Last Updated: Oct 29, 2021

You followed the rules. You created a magnificent content marketing campaign, or so you thought. So what happened? Where did it all go wrong?

Perhaps you overlooked the value of videos. Maybe you didn’t get your messaging right. Or like so many others, you neglected to pinpoint your target audience.

If this sounds all-too-familiar to you, don’t despair. And don’t throw the concept of content marketing out the window. The truth is these things – like most things in life – take time to perfect and refine. Often, it’s a matter of trial and error. 

Content Marketing does work! Sometimes it’s a matter of redoing your marketing strategy from scratch, but often, there are simple things that you can do to drastically improve the success of your campaigns.

You can master the nuances with a little help from the suggestions in this article.

Mistake #1 – You are Not Focusing on Your Primary Customer

Have you taken the time to identify your target audience yet? If not, you’ll want to ensure that you’ve done this before you embark on content creation.

If you’re not clear on who your audience is, you won’t be able to create content that draws them in or speaks to them directly. 

Once you’ve narrowed down who your target audience is, you’ll then be able to ensure that your content is designed for them.

Mistake #2 – You’re Not Using the Right Language

According to MIT’s Sloan School of Management, customer behavior responds to both Framing and Memory Schemata. Framing is simply how the offer is presented. In the case of content marketing, the offer needs to be presented in the language of the target customer. That is, you must mirror their language to really connect with them.

For instance, when framing a “good” hamburger to a target demographic that is unconcerned with health, you wouldn’t say it is “95% lean.” Instead, you’d talk about the great taste without mentioning ANY numbers. Similarly, targeting a health-conscious customer, you would in fact emphasize the leanness of the meat. 

Memory Schemata is just a fancy way of describing the multiple advertising impressions that are remembered over time. For instance, when you see golden arches, you immediately think of McDonalds. It is (usually) a positive association. McDonalds has worked diligently to generate that association for generations now. 

With content marketing, think about your target audience and make sure your content is worded in a way that’ll speak to them. Likewise, think about your audiences on social media. For best results, you’ll want to tailor your content so that it’s written in the language of your target audience on different social media platforms.

Mistake #2 – You’re Not Giving Them a Reason to Stay

If you’ve framed the content in a way that connects with them, you then want to deepen that relationship. The content should provide value to the point that they know the information is solid. Content marketing decries the deceptive practices of the past. People value genuineness in this world of small engagements like TikTok and Snapchat and Instagram.

What is the best way to be genuine? By being honest! Don’t use fake reviews. Don’t lie or exaggerate product benefits. Focus on the benefits to your customer, not on how amazing your product’s features look to you. Allude to how your product or service helps to solve a problem for your customer.

Mistake #4 – You’re Not Holding Their Attention

Attention spans are not very long. Especially when it comes to an online audience.

Capitalizing on this trend towards short-form video, TikTok exploded upon the scene beating rivals like the now-defunct Vine and others. Their videos quickly hit the 1 billion view mark last year. What is their secret? What are they doing right and what else have you overlooked?

It’s not too late to supplement your content campaign with short, fun videos that provide information or are entertaining in some way.

Mistake #5 – You’re Not Leveraging Your Existing Content

Next, are you linking to other content that provides value while simultaneously showing the benefits of your offerings? Each page should lead to more answers and feature its own relevant call to action.

Don’t let your good content go to waste! You can repurpose older pieces into infographics or update them with new information. Reshare older but relevant posts on social media. The point is to make good use of existing content. A well-designed content campaign can be the springboard to other great campaigns. Anticipate questions from your prospective customer and lead them where you want them to go. 

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Mistake #6 – You’re Not Measuring Your Results

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” –Peter Drucker

You’ve heard the old saying, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any path will get you there.” The surest way to wasted resources is launching a campaign with no metrics in place. 

Before a marketing campaign is launched, it’s important to:

  • Define your goals
  • Determine what success means
  • Determine how to measure that success. Establish KPIs.

Together, this leads to a strategy. People don’t fall short on the goals or even the metrics. The failing usually occurs in the follow-ups and the accountability when metrics are not met. 

Did the first round of content fail to engage the reader? How do you know? It doesn’t have to be a sunk cost. Edit the profile, tone, voice, target call to action, etc., and reuse it later. Or bring in a fresh pair of eyes to glance over your campaign.

Mistake #7: You’re Selling Instead of Providing Value

None of us likes to be sold things. We do, however, enjoy learning new things or hearing about solutions to problems we’re facing. Good content should do the job of educating your prospects. It should not be overly promotional or salesy. At the end of the day, you want to help your audience to solve their problems. 

Your content should demonstrate why you’re the best solution to their problems, you don’t need to explain to them why you are. Provide suggestions, strategies, and tips that they can employ, and they’ll thank you for it. Be overly promotional and they’ll just click away.  

Mistake #8: You’re Not Being Authentic

Your audience is looking to find a brand they can trust. Building authentic relationships with the brands they like is important to them. And if your content isn’t a direct representation of that, then that poses a problem.

Consider the imagery and words you use in your content marketing. Is it divisive or constructive? Do you use language that speaks to their heart, gives them purpose, and solves their problems? Do you provide a voice that is worth coming back to?

Are the people who are representing your brand also in line with your core values? Are you consistent and honest on what you say and what you do?

The first step to fixing this mistake is clearly structuring what your content represents (the voice of your brand), and what your brand stands for. And then be consistent with that messaging. This is especially true if you’re looking to build a brand, not just selling a product.

It also helps to include the voice of your customers to help build your reputation and trust in your niche. Include customer voices in your content marketing strategy. Share testimonials, reshare customers who are excited about your products, include customer quotes in your blog posts.

Or start a branded hashtag on Instagram. Involving your audience in the content you are creating shows them that they matter, beyond just the money they may spend on your products.

Mistake #9: You’re Not Promoting Your Content

Promotion is a crucial part of a content marketing strategy. There are a number of ways to promote your content, from email to social media. One great way to drive interest and engagement is by checking your analytics and seeing which posts tend to receive the most interest. Which ones have done the best over time?

These are the ones that you may want to think about promoting on social media via ads. So dust of your best-performing posts and update them. Make sure you include plenty of images, or even video clips, along with updated links.

Then include a clear CTA to a landing page or a page that’s designed to give them more information about your product. Tip: Not sure where to start? Head over to Facebook’s ad library to see what other companies are doing!

Mistake #10: You’re Not Distributing Your Content Far Enough

Finally, you might be sharing your content on your social media platforms, but that might not be enough. You have opportunities to distribute your content far and wide, and shouldn’t sit back on the chance for more exposure. Link your blog post to a Pinterest account.

Add your PDF to Scribd. Upload your photo onto places like Flickr or Reddit. Look at forums that are talking about the topic and add to the conversation. If you aren’t looking for additional ways to creatively get exposure for your content then you’ll miss out on a great opportunity to draw in relevant traffic. 

One alternative is to go through a content distribution company. They simplify this process for you, ensuring that it’ll get out to a wider audience, so you won’t make this mistake in your content marketing strategy.

Start Creating Content Your Audience Wants to See

A few years ago, Seth Godin famously quipped, “Content Marketing is the only marketing left.” You can see how this is true. Marketing is all about getting your message out to your audience, and content marketing whether it’s in the form of blog content, video content, or even social media content, is the way forward.

The best way to ensure success in your content marketing? It starts by knowing your target market. From there, you can create an avatar of your customer. Once you have that down, you can then get to work creating content that actually speaks to them; the kind that’ll generate results. 

Are you looking to get the most out of your content marketing campaign? Make sure you have an avatar of your customer

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