Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10 years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on his social media networks.
We know that content marketing is key to online success. If you want to bring more traffic to your website, convert your audience to leads, and make sales, then you need to build awesome content.
However, there are several common mistakes that a business could make in the content marketing process. Here are the top mistakes you should know about that could derail your efforts and what you should do instead.
Not doing your research
While this seems obvious, many businesses assume that they already know what their audiences need and what they should write about.
Before you start writing your posts, you should have a clear goal for your content. Do you want to get more traffic for your blog? Or is your ultimate goal to get people to buy your product? Being aware of your goal and then understanding how your goal translates into what people need is important. In fact, your customers’ needs ought to direct what you build and how you build it – this is for both your product and content.
You need to do keyword research and look at what people are searching for online. With an SEO tool or plugin, you’ll be able to develop a content creation strategy that makes sense. You can build pillar posts, interlink your content, and build context that tells search engines that you have a solid reputation for a specific topic.
Not building backlinks
If you’re a small business, then standing out against established competitors is challenging. Large businesses are recognized and enjoy the trust of people and of search engines too.
Ideally, if you create content then people should link to your brand on their own. But it’s important that you try to ethically build links back to your website without waiting for it to happen effortlessly.
There are a few ways to do this:
- Offer to write a guest post on a website that has a good domain rating. However, remember you have to offer value and create a unique post because it’s common for reputable sites to get many requests to guest post for them.
- Create a simple tool that helps people on your website. You can use an advanced form tool and build a calculator that computes relevant data for your audience. When you offer a great tool, you’ll find other websites linking to you.
- Join networking sites for entrepreneurs and professionals. These forums usually allow you to answer questions or submit guest posts. You’ll drive links to your site in an ethical way from high-ranking domains.
Remember that you should get links from reputable websites. Getting links unethically from spammy websites will get your website penalized by Google and other search engines.
Trying to be clever with your writing
Many new writers and business owners think that they have to create sophisticated content to make an impression. The reality is that trying to be clever with your choice of words only confuses your audience.
When people browse for information online, they want to know whether a website is right for their needs instantly. So, it’s important that you use simple and friendly language to get your users’ attention.
Use a tool that analyzes your content to figure out if your posts are too complex. You can use an SEO tool with a built-in content analyzer to help you check your SEO score as you write.
Part of search engine optimization includes writing content that’s easy to read and provides value to users.
Work with headline and subject line analyzers and similar tools that highlight sentences that are too complicated.
Not being consistent with content creation
When doing your content marketing, you need to play the long game. You can’t write blog posts and social media content on an on-and-off basis and expect good results.
Don’t wait for inspiration to hit you before you post on social media or send an email newsletter. These activities need to happen regularly. So, to streamline your content creation, use a social media management tool. You can create content, schedule it and have it published in the future without manually having to do this yourself.
Self-promoting too much
While the intent of your business is to create revenue, your goal doesn’t matter to your customers at a personal level.
You need to think about what your customers need and build content that highlights the benefits you offer to them. Avoid being overly promotional. It creates the feeling that you care more about pushing sales rather than helping your customers.
Instead, build quality content, give your audience options when it comes to what actions they can take, create lead magnets, use calls to action, and other techniques to slowly convince users to buy from you.
Not evolving with new trends and platforms
We’re seeing changes in the main demographic that forms our audience. Millennials are firmly the largest market for many businesses today and Gen Z is a significant part of the market too.
You need to start making content that appeals to younger and newer audiences and you need to be on new platforms that people use.
Consider new video-based tools like Tik Tok and use new formats like ‘Stories’ to create and share content.
Depending on the industry you’re in and your audience, you really want to mix up the content you create. Don’t get stuck with older formats just because you’re comfortable with them.
Start growing and adopting more informal and humorous content that resonates with your audience and learn to make content that shows people you’re there to provide value.
Not maintaining a consistent voice
While the previous post exhorts you to try new formats and platforms, it doesn’t mean that you should jump from trend to trend. An important thing you should do is maintain a consistent voice for your brand.
Even when you’re trying new formats and platforms, make sure that you have a solid brand image. This means sticking to your brand colors and using a voice or tone that you want to be associated with your brand.
You also need to focus on your core values and highlight a specific message over and over again as you market your brand.
Back to you
I’ve covered some of the top mistakes that businesses make with content marketing.
Being aware of what they are helps you avoid making them. You can craft meaningful messages that resonate with people.
Use this post as a guideline and you’ll save yourself from losing traffic and subscribers in the long run.