Every Wednesday, a group of us content writers gets together to discuss pressing work issues such as the latest Kardashian shenanigans the newest trends in marketing. So, being the party animals that we are, we pour ourselves a glass of wine and take a seat in front of our computer, patiently waiting for our zoom host to let us in. (We are wild, I know). No matter what we begin to discuss, we end up talking about common marketing mistakes that all newbies make (we make the same mistakes, of course, but we hate to admit it). During our last meeting, I had the epiphany of putting these mistakes in a nifty list so that: a) you will avoid doing them and b) something productive could come out of our weekly meetings other than wine tasting.
So, here it is. Eight common marketing mistakes you are making without knowing that you can use as a guide.
#1. Lack Of Planning
Great content marketing is the perfect marriage between strategy and execution. No matter how well you write, if your content lacks planning and strategy, you will end up with likable content and zero conversions. Your content must follow a plan, and you must tactically execute your plan to achieve your end goals. Your goals should be specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-based. Have SMART goals and plan accordingly. Do not just write for the sake of writing.
#2. Lack Of Buyer Personas
If you want your content marketing to be successful, you need to know who you are writing for. You should not craft hypothetical buyer personas that only include superficial demographic characteristics. “John is a high school teacher, 40 years old, two kids, and lives in upstate NY”. Ok, fair enough, but if this is your buyer persona, you are in deep trouble because it adds zero value to your marketing strategy. You need to know who John is and not just what he is. Dig deeper and find his dreams, worries, aspirations, and anxieties. What are his pain points, and how can your products or services help with these?
#3. Content Marketing Is Only One Medium
Content marketing is not just one thing, so you should not put all your eggs in one basket. Content is king, but variety rules. Even if blogs work for you, do not rest on your laurels. There is not a one size fits all formula. Different types of content will reach your buyers at different stages of the sales funnel. Content can be any of the following:
● Social media posts
● Case Studies
● Blog posts
#4. Content Creation is Not Content Marketing
You have done your research. You have crafted your buyer personas. You have created excellent content, and you have published it online. This should be enough, right? Wrong. What many marketers get wrong is that content creation equals content marketing. Writing fabulous content is not the same as putting it in front of your target audience. Content is king, but distribution is queen. And like chess, the queen always has the best moves. So spend 20% of your time creating awesome content and 80% of your time flashing it in front of your buyers.
#5. Publishing Content Just To Meet Your Marketing Calendar Needs
Marketing Calendars are awesome since they help you plan your entire marketing efforts and time them appropriately. However, if you publish content simply because your marketing calendar says you have to publish on x and y dates, you run the risk of publishing low-quality content. Content for the sake of content is one of the worst mistakes you can make because it will do more harm than good as your readers will quickly lose interest.
#6. SEO Is All You Care About
SEO is the new darling in the world of marketing, and it seems that everything revolves around it. SEO is indeed significant, but it is not all that jazz, and you should not go keyword crazy and lose sight of the forest. What many content writers get wrong is thinking that SEO is THE most critical aspect of content, and they often get SEO myopia. They spend so much time focusing on the tree that they lose the forest. Striking the perfect balance between SEO and good quality content is vital for your content marketing to be successful.
#7. Setting Unrealistic Expectations
Of course, you want your marketing efforts to be a success. But if you set unrealistic expectations, you will be disappointed. For instance, you cannot expect a 90% conversion rate within the first month of your marketing strategy. You need to set realistic goals and assess your content marketing success based on the achievement of the said goals. You must consider your content marketing efforts as an investment, not a get-rich-quick scheme.
#8. Trying Too Hard To Sell
This is a mistake that we are all guilty of. We all want results, and let’s be honest here. The aim of content marketing is to convert and increase sales. So, it makes sense that we try to sell our services or products, but trying too hard to sell will have the opposite effect. It will avert your readers and make them feel pressured to buy when they find themselves at the top of the sales funnel. Pushing too hard to sell when your readers are not actively looking into buying but are instead gathering information is a mistake that you should avoid at all costs.
To Err Is Human, But Try Not To
It is ok to make mistakes. We have all been there before (and some of us still make several content marketing mistakes without realizing it). So, worry not. But now that you know of these mistakes why keep repeating them? Do you have any other common marketing mistakes to add to the list?