Avoid common content marketing mistakes

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There are many reasons to embark on a content marketing strategy – publishing high quality content on a continuous basis helps you to grow your reputation as an expert, improves your site’s visibility and drives traffic. Since the benefits of content marketing are so well documented, everyone is doing it, but not everyone is doing it right. Here are some of the most common content marketing mistakes.

Ignoring visual content
Blogging is the most common medium for content marketing, and it’s also the easiest to get started with. Unfortunately, it can be a little too easy to get comfortable and only produce blog posts; despite the fact your audience may resonate with other mediums. In particular, visual content is on the rise at the moment, and in a world where attention spans are rapidly decreasing, visual content is perfect for cutting through the noise and getting your message heard. Visual content such as presentations, infographics and video are all highly effective for communicating with people in a digital world.

Selling instead of delivering value
There’s a time and a place to sell to your audience. However, content marketing should always be produced from an altruistic, selfless point of view. Ultimately, the long-term goal of content marketing is to accumulate an audience that will be interested in purchasing your products and services, but this process has to be trusted in order to work. By selling to your audience early on, you diminish their trust and make them less likely to return to your site. People enjoy buying but they don’t like being sold to – the primary reason people consume content such as blog posts is to enrich their knowledge, so always aim to deliver value above everything else.

A lack of evergreen content
To explain evergreen content, Sujan Patel writes: “Evergreen content represents the posts and articles on your blog that will always be relevant to your audience, compared to topics that may change over time.”

Contextual content relating to specific events will always be useful; however, the bulk of your content should always be evergreen. Not only will evergreen content provide value to a larger range of people, but it will keep working for years after you’ve published it. This is particularly important if you have a fledgling site, because in years once it becomes more popular, a whole new audience will look back and see your old work – so make sure that it is still relevant to them!

Volume over value
There was a time when you could improve your site’s visibility in Google by spamming the internet with poorly worded, underwhelming content. Fortunately in 2016, Google now have many precautions to ensure that only quality content will help to boost your site’s reputation. It’s all well and good keeping to a blog upload schedule, but you should always endeavour to deliver quality content which genuinely helps people rather than focus on quantity.

Not getting to know your audience
Until you get to know your audience, you can only really make assumptions about what kind of content they like. Granted, you will receive some vital information from the amount of social media shares your content generates and the comments you receive, but if you really want to know what makes your audience tick – ask them. If you want to take content marketing seriously, you really need to get inside the minds of your audiences and understand their hopes, desires, aspirations and most importantly, problems. You can use a survey, email, calls and social media to gather input.

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