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Avoid These Classic Content Marketing Mistakes
Marketing Foundations

Avoid These Classic Content Marketing Mistakes

Content is not only the voice given to your brand, it’s also one of the most powerful engines businesses can use to transform their goals, ideas, and efforts into sustainable ROI and tangible growth.

With solid strategy and execution, content can be the key to elevating your brand and amplifying your successes. Unfortunately, anything as influential and impactful as content marketing also has the potential to greatly hinder or harm your brand when things don’t go as planned.

As marketers, we know all too well that content marketing mistakes aren’t uncommon. But, lucky for us, that doesn’t make them inevitable.

Classic Content Marketing Mistakes
We’ve rounded up some of the most common mishaps and misses our content strategists at CID have helped our clients navigate and overcome. Here’s their advice on how to correct these classic mistakes when they happen and ideally, avoid them altogether.

1. Writing Around Your Audience
We often hear frustration from brands and fellow marketers when the content they’re creating just doesn’t seem to be landing. More often than not, we’ve found that this doesn’t happen because the content itself is lacking in quality, but because it wasn’t intentionally written for a specific audience.

When your content speaks to topics that exist outside of your target audiences’ niche interests, needs, or experiences, it will almost always flop — no matter how well-written it is. And, even when that content is informed by audience data and catered to your consumers, it still has to be used strategically for it to successfully reach them in the first place.

How to Avoid this Mistake:
Our general rule of thumb is that if your content doesn’t answer a question, offer a solution, or resonate with your target audiences’ personal experiences, then it probably isn’t going to perform well because it isn’t offering them any genuine value. It’s equally important to strategically publish and thoughtfully position your content for your intended audiences. Make sure that you are the one initiating those interactions rather than waiting (hoping) for them to find your content by accident.

2. Going in Without Clear Goals
No matter the industry, audience, or initiative it’s being made for, we’ve found that the single most important question to ask when creating a new piece of content is always the same one: “Why?”

Content isn’t nearly as effective, if at all, when it doesn’t have a purpose. Whether you’re using it to build awareness around a product or service, offer solutions or answers to questions from customers who are still in the research phase, or present key audiences with an opportunity to make a decision and act on it, if your content isn’t being created with a clear goal in mind, it probably won’t be useful in any arena.

How to Avoid this Mistake:
We believe that the best way to ensure that your content is successfully supporting your marketing efforts and moving the needle for your brand is to identify clear, measurable goals that can be incorporated into your content strategy. Outlining your KPIs (key performance indicators) at the onset of your content strategy development process will allow you to make more informed decisions about any adjustments or improvements that may be needed later on.

3. Taking SEO Shortcuts
At this point, it is commonly understood that search engines drive up to 10 times more traffic for a brand than their website or other digital platforms. Knowing this, one would think that dedicating proper time and attention to your SEO strategy is a no-brainer. And yet, SEO is often one of the most underutilized aspects of a brand's content marketing approach.

Some brands cite timing concerns or a lack of general understanding as the root causes of their SEO shortcomings. But, regardless of the culprit, the results are always the same. Taking shortcuts with your SEO or neglecting it altogether is a great way to undermine your content marketing efforts by severely limiting your content’s visibility, potential engagement, and overall effectiveness.

How to Avoid this Mistake:
Bottom line: developing a thorough SEO strategy will always be worth your time, effort, and investment. Taking the extra time up-front to properly research and implement SEO best practices across your active platforms while simultaneously incorporating them into your content creation process will inevitably result in higher traffic volumes and improved content performance, yielding better results on all fronts.

4. Skipping Routine Performance Reviews
How effective can your content truly be if you have no indication of who engaged with it, how it performed, or how it compares to your competition or your related marketing efforts? Failing to take the time to review their content performance is one of the biggest mistakes a business can make. Content performance reviews provide some of the most direct and invaluable data available. Those insights confirm whether or not a marketer’s time, energy, and efforts are worthwhile and present timely opportunities to strategically correct, adapt, or reinforce those efforts accordingly.

How to Avoid this Mistake:
We recommend conducting a performance review of your content marketing efforts once a month if possible, or at least every quarter if monthly check-ins aren’t realistic for you and your team. Keeping a close eye on the performance of individual content pieces as well as the platforms and channels you’re using to deliver them is the best way to monitor your strategy goals while giving yourself the chance to proactively refine or build off of that strategy as needed.

5. Driving Strategy without Data
Building out a strategic content calendar is no small feat. We’ve seen the brands we work with invest so much time and effort into brainstorming ideas for blogs, case studies, and other content only for them to watch a majority of those pieces fall flat once they’ve been published. Why? Because a lot of times those ideas — even the great ones — weren’t backed by reliable platform, industry, or audience data. While the “just publish it all and see what sticks” method may be great for filling up a content calendar quickly, ultimately, it isn’t going to drive results.

How to Avoid this Mistake:
The most effective content strategies always, always, always, start with solid data. So, before you start creating that blog topic list, we recommend that you take the time to analyze your target audiences, channel performance, and your competitors’ content efforts. Starting with that data in hand means you’ll be able to build your content strategy with a clearer picture of what your audience is looking for in your content, where they’re most likely to find it, and who else is out there vying for their attention.

Safeguard Your Content Marketing
Whether your strategy is still in development or actively evolving, at CID, we know first-hand that having the dedicated support of a capable and collaborative team is the key to safeguarding your content marketing efforts and maximizing their impact. From getting you started on the right path to supporting you with the tools and insights to make the most of your current capabilities, our multi-disciplined crew of content strategists and creators is always adapting, always pushing the boundaries of possibility, and most importantly, always in your corner.

Are you overdue for a content strategy reset, revamp, or relaunch? Contact CID to get started today!

Amy Klinkhammer

Amy Klinkhammer-Thomas

Copywriter & Content Specialist

"Bring in the Klinkhammer," they said...and we did! Amy is part of our award-winning marketing & strategy team where she writes for ads, email, the web, video and so much more. She also drinks too much coffee and spends too much time debating the Oxford comma.

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