So your brand has decided to embark upon a content marketing campaign. Congratulations! You’ve figured out your strategy your channels of distribution, and your topics, and now it’s time to sit down and make some content. Before you get started, here are five pitfalls that many content marketers fall into and what you should do instead.
The Hard Sell.
You have products and you need to sell them. You write with this idea in mind. As part of a blog entry or white paper, you focus on your own products letting everyone know how great those products are. Then, you are surprised when no one shares or reads your content.
Instead. The truth of the matter is that people read and share things that entertain or inspire them or make their lives better in some way. They do not share sell sheets. Create marketing material that your brand followers care about. Don’t just try to sell them on your product.
Too Many Keywords.
Back in the day, one of the easiest ways to get search traffic was to load up your website with keywords. Sometimes, you still see content created with this strategy in mind. The problem is that reading “keyword dense” content can feel awkward. Also, Google has continued to refine its algorithms and now punishes sites that try to game the system with too many keywords.
Instead. Write good content. Make something that you would read if you didn’t work for the company you’re writing for. It’s important to do keyword research to find out what people are talking about but don’t let keywords ruin the readability.
Content that has Nothing to do With Your Brand.
We all know that recipes are popular on Pinterest, so why not post some recipes to try to build your following? Maybe because your brand makes motor oil?
Instead. Don’t create content just to create content. You want to create content your followers want to read and share but create content that has something to do with your brand.
Content marketing may seem less important than your other marketing efforts. Or, you may be so busy that you just don’t have time to spend on content creation. So you put minimal effort into putting content on your web site.
Instead. The problem is if you only do a little work in content creation, you are only going to get a little return on your investment. Good content will always out-perform lousy content. Good content takes time. If you don’t have the bandwidth to make good content, find it.
Letting Perfect Be the Enemy of Good.
On the other end of the spectrum, it’s possible to spend so much time optimizing your content, that you never get to the point where you actually release any.
Instead. At some point, you need to stop trying to make everything perfect, and release something because it’s good.
For more tips on creating great long-form content, check out this lonelybrand entry.