Producing solid content is one of the most powerful online marketing techniques available to businesses today, but how many of us actually take full advantage?
According to research, the most well-performing B2B content-marketers direct a bigger chunk of their budget (42 percent) into their content marketing, a stark contrast to the 28 percent invested by firms with a less-impressive performance. While content was once viewed as little more than a vehicle for excessive keywords and links, it is today recognized as a vital aspect of any successful online marketing campaign.
However, no business can suddenly start generating outstanding content that readers will adore without a few mistakes. As we all know, practice may not make perfect, but it can get us darn close. This is as true of content marketing as any other art-form. Here are five common web content mistakes no business can afford to make in today’s competitive world.
Writing sub-par content.
Content must be well-written, engaging, and be subtly optimized for search engines. Any blogs or articles which are dull, incomprehensible, and brimming with forced keywords will likely turn customers away.
You should be making it easy for your audience to read, first and foremost. At a basic level, content should be broken into digestible chunks, featuring paragraphs of no more than three or four sentences each. The more white space there is between paragraphs, the easier your articles or blogs will be to scan.
Understandably, it can be difficult to produce consistently high-quality work when creating your own content. If you have a business to run, departments to manage, and deadlines to meet, ensuring every piece is proofread and edited may slip by the wayside.
Sound familiar? Invest in a professional copywriter, or work with an SEO agency who will create a bespoke marketing campaign. Today, SEO agencies operate everywhere from Orange County to Texas, helping businesses refine their online presence.
Investing in professional writers is not a luxury. Rather, it is an effective, efficient way to ensure a greater quality of content which engages readers, prompts social shares, and welcomes discussion.
Never underestimate the power of outstanding content.
Chasing sales rather than engagement.
Your content must have inherent value. Want to engage your readers? Repeating the benefits of working with your company and buying your products will turn people off faster than you may believe. Today’s web-users are far more intelligent and savvy than some businesses give them credit for (to their own detriment).
Your blogs, articles, and press releases should focus on informing the reader in one way or another. For example, a business specializing in luxurious kitchens should avoid simply praising their own selection of décors. Instead, they could offer tips on finding the right type of worktop or weigh up the pros and cons of various lighting fixtures.
Consider what value you can bring to a reader, and create content that will leave them educated. It may be something tiny, such as a brief history of a product you specialize in, or something bigger, such as an interview with an industry thought-leader.
Failing to promote your content on social channels.
Social media is one of the biggest changes to the world of marketing: in the past decade, businesses have had a more direct link to their consumers than ever before.
Any business which fails to share its content across social channels is making a major mistake. For example, 72 percent of all internet users have a Facebook account, 25 percent use LinkedIn, and 23 percent have Twitter profiles. Failure to share content across these could be costing businesses more than they realize.
However, every social channel has its own style, and you must make the most of each for maximum reach. For example, Twitter is all about grabbing users’ attention in as few words as possible, using visuals and trending hashtags.
You have to create a consistent tone for your company, suited to the specific network. While you can be a little edgier on Facebook or Twitter, a LinkedIn account will be more professional and reserved.
Share your new content as soon as it goes live, but also share older pieces regularly too. Don’t just share the odd article or blog every other week: be consistent. Your followers will get used to a routine, and releasing pieces at irregular intervals can appear unprofessional.
Neglecting your readers’ input.
Good content should generate discussion, be it on your website or on social media. Not every piece you produce is likely to receive a wealth of comments and questions, of course, yet you should be aiming to engage your readers enough to prompt discussions as often as possible.
One mistake businesses can never afford to make when it comes to comments on their content? Neglecting them.
Always take the time to respond to praise, critiques, and questions in a professional manner. You have to show your brand as valuing your followers’ thoughts and opinions – even if they run counter to your own.
For example, a simple tweet in response to a follower can help to build loyalty towards your brand, with 77 percent of users receiving a reply from a brand developing a more positive feeling towards them.
Next time someone asks a question about a piece of your content on Twitter (or any other social channel), be sure to respond.
The more you can engage with people in your blog’s comments section and on social media, the more likely others are to join in. Leaving questions and compliments without any response of any kind, not even a ‘thank you’, can leave readers looking for a more interactive experience elsewhere.
Not exploring other types of content.
When we talk about content, we may refer to more than just blogs, articles, and press releases. Today, online technology allows businesses to generate a wealth of diverse media for their websites, providing valuable information and education through various means.
For example, imagine you have written a blog post on a major technological breakthrough that will affect your entire industry. Why not have your designers or SEO agency create an infographic to sit alongside it? This can convey the key information in a visual format, which is far easier to scan and serves to embolden the text too.
Due to their visual nature, infographics are ideal to share across social media, allowing people to view data without having to read a lengthy article. Infographics also give content writers and designers a wealth of freedom, as they can experiment with different ways to present the data, using specific visual elements related to the material.
Other forms of content, such as podcasts and videos, can also complement your written pieces. Be willing to try additional formats to diversify your content and engage followers in a variety of ways.
Getting your content marketing write is crucial. No business can afford to cut corners and generate low-quality material, regardless of their size or reputation. An effective content strategy can help to build brand awareness, expand your reach, and develop a loyal customer-base.
Invest the right amount of time, effort, and resources, and your content could lead you to your goals.