Content marketing has caused a huge buzz in recent years. Businesses in all industries are competing with each other to catch an audience’s attention, whether that’s by making flashy LinkedIn posts, or by trying to mastermind the next viral TikTok trend.
Investing time, money, and resources into your content marketing strategy is an essential part of lead generation. The right kind of content will not only help you to attract leads, but it will help nurture them through the sales cycle and increase your overall conversion rate.
With so many decisions to make, it can be easy to get things wrong. However, with careful planning and research, you can build a solid content marketing strategy that benefits your business. Without further ado, here are five common content marketing mistakes, and tips for what you can do to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Not planning ahead
According to research by the Content Marketing Institute, more than 63% of businesses don’t have a documented marketing strategy. If you’re one of this 63%, you might be wasting your time and energy with broad content that is badly timed, irrelevant, or otherwise lacking in value. As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, then plan to fail!
Solution #1: Do your research to prepare a well thought-out strategy
The first step of a successful content marketing strategy is asking what your objectives are, and what medium/s or channel/s are most likely to help you achieve these goals. For example, some content might be best suited for a blog post, or you could explore a certain industry topic in more detail with a video series.
Take the time to investigate what your competitors are sharing, and keep up-to-date with industry news and trends. This will help you identify what your audience is looking for, which will help you when it comes to developing creative, relevant content ideas, which in turn will attract potential leads to your business.
Mistake #2: Not understanding your audience
Making ‘one size fits all’ content is a recipe for disaster. Of course you want your content to reach as wide an audience as possible, but broad content that doesn’t respond to specific customer pain points comes across as generic and insincere.
When someone is researching a product or service on the internet, they already know what they want. It’s your job to explain how your business is able to meet that need, or provide the solution that they’re looking for.
Solution #2: Carry out audience research, and use this information to your advantage
You should be carrying out in-depth audience research before you begin creating your first piece of content. By creating buyer personas, you will be able to identify your target audience’s specific needs and desires, and how your business can meet these. This kind of focus might mean you have a smaller potential audience, but it improves your chances of finding loyal long-term clients who genuinely support your brand.
There are countless websites and softwares that can help you with audience research and keeping track of popular trends. For example, Answer The Public is a free online tool that tracks what users in your niche are searching on the internet. Online forums for your industry are also useful for getting to the heart of your customer base. This kind of information will be invaluable when it comes to developing your content marketing strategy, so make the most of these tools!
Mistake #3: Undervaluing the importance of visual content
Did you know that featuring an image in your post can generate up to 650 percent more engagement than on text-only posts? Paragraphs of text won’t catch a reader’s attention anymore – in this day and age, you need to focus on creating eye-catching and relevant visual content.
Given the fact that people spend a maximum of just 10 seconds reading marketing emails, you can’t (and shouldn’t) rely on the written word alone when it comes to your marketing efforts.
Solution #3: Include attractive and informative visual content in your content marketing strategy
When creating visual content, you should focus on quality over quantity. For example, one well-designed infographic with your brand’s colour scheme will be much more appealing to your target audience than five rushed diagrams you’ve made using generic clip art.
Many platforms allow for multiple images or videos to be attached to a post. Don’t just limit your imagination to a single image – a carousel (which allows the reader to swipe through multiple images) is a great way to display multiple graphics at once. Again, focus on your content goals, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different content styles when testing your new strategy.
You should also consider accessibility options when producing content. For example, you can add subtitles to videos, and include image descriptions in the captions of your visuals. This can help improve the reach of your content to include users with access needs, and this is especially important if your business values inclusivity.
Mistake #4: Not focusing on SEO
SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, can go a long way in bringing leads to your business. Research shows that 95% of people who use Google for their internet search only look at the first page of results, and half of this number only look at the first three results. This means that if you neglect SEO in your content strategy, your business will appear lower in search results. This means less people will see your content, which in turn means less results.
Solution #4: Use SEO best practices in all of your content
One way to improve your SEO is to use keywords throughout your content that are directly relevant to your business and to your audience. It can be tempting to be heavy on the jargon, but try to use this sparingly, as this will make your content much more digestible and easy to read/watch. Using title tags and meta descriptions is also a great way to squeeze in some more ad copy that will attract your audience.
Need some help with your SEO optimization? With our unique social media management tool, TLP Social, we work with your company to produce high-value content for the most popular social networks and search engines, helping you to bring in quality leads. Find out more information on our website here!
Mistake #5: Ignoring important metrics
You have to pay attention to how your audience is reacting to your content. Without knowing what content is successful and what isn’t, your audience growth will plateau, and you could even end up losing followers if your content is uninspiring and unengaging.
Solution #5: Learn what works and what doesn’t
Having an A/B testing phase for your content will help you gather important information that can inform your content strategy. It’s ok if you don’t get things right first time – as long as you learn from any missteps, your content will improve over time, and the results will speak for themselves!
Many social media platforms have dedicated account management tools for businesses to track their analytics. Make the most of these to ensure that your content is the best it can be, and monitor them regularly to keep track of any changes and fluctuations.
Optimise your content marketing with The Linked People
Having a strong content marketing strategy is just one way to generate successful leads. At The Linked People, we can help you make the most of every lead generation opportunity. From unique automated outreach systems, to personalised eye-catching website designs, we’ve got a team of experts to help you improve your marketing and bring in the hottest leads.
With over 600 happy clients and over 1,000,000 leads generated, why go anywhere else? Call us today on 0203 982 7570, or find out more about our services over on our website here!