few common evergreen content formats for ideas on how you can generate lasting content:
- Top Tips
- Instructional “How To” Tutorials
- Encyclopedia-esque Entries
- Product Reviews
4. Not Prioritizing your Call-To-Action (CTA)
As with every effort in your marketing strategy, your content creation should always begin with the “why” in mind. You need to be clear on your objectives for the piece of content, and ensure that your customer journey is able to lead them to the desired action or result. One way to do this is to weave an effective call-to-action (CTA) in your content.
Without including a CTA, you’re essentially just saying “Thanks for reading, bye!” You need to give your audience something to act on, to engage with, and to let them know exactly what they should do next. By using a strong CTA, you’ll boost your chance of collecting their information, converting them to a lead, or encouraging them to make a purchase.
Here are some examples of the type of CTAs to include in your creative content:
- Like or comment on your social media
- Download the checklist or guide
- Schedule a consultation with your team
- Subscribe to your mailing list for updates
CTAs don’t have to be as hard-hitting as a “BUY NOW” button on your webpage. Get creative with it and engage with your consumer in a way that will truly resonate with the target demographic that you’re engaging with. Talk with them, not at them.
Check out this article for real world examples of highly effective CTAs.
In order to maximize the effects of your content marketing, you need to build a cohesive and complementary content production funnel. Your audience wants to know what they can expect from your content – so throwing out ad hoc assets with no consistency will detract from your message.
If you create educational youtube videos with the goal of obtaining more client consultations, your audience may turn elsewhere to help them solve their problems if they cannot ascertain when they can expect you to post again. Instead, build trust and rapport with your audience by providing them with valuable, fresh content on a regular basis.
As important as a regular schedule can be to your content strategy, so is understanding and developing your brand voice, identity, and thought leadership to ensure that you maintain a cohesive customer experience across all touch points. While creating each new content asset, take time to make sure aspects of your brand are seamlessly aligned.
Maintaining continuity will over time boost your brand’s credibility and influence how likely your audience will use your product and services or follow and subscribe to your content.
6. Not Tracking Your Results
Ideally you’re employing a diverse content strategy and utilizing a variety of channels to share your message (see #2). However, if you’re not tracking the results of your campaigns, you could be completely wasting your efforts on a campaign strategy that is ultimately ineffective.
You should alway prioritize measuring the success from each type of content and traffic source in order to gain valuable insight on what is performing well and what needs to be improved. Then (and this is key) use what you learn to improve and sweeten the creative side of your content.
Lifestyle imagery working better than studio? Shoot more lifestyle. Dogs working better than cats? Go buy some treats and make more dog videos. Using strong media partners with the ability to inform creative makes your content smarter.
Set goals for each format you create and use resources like Google Analytics or HubSpot Page Performance to track your results. If you’re using social promotions, be sure to track them. Or better yet, use the Kaddie pay-as-you-go model so that you can consistently track, reiterate, and optimize your creative custom content to maximize your media spend.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and patience is key when it comes to your creative content. When given consistent improvement and adequate time, your content efforts can help improve your conversion rate and increase your business’ revenue.
If you need help creating world-class custom branded content, we can help! Drop us a line at email@example.com to chat with the team about how we can help you take your creative content to the next level.