Critical Mistakes That Will Definitely Tank Your Content Marketing Efforts

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MAY 2017

You may have a solid plan in place for your content marketing. You may even have trending topics and well-chosen subjects to cover within the content. However, you can sabotage your entire “operation” by making either of the following critical mistakes.

Ignoring the Value of an SEO Strategy

Search engine optimization (SEO) plays an integral role in the success of your content marketing. The problem is that it is also one of the most overlooked content development strategies. Contrary to popular belief, cramming your articles with popular keywords will not help you to reach your traffic and conversion goals.

The science of SEO requires you to identify target keywords and phrases that apply to your niche and insert them systematically within a high-quality article, blog or other form of content. In addition to the words featured in the paragraphs, you also must focus on meta title tags, meta descriptions and the paragraph headings to maximize your results – a step that many content writers and marketers fail to take.

Focusing on Content over Audience

You can target 1 of 2 different routes when developing content:

  • Create Content, Find an Audience or
  • Find an Audience, Create Content

The frequently chosen route is the first one: creating the content and then trying to find an audience to read it. Studies have shown that this route will lead you down a dead end street time after time. To get quality content marketing help and traffic boosts, you should always focus on the audience first – not the content. Identify the audience that you want to engage and then analyze what content that selected audience wants to hear that you can provide.

This stage of the process requires you to wear your “detective hat” and be ready to do some digging. Get to know your target audience by thoroughly researching them. This type of approach may seem tedious and time-consuming, but will pay off in a big way on a long-term scale. Researching your audience provides you with quality intel about their desires and expectations – intel that you can then use to take your content marketing to new heights.

Refusing to Prioritize Evergreen Content

Trending topics generate large audience of readers and viewers, which clearly explains why a substantial number of content creators target them. However, there is a major problem with exclusively targeting these types of topics: trends are temporary! You may receive a short-term boost in traffic by targeting one of today’s trending topics. Long after that topic is no longer trending, though, would you still draw the same size crowd?

For the record, trending topics are great way to boost your online presence and organic exposure. They will help get people to walk through the “door” of your website. However, you will need evergreen content – timely content that is relevant and engaging regardless of the date – to keep them on your site. Unlike trending topics and viral headlines, evergreen content will be just as accurate and engaging today as it is a decade from now. If you need content marketing help for long-term growth and engagement, you will need to prioritize evergreen content over short-term trends.

Pushing Products Instead of Knowledge

What is the purpose of your content? One critical mistake is using your published articles and blogs as wordy advertising space exclusively to promote available products and services. As a priority, your potential readers and viewers want to experience content that teaches them valuable information more than selling them valuable goods. If a reader starts to feel as if they stepped into a sales presentation, he or she will likely abandon the page moments later. A general rule of thumb is to educate the reader first before you try to sell them. Avoid mentioning your company name until the closing of your content as you deliver the “Call to Action.”

No Strategy, No Results

The bottom line is that you will not receive the type of content marketing help and exposure boosts you want for your website without an effective content marketing strategy. As outlined above, there are many misconceptions and dead-end shortcuts that can derail you from reaching that goal. Pay close attention to how you are approaching the development and marketing of your content to ensure your hard work and efforts are not in vain.

Annie Ianko

Chief Content Officer

Annie has 19 years’ experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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