Ron Sela
November 5, 2015

7 Most Common Blunders Content Marketers Make

It does not matter if online content is in the form of a blog, a website, an e-commerce store or a series of targeted product descriptions – if the right people do not know that it exists, they cannot interact with it.

This is precisely why marketing is a major component of successful content creation. There is simply no use writing great articles if you have no idea how to promote them.

While it might sound a little brutal, the bottom line is that even the most readable content in the world will remain undiscovered if it is not brought to the right audience.

These days, users have so much content directed at them on sharing sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, that there is no longer any need for them to search for it.

To secure their interest and their loyalty, you need to not only bring the content to them, but you also need to convince them of its worth.

This is the goal for modern content marketers and it is not always an easy thing to achieve – there are lots of common pitfalls and faux pas which need to be avoided.

This guide to some of the most common mistakes will help you learn how to stay on the right track when it comes to successful content marketing.

Mistake #1: Not Promoting Your Content

For all of the reasons already outlined, content promotion is vital. It means more than just sharing an article once on Facebook too. If you want to get your message out there, you need to be creative when it comes to marketing and open up opportunities for ‘self-sustaining’ promotion.

For example, writing outreach posts can be a valuable strategy – referencing an external source makes it more likely that that source will then promote your work, in return.

Mistake #2: Not Utilizing Paid Content Distribution Channels

To get content to the top of search results pages, you need to invest in a reliable paid content distribution channel. In fact, if you are just starting out, this is an effective way to kick-start interest and increase exposure.

Plus, most of the major social platforms (including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook) all offer their own paid distribution tools. Alternatively, you can use a channel like Outbrain, which operates via a pay per click system.

Mistake #3: Not Optimizing Content for Conversions

One of the trickiest things to master when it comes to successful content marketing is the balance between promotion and personal value. So, while your main aim might be to sell products or drive more traffic towards your blog, a user is going to have a different objective.

They might want to learn about a particular subject, get step by step instructions or find content that their friends might like. You cannot fill an article with call to action claims and promotional pleas because it will not lead to conversions.

Mistake #4: Not Creating Clear Calls to Action

The balance between promotion and user value is essential because both parties (yourself and the audience) must have their objectives fulfilled. So, when you do come to write call to actions designed to convince users that your product, service, or website is the right choice, they need to get the message across concisely.

The perfect call to action is brief, clear, and contains all of the information necessary to get a conversion in one or two sentences.

Mistake #5: Creating Content Which Is Not Appealing

To reiterate, nothing turns users off faster than content that is explicitly and frustratingly geared towards strong-arming conversions out of readers. The most successful content marketers are those who understand that online promotion is a game of gentle persuasion.

The aim, ultimately, is to have users thinking that it was entirely their choice to make a purchase, visit a website, or browse company content. To achieve this, you must offer content that is personally valuable or appealing to your audience.

Mistake #6: Not Identifying Your Target Market

If you do not have a clear picture of who makes up your target audience, what its primary objectives are, and what kind of purchasing behaviors it exhibits, it is going to be difficult to tailor your content specifically for these people.

You cannot simply write content and hope that it attracts an audience all by itself, because there are too many users online for that – it is akin to writing a book and promoting it to everybody from preschool children to middle aged ladies.

Mistake #7: Not Keeping Track of What Works

This is a mistake that even very experienced content marketers make all the time. It is very hard to determine which promotional strategies offer the most value if you do not keep tabs on how much traffic is driven to your content after each post, tweet, guest blog, and share.

The good news is that tools like bit.ly can be used to keep an accurate count of things like visits, clicks, and repeat visits. If you keep track of the results, you can build up a clear picture of which strategies you need to be focusing on.

Understanding That Practice Makes Perfect

The reality is that content marketing is a skill like any other. If you are just starting out, it might seem fussy and complex at first, but it will get easier.

The more time that you invest in your target market – getting to know them, growing to recognize their interests and preferences – the less effort you will eventually have to spend on working out how to reach and appeal to them.

It is not necessarily a good thing to always think about an online audience as a static mass of users; as an impersonal number. In many ways, successful content marketing gets easier once you begin to understand that users are not an impenetrable force.

They are people looking for a valuable online experience, just as you are every time that you browse the internet or interact with content that is not your own – do not forget also to draw on your experiences as a user.

 

Image attribution: Copyright: ‘http://www.123rf.com/profile_rtimages‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

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Ron Sela is a digital marketer and conversion optimizer, focusing on maximizing ROI with content marketing campaigns.You can find and connect with Ron on Twitter at @RonSela and read his thoughts on his personal blog at RonSela.com.
  • Hi Ron,

    Great post, to add sharing is really important, you got to let people know about your content, you need to get heard in the enormous clutter of online data.

    Its not easy but like you said practice makes a man perfect, you have to work on it, bit by bit, step by step, battle by battle to win the online war, YES! it will take time but that is how every great thing is made, it took at least 13 billion for universe to create self aware beings like us, it took Apple decades to become 600 billion (2012) company so definitely it will take time but with time don’t forget super crazy effort!

  • Hi Ron,

    What a wonderfully informant article! I can’t understand those who have websites/blogs and don’t promote? Is it because they aren’t aware they are supposed to, don’t have time, or don’t know how? When I think of all the potentially great sites out there that aren’t sharing their content, it makes me queasy.

    I’ve been really digging into my Google Analytics to see what Social Media outlets work best and improving on them. With having two different businesses, I find they don’t compare. G+ is good for one, but not the other. As well as, a few of the others. The constant I find? Facebook and Twitter. My fav two.

    I think too many people get frustrated because they don’t see immediate results and give up. It all takes time and a lot of practice on finding what works, right?

    Definitely passing this along and saving to Pocket for future reference.

    Have a great weekend, Ron.

    Brenda

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