Five Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

Jan 16, 2013

Article ImageThe creation and distribution of content online is one of the most effective ways of attracting new customers and retaining existing ones, but that doesn't mean it's easy. Unfortunately, most companies get their content marketing efforts wrong. Content creators and marketers must spend valuable time and effort to create and publish quality content on a regular basis to increase the reach of their brand. There is no shortcut.

Remember - content marketing is an essential component of any inbound marketing strategy - and it must be done right. If you want to create a scalable, repeatable and networked process of customer acquisition through content marketing then you must avoid these content marketing mistakes like your life depends on it!

Mistake #1: Badly crafted headlines 

A headline is what readers or potential customers see first and it could decide whether or not they click-through. Compelling headlines encourage people to read on, but this doesn't mean they should be falsified or be completely irrelevant to the rest of the article, ebook, or blog post.

The headline should not be too preachy or technical. You also cannot create a headline that goes into two sentences or has grammatical errors. This will put off a reader immediately. Don't force keywords into the headline if they seem unnatural - this is a bad SEO practice. Keep it short, succinct, and simple.

Mistake #2: Placing importance on quantity instead of quality

It is often recommended that you should publish content daily to keep readers engaged. However, in a rush to publish a high volume of content, don't compromise on quality. Grammatical errors, factual inconsistencies, and irrelevant content can creep into articles, blogs, ebooks, and other forms of content when the focus is on quantity and not quality. It can hurt your reputation and drive away potential customers. Always proofread and correct all content even if it means that there will be a delay in publishing that piece.

Mistake #3: Targeting the wrong audience

Always keep your target audience in mind during content strategizing and creation. The kind of content you will create when you are targeting young working professionals, fresh out of college vs. high-flying executives looking to indulge in luxury buys will vary a lot. Some companies also make the mistake of placing too much technical or business jargon in blog posts meant for their customers. You can spend days perfecting the articles but they will be of no use if they do not speak to your audience.

Mistake #4: Re-using published content

This bad content marketing practice probably stems from laziness or inexperience, but some companies often publish or distribute the same content via several channels in the hope of reaching a wider audience. This is one mistake that no content marketer should ever commit. The internet is vast and filled with content, but this doesn't mean that duplication will go undetected. Search engines detect the source of duplicate content and can even penalize websites that have lots of copied content. Using multiple channels is a good practice, but creating original content for each channel should be your goal.

 Mistake #5: Missing distribution opportunities

The job of content marketing doesn't end at creating great content. The content must find its way to as many people as possible and you need to figure out the right distribution channels for this content. Most companies stop at publishing the content on their blog, website, and newsletter. This is not enough. You need to use social networking platforms and content sharing sites to maximize the reach of the content. Some excellent content sharing sites are YouTube, SlideShare, and Scribd - and of course, Facebook and Twitter. Also, do not forget to place opt-in forms with the content so that readers can subscribe to your content in the form of newsletters delivered right into their inbox.

("5 - Color Digit" courtesy of Shutterstock.)