Content marketing, like most successful digital marketing campaigns, often requires managing various creative efforts across many different channels. As Google continues to update their algorithms, businesses are becoming more and more aware of how important fresh, compelling content is to their digital strategies—but some of the most common mistakes come from not being prepared to fully utilize new content.
Below are three of the most common mistakes we see in content marketing, and some suggestions on how to maximize your content’s potential.
Not Having a Plan
Not having a good, solid plan for what you expect new content to accomplish is like driving a car blindfolded. When creating a content strategy that addresses your specific goals and expectations, it’s important to make sure you have concrete objectives and measurable results.
You should also make sure that your content plan is catered to your customers’ unique and changing needs. For example, it’s much more efficient to create an article on “top 5 sports car convertibles” in the spring or summer rather than in the cold winter months. Be sure to consider what your customers are most interested in at the moment, and keep an eye on what’s trending in the industry when generating ideas for new content. The goal here is to get the most out of each piece of content you produce.
Not Updating Your Blog Regularly
Any business that has a blog should be updating it on a regular basis. Readers come to your site for information and answers to their questions, and if you give them exactly what they want they will continue to come back. When a blog is not updated frequently, it gives the impression that you aren’t engaged with your customers, and your readers will move on to another website.
Search engines LOVE fresh and original content. When content is published to your website, it causes search engines to index the new page(s), in turn getting more attention on your site and possibly granting a slight boost in rankings. Every new blog page published increases your chances of being found organically in search, as well as further establishing your site as a more authoritative source of information.
Letting old content sit and become stagnant is another common mistake. It isn’t always beneficial to continue pushing out blog entries just for the sake of producing content, and there may be older pages that readers would find useful again with just some minor updates. There are free tools out there like Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, and Facebook Insights that can help you track how well your content is doing with readers. Is there a page you feel should be doing well but has a high bounce rate? Rework it. Clean the page up by removing any outdated information and adding some fresh content or images where necessary. Use buttons or infographics to help spruce up the page and make it more appealing to your readers. A little maintenance can go a long way.
Not only can these tools help identify content that can be improved upon—this information is also a great way to identify new opportunities. For example, in GA you can view the keywords that are bringing readers to your site; if you notice there is a great deal of interest in a specific term, it may be a good idea to produce more content around that subject.
Not Using Social Media
Social media sites like Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest are an excellent way to reach your customers and gain new ones, and they also provide great opportunities to publish fresh content. For example, when you post a piece of blog content to G+, your followers automatically see that article. Hopefully they’ll feel the content is interesting enough to +1 or share with their friends, who in turn also have an opportunity to +1 or share the article, and so on.
Just be sure not to over-post. This will only frustrate your readers and may even cause them to stop following your page. My suggestion is no more than one post per day, though this will change depending on your audience. For instance, if you have a sports website, your followers likely want score updates and other news as it happens, so that merits additional posts.
Be sure to pay close attention to these common mistakes and make sure you’re doing things right the first time. By ensuring that fresh, relevant and engaging content is reaching your potential customers in multiple ways on a regular basis, you’ll be on the right path to a successful marketing campaign.