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The 14 Biggest & Avoidable Content Marketing Mistakes

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Oct 9, 2021

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With trends and consumer patterns changing faster than ever, it’s unreasonable to expect every content you create to be successful. Regardless of your experience and expertise, content marketing missteps are inevitable and part of the process.

Fortunately, the lessons you learn from those mistakes can actually improve your future content.

Here are some of the biggest and most avoidable mistakes that content marketers make.

The 14 Biggest And Avoidable Content Marketing Mistakes

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#1 Not Knowing Your Target Audience 

Before creating content, you should know your target audience. Identifying your target audience will help you create content that they value. In addition to keeping them in mind while you create content, engage with them in the comments section. 

Listen to what they have to say about your content. Not only will this help you understand them better as a content marketer, but listening to their opinions will build trust and loyalty.

Engaging with your audience in any capacity is always a good idea as a content marketer.

#2 Not Having A Social Media Presence

As a content marketer, you have to have a social media presence. It’s required, as your audience is there. If you don’t have one, you’re making a crucial mistake that’s costing you sales even as you read this.

Even if you are on the right channels, you do need to be paying attention to your users and what your competitors are doing. If you’re not doing this, you’re not using the platform to your advantage and bringing in those leads. See how your audience interacts with your posts, and use that information to see whether you’re on the right track.

Scheduling posts is easy too, ensuring that you have a consistent presence.

#3 Not Listening To Customers On Social Media 

In this day and age, it’s easier than ever for consumers to make their displeasure with a known brand. They can head to social media and talk about exactly what you did wrong, and how upset they are. That’s not a good look for you if you’re letting those consumers make these comments without responding at all.

You’ll need to be paying attention to your social media feeds, and reply to anyone who makes comments like these. Your replies are public, so they need to be worded carefully. You’re aiming to help the customer and put the issue right. By asking how you can do this, you’re showing others seeing the comments that you do take them seriously and that you care about the customer experience

#4 Not Investing Time To Make It SEO-Friendly

This is a common mistake among those new to content marketing. They dive straight into creating and publishing content without researching the power of SEO. In order to reach your target audience, content marketers must optimize their content for search engines.

Therefore, SEO-friendly content should be a top priority as a content marketer.  Investing the time to incorporate SEO into your content will reward you with a large audience before you know it.

#5 Not Having Goals

As a content marketer, you’ll have some idea of what you want to do. For example, you want to create brand awareness or drive traffic to your site. Many marketers fall down here as they go ahead with creating a strategy without even creating any clear goals.

To really succeed, you’ll need to create specific goals that are measurable. For example, if you want to increase leads, you can set a goal of increasing leads by 10%. Then, you can start putting together strategies. If you can see those leads increasing by at least 10%, then you’re hitting your goal.

#6 Not Defining Your Niche

Many new content marketers struggle with identifying their niche at first so they create content about everything. While this is good practice, it could potentially get in the way of growth.

Audiences should know what to expect from your content. When you visit a cooking blog, you expect to find articles on recipes. When you visit a paper writing blog, you expect to find articles on writing. It might confuse your readers if your content can’t be defined by a niche.

Someone who discovers your website based on one post should be able to expect similar posts from you.

#7 Not Diversifying Your Marketing Tactics

Many marketers fall into the trap of focusing on one aspect of content marketing. Blogging is a great way of driving traffic to your website, but it’s not the only way. If you’re not diversifying your tactics and finding other ways to reach an audience, then you’re going to miss out.

There are so many different social media channels that you can use to reach your audience, and they are growing in number all the time. You’ll want to stay on top of what’s available to you and use the platforms that your audience is using. You don’t want to miss out on reach just because you’re not on the right platform.

#8 Not Publishing What Your Audience Want To See

It doesn’t matter how hard you work on your content, it needs to be relevant to your audience. Many marketers have fallen into the trap of working hard on content for their platform, without really investigating whether the audience even wants to see it.

Your audience will quickly tell you if your content is irrelevant, so you need to be sure you’re bringing them what they want. Pay attention to their browsing habits, and listen when they talk to you. Creating audience personas is also a crucial step in ensuring your delivering the best content, every time.

#9 Inconsistent Publishing

One of the easiest ways to build a following as a content marketer is to publish consistently. Publishing good content often is a great way to generate leads as a content marketer. The more consistently you publish high-quality content, the more chances you have of expanding your audience.

In addition, it builds your credibility with your current audience who can look forward to your posts and expect them to be published on time.

#10 Not Optimizing For Mobile

These days, most people are accessing sites through mobile devices. Think about how you access the net. You’re more likely to grab your phone to look something up, rather than boot up a desktop PC. If a site isn’t optimized for mobile, a potential lead is going to click away rather quickly.

As a marketer, you need to be focusing on mobile platforms. Your site needs to be optimized for mobile, so work with your site developers to create a page that works well. Even with the inclusion of something simple like larger buttons for tapping on a touch screen, you’re making it easier for your audience.

#11 Focusing Too Much On Yourself 

Your content shouldn’t read as a case study of you and your business. If your writing focuses solely on you, chances are, you’ve forgotten your audience. Failing to provide content that brings some sort of value to your audience is a sure way to lose them.

Consumers want to be entertained or learn something new. Good content marketers understand that to be successful, their content needs to be focused on the reader instead of themselves.

#12 Aiming To Go Viral

It happens when it happens. While there are things you can do as a content marketer to increase the chances of going viral, it is generally something beyond your control.

Creating content with this aim could potentially be discouraging if your content doesn’t get the views you wanted to. It could also jeopardize the quality of your content. Content marketers should aim to create content that helps their readers in some way as opposed to creating content with the goal of going viral.

#13 Expecting Results Instantly

Businesses new to content marketing should remember that it takes months and in some cases, years to build an audience. Content marketing requires time and patience.

To expect results instantly as a content marketer is unrealistic. Though it can be discouraging at first to not have any leads, if you put in the work, post quality content consistently, and create with your audience in mind, success will come. Just give it more time.

#14 Not Tracking Data

It’s not enough to work hard on content and put it out there, ready for your consumer base to find it. You need to be watching your analytical data, too. If you don’t do this, you’ll have no idea what’s working in your marketing strategy, and what needs tweaking.

There are lots of free analytics tools out there that you can put to good use. Use these to track who your content is reaching, and see whether they convert once they see what you have to offer. Good tools will show you exactly what is working, so you can keep using those tactics. If you see any downfalls in your strategy, you can put them right much sooner.

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Conclusion

As a content marketer, there’s a good chance that you are intimately familiar with making mistakes. Content marketing can at times feel like a long experiment based on trial and error. Making a mistake is part of the growth process, and often, the lessons you learn from those mistakes drastically improve the quality of your content.

Emily Henry

Emily Henry

Writer & Editor

Emily Henry is a writer at State Of Writing and OXEssays, where she regularly writes books reviews. In particular, she is passionate about writing on the topic of personal finance and enjoys empowering readers to take control and improve their money management skills. Emily is also an editor at Paperfellows. When not writing, Emily likes spending time reading and attending business conferences

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