5 common content marketing pitfalls, and how to avoid them

Content marketing pitfalls

Content marketing is continuing to grow in popularity, with businesses across the world creating content as a way of adding fuel to their content marketing efforts.

It’s no wonder that high-quality content creation has become a key factor in generating leads long-term and building brand awareness. A good content marketing strategy is focused on helping your target audience make a buying decision.

But surprisingly, content marketing is often a hurdle for many businesses, and something that marketers get wrong. That’s why we’ve drawn up a list of the five most common content marketing pitfalls, and how you can avoid them.

The most common content marketing pitfalls are:

  1. Not having a content schedule
  2. Not focusing on your target audience
  3. Not thinking about SEO in tandem
  4. Not creating content across the full buyer journey
  5. Not measuring the success of your content

#1: Not having a content schedule

According to the Content Marketing Institute, businesses with a document content marketing strategy often see much more consistent results when producing content.

That’s how powerful a content schedule can be. Good content starts with strategy. That means you need to have a clear vision of your goals, whether it be generating leads, raising brand awareness, increasing sales, or something else entirely.

Not only that, but a content schedule also allows you to put all your content ideas down on paper. Doing this helps you brainstorm titles for blog posts, eBooks to serve as another type of content, distributing your content through social media marketing and more.

Avoid this pitfall by:

#2: Not focusing on your target audience

Traditional marketing would focus a lot on outbound messages, such as “buy from us” or “buy our services.” Content marketing flips that on its head by making marketing about obsessing over your target audience and truly understanding their needs.

Therefore, good content marketing comes from careful study of your target audience, and writing content that they’re searching for. It’s about putting yourself in their shoes and thinking about what they might type into Google before they’ve heard of you.

Remember, 70% of the buying decision is made before a customer even gets in touch. By catering your marketing specifically to your target audience, your content speaks for itself when addressing today’s research based consumers.

Avoid this pitfall by:

  • Creating buyer personas
  • Identifying the top questions your buyers are typing into Google
  • Checking your sent box for answers to prospect/client questions that can form blog content

#3: Not thinking about SEO in tandem

There’s a misconception that SEO (search engine optimisation) and content marketing aren’t connected, but the reality is that they serve each other.

SEO and content marketing work together so that search engines recognise your site as trustworthy and helpful to audiences searching for content. The mistake is that businesses either write content for search engines and not for people, or fail to optimise their content correctly for SEO.

When mastered, content marketing will fuel SEO and vice versa, with search engines rewarding you for your high quality and relevant content.

Avoid this pitfall by:

  • Creating content that is designed for your audience, not for a search engine
  • Following on-page SEO best practices when optimising your content.

#4: Not creating content across the full buyer journey

Another misconception is that content marketing is used only for lead generation in relation to the sales funnel. In actual fact, content marketing works best when present throughout the whole buyer journey.

That includes after a buyer has signed up, because the purpose of content marketing is to continuously deliver valuable information that creates long-term customer relationships and brand advocates.

Avoid this pitfall by:

  • Mapping out your sales funnel alongside your buyer personas and assigning content to each stage.

#5: Not measuring the success of your content

Finally, the biggest pitfall we see is businesses failing to measure their content marketing success. Worse, you might be focusing on the wrong metrics.

For example, page views are great, but what’s more important is the number of conversions from those page views, and in turn the number of leads a piece of content has generated for your business. Without these KPIs, it’s impossible to truly understand the success of your content marketing strategy, and more importantly, your marketing return-on-investment.

Avoid this pitfall by:

  • Assigning metrics to your content, including goals and benchmarks to measure performance.
  • Look at tracking tools such as Google Ads and HubSpot for better tracking return-on-investment.

Which content marketing pitfalls have you struggled with?

Content marketing done right is not easy, and you’ll find that content marketing pitfalls are inevitable, whether it’s monitoring a singular piece of content or understanding how successful your marketing is.

If you’re struggling with content marketing, let MM:Growth steer you in the right direction. You can tell us more about your business, or download The Marketing BLUEPRINTTM to give you a strategic framework for your marketing efforts moving forward.  

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