Content marketing is an art and a science. It is not something a company can (or should) engage in haphazardly. Content marketing paints a portrait of your company – it showcases who you are, what you do, and what you represent. Great content marketing allows a brand to shine, while unfortunate oversights threaten the integrity of the entire organization.
It’s 2017, and consumer patience for content marketing mistakes is wearing thin. Help yourself and your clients avoid these marketing blunders and earn a reputation as smart, savvy, and successful.
#1: Ignoring Your Audience
You wouldn’t show up to an important business meeting in sweats and flip-flops … unless you wanted it to end badly. You know you need to dress appropriately for your intended audience. So why would you try to push content that doesn’t fit the intended reader? Tailoring content to the target audience is one of the most important – and often underrated – aspects of content marketing. Without paying ample attention to who you want to read your material, there is no way you can create the type of poignant, relevant content that works.
First, create a persona of your ideal demographic. What is this person’s age, gender, income, location? What does this person need from your company? Make your persona as detailed and realistic as possible. Give him/her a name, a job, hobbies, a family. Then craft your content marketing strategy around this person – not a massive audience.
Tailoring your strategy around just one person helps you keep your message clear, concise, and true to the point. Instead of trying to please everyone (which is impossible), try to please this made-up persona.
Paying attention to one’s audience is a major first step in content marketing. Only an in-depth knowledge of who you’re marketing to can help you choose the correct channels, platforms, and language. Content written without an audience becomes just that – content with no audience. B2B and B2C businesses alike need to focus intently on the audience before engaging in any content marketing strategy.
#2: Going for Stock Content
You might think investing in cheap content is the best way to get the most for your money, but you’d be wrong. Today’s consumers don’t want stock content. They want originality, individuality, and authenticity. Google’s algorithms prove this – the search engine rewards websites that have original, valuable, authentic, and authoritative content. Excellent content may take more effort, but it is well worth the returns in search engine rankings and brand recognition.
Creating unique content takes research, patience, and skill. Not everybody can create engaging content. Luckily, there is a simple, cost-effective solution – outsourcing your content.
Outsourcing content has many advantages, from better search engine optimization results to access to a broader skill set. Your end clients never have to settle for stock content – or worse – writers who plagiarize others’ work. This will not only fail to deliver the benefits of original content, but it will actually hurt the company.
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You may be asking if consumers can tell the difference. As it turns out, they can – according to Neil Patel (a highly successful marketer himself), content marketing leaders get about 7.8 times more site traffic than non-leaders get. “Content leaders,” in this case, are those who craft compelling and valuable content for their readers. Consumers are savvy about businesses that cut corners and try to skimp on content. Generic, boring content is one of the quickest ways to lose traction as a business. Don’t make this epic fail when a simple solution is available.