Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

By Patrice Meadows — Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 at 11:00am
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Content shock, the concept of content production exceeding consumption, is a thing for a reason. 
Content Marketing, the discipline, and phrase gained popularity in the early 2000s as a way to characterize some marketing activities online. It is used, and overused, to explain virtually everything involving the use of words, images, and/or video to drive business on the web. As a result, so much of what people call “content marketing” is not only not content marketing, it’s not even good content (or good marketing for that matter).

 Officially, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach that uses valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain audiences and drive profits. Done well, it provides useful information to help people make better purchase decisions. Done...not well, it is thinly veiled sales material that repels prospects. Although most companies strive for good content, what many distribute is pretty bad.

 To help ensure that your content is good (stellar even), avoid these common content marketing mistakes.

  1. Labeling any and all content, content marketing: The presence of a blog or downloadable material, doesn’t automatically qualify as content marketing. Blatantly promotional material, no matter what form it takes, does not count as content marketing. Content marketing is about educating, entertaining or otherwise bringing value to your audience--not yourself.
  2. Prioritizing content creation over strategy development/alignment: Although consistency is important, strategy is critical. Cranking out content with little consideration for its potential impact is almost certain to end in failure. By definition, content marketing begins with strategy and a firm understanding of audience, value, and outcomes. Any effort that operates absent of these principles is likely to result in waste.
  3. Generating ‘Me Too’ Material: In lieu of adding your unique perspective to topics, you rehash (or retweet) someone else’s original material. While this is a tried and true method for getting clicks, likes, and page views, this does little for your audience. Sure, some may enjoy reading whatever Buzz Sumo says is getting engagement in your industry, but wouldn’t they also appreciate some context?

 Before your share or recreate material, ask yourself:

  • Why does this piece matter?
  • How will it help my audience?
  • Why should they stop what they’re doing and engage?

Only you know your audience. Use that knowledge to deliver value. There’s nothing wrong with commenting on trends or relevant current events, but you must do so in a way that resonates with your audience. Save your audience the effort associated with finding meaning information and simply highlight it for them.

How do you and your content team create killer content, 10x content, or just regular content that delivers value? Share your strategies and stories for success below or tweet us @hannon_hill #ContentMarketing

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