Content marketing is one of the best investments a company can make. It increases traffic and brings in high-quality leads, so it's no wonder why so many organizations are on board.
A survey by the Content Marketing Institute found that 92% of marketers say that their company views content as a business asset. As a result, marketers need to make sure they're doing everything they can to maximize the ROI of their content marketing efforts.
However, content marketing doesn't come without challenges. It's a crowded market, which means there's little room for mistakes and missed opportunities. Marketers have to get it right, in order to achieve optimal results.
Here's a look at six of the biggest content marketing mistakes, and what marketing professionals can do to avoid them.
1. Not creating reusable content
A one-and-done approach isn't a good idea when it comes to creating content. A quality piece of content requires a lot of time and resources - therefore, it's crucial that marketers look to maximize the return on their investment by creating content that they can repurpose and post on different channels later down the road.
For example, marketers can repurpose a blog post into something more visual, like an infographic or video. All of the research is complete, so it's mostly a matter of repackaging the information into a different medium.
2. Not creating enough content throughout the sales funnel
There are numerous stages of the buying process, and as such, it's important that marketers address each of them when creating content. If you put too much focus on producing educational content, for example, appealing to those in the awareness stage, you can miss out on nurturing buyers further down the purchasing process.
Marketers should look to create enough content for each step of the sales funnel. While educational blog posts are vital for awareness, it's essential to also create content like case studies and eBooks for the later stages of the also.
3. Not paying attention to user-generated content
User-generated content refers to any content that users create, unpaid. That can include everything from pictures and videos to reviews and blog posts.
According to a study by Reevoo, 70% of people trust images that come from consumers like themselves, instead of images which brands create. Marketers who ignore user-generated content are missing out on a massive opportunity to build consumer trust - not to mention outsourcing content creation to users can save marketers time and financial resources.
Marketers can start incorporating user-generated content by finding out what inspires their audience to create content and engage with their company. Using social media channels like Facebook and Instagram are an excellent way to execute a user-generated content campaign.
4. Not having a content approval process
There's more to creating content than crafting the perfect piece and publishing it. Before that can happen, teammates and clients should review and approve your content. Having a peer review process like this in place is vital, because it ensures that approved material maximizes each element, and gets published on time.
Many marketers use email or spreadsheets to try and manage content approvals, however relying on these methods can slow down the team and hurt client relationships. It's easy to lose track of approvals and get feedback in time to meet client deadlines.
Marketers should make sure that they have a content approval process in place. They can create a content review and approval template that includes each step (review round one, revision round one, etc.) and its duration.
Marketers can also use a content management platform to prepare, approve, and publish content on time. The tool can track revisions and changes in one place, and eliminate the need for messy spreadsheets and endless email chains.
5. Not reviewing content marketing performance
One of the biggest mistakes marketing teams can make is not taking the time to review the performance of their efforts. Without looking at the data, there's no way to know what is or isn't working.
For example, if a piece of content is performing well, marketers can find ways to repurpose it, or focus on that specific tactic. If something isn't working, they can instead focus on other initiatives.
It’s important to review content marketing performance with the rest of the team at least quarterly. Engagement metrics like page views, social media shares, and the time visitors spent looking at pieces of content can help marketers improve their campaigns continuously.
6. Not promoting content enough
Content marketing doesn't stop after the publishing process. Many marketers make the mistake of focusing solely on creating content, however marketers need to put the content in front of their target audience repeatedly for it to have an impact.
Marketers should spend more time promoting their content than creating it. One idea is to follow the 80/20 rule. Spend 20% of the time creating content, while using the other 80% to promote it via social media, blogs, email, and other channels.
With enough careful planning, marketing teams can avoid falling prey to some of the biggest content marketing pitfalls. From implementing a content approval process, to creating content that covers the entire sales funnel, there's a lot for marketers to consider when crafting an effective strategy.
But those who can get it right will reap the rewards of their content efforts.