According to TopRank, 93% of B2B marketers are now using content marketing.
What this message is telling us is that content marketing is recognized by a lot of marketers as a "must-have" arsenal for their marketing campaigns.
However, while a lot of marketers may be using this marketing method, you can bet that a good number of them aren't getting any real results out of their marketing efforts.
Why, you might ask? Simple. A lot of them are doing it wrong. So wrong...
As you can probably imagine, no matter how effective a marketing method is, if you aren't using it correctly, you won't be able to get any kind of decent results from it.
That being said, allow me to share with you 3 of the most common - let alone critical - content marketing mistakes that're causing a lot of marketers to fail miserably.
Not tracking the list of people that you send outreach to.
"I already replied to your message, why are you sending me this message again?"
"We've already discussed this. Why are you asking me the same questions?"
Those are just some of the horrid replies that you can get from your audience if you do not track the people you are sending outreach to.
Clearly, not all replies that you'll receive from your outreach efforts are good. This is especially true if you sent the same outreach message to the same person twice or thrice.
This kind of mistake can be very costly for your business because the chances are good that your audience will think that either you are spamming them, or you and your team are so disorganized at how you run your business.
Of course, when your prospect customers view you as either of the above, it's going to become almost impossible for you to close them as your customers.
Publishing mediocre content.
Check out the articles published on this website. Giving the page a quick gander will tell you immediately that they are serious about producing quality content. Not only are their articles lengthy, but they are also packed with expert advice, and actionable tips that their audience will surely like.
True. It isn't right for us to gauge an article's' quality based on its length alone, however, we need to remember that the trend shows how most pages that are ranking number 1 on Google's search results are those that are about 2200+ words in length.
This is a clear indication of how people (and the search engines) are loving lengthy content.
That being said, instead of writing a short (and in most cases, mediocre) 400 - 500 article, bump up your word count to about 2200+ words. While doing so, you also need to make sure that you are providing real value to your readers, and not just increasing your content's word count.
Using a poorly crafted outreach template.
When it comes to doing outreach, quality and quantity is very important.
Quantity is important because no matter how good your outreach template is, there is still a huge chance that your prospects will decline your message (or flat out ignore you), simply because they are too busy, or your offer isn't just something that they are looking for right now.
That is why you need to make sure that you'll send as much outreach messages as you can, so you get a decent amount of people to reply.
However, increasing the quantity of your outreach is only half of the equation. Quality is just as important.
I say that because people online are usually very keen on what they click. This is especially true when they are on their inboxes.
Most internet users have had their fair share of people spamming them, that they have become quite good at sniffing out which messages are spammy, and which are legit.
Of course, you'll want your outreach message to look like the latter. That is, if you want your audience to read your message and reply.
If you are new to the whole outreach process, allow me to Share with you some of the guiding principles that I almost always consider when crafting my outreach templates:
- Never EVER use "Dear Sir/Ma'am". Just use "Hi first name" or simply use, "Hi" or "Hello".
- Make your subject line, and the first sentence of your outreach message as punchy as it can be.
- Always leave a clear call-to-action within your message (preferably at the end).
- Just use 1 call-to-action per email message.
- Emphasize on how they can benefit from helping you. Remember to answer the acid test, "what's in it for me". If you fail to do this, you drastically decrease the chances of getting any kind of replies from your audience.
Another good resource to learn about how to create an effective outreach message is an article published by Neil Patel way back in 2012.
Whether you're looking to grow your traffic, generate leads, or straight-up increase your sales, content marketing can surely give you the results that you are looking for. However, you need to make sure that you aren't just putting in the effort and resources to it; you also need to make sure that you're doing it right. Otherwise, you'll end-up with very little results, or, you might end up damaging your brand.
Photo courtesy - © Mark Carrel / Dollar Photo Club