Content marketing is all the rage, but what’s the point? If you are leveraging content marketing to make actual sales, avoid these common pitfalls:
1) Adding to the Noise
This is the mistake most beginners make. They run down the checklist: 3 unique blogs a week, twitter feed, facebook page, check. With no plan of action, editorial calendar or driving force you are not doing anything of value. If your goal is traffic alone this is a great plan. If you want someone to actually buy any of your wares, keep reading.
2) Ignoring your Audience
Remember this very important fact: traffic does not equal leads. If your content only provides information for peers within your industry, those peers are the only ones listening. And as peers, by definition they aren’t buying. They can hold you in high esteem, maybe check you out at the next convention, but they aren’t buying your product. Focus your content on people that actually buy not read.
3) Showcasing your Blog, not your Business
It’s true that everybody needs a blog. Everybody needs that consistently updated content funnel on their site for Google’s sake. It also shows “signs of life” to potential clients. BUT, don’t limit yourself to written blog posts. If you sell cabinets, insert videos of your cabinets in your blog. Have a slideshare about cabinet making. Why does Content Equal Money only showcase written blog posts? Because we sell written blog posts. Don’t let Google dictate how you present your business. Besides, nowadays the search crawlers love video/slideshares, etc just as much (if not more) than written content anyway. You just need to know how to leverage the SEO of these formats.
4) DIY Growing Pains
Content generation is a growing industry. Major corporations are pouring money more and more money into custom content. Check out this recent study from March this year where CMOs (Chief Marketing Officers) explain that they are replacing traditional advertising with custom content at an alarming rate. Content marketing is becoming a driving force of the US economy. Do you have the time to keep up with the latest techniques? If nothing else content writing is a skill. Sure, it looks easy but it is still a skill that has to be mastered. It doesn’t take a Phd to fix a car, but you want to use a mechanic that knows what they are doing. Do yourself a favor and outsource your content to professionals.
It constantly amazes me how people treat education marketing like a well kept secret. Your audience is smarter than you think. They are no longer endeared to you when you give them a pdf or a list of white papers. The biggest mistake people still make is underestimating their potential clients. Ten years ago you could get 50k email addresses for a decent white paper. Those days are long over. Even the most limited internet user has a junk email for sign up pages. Stop trying to trick people and start showcasing your value in an honest way. Pinpoint your content for the right people, at the right stage of the buying process. Then continue to over deliver throughout their experience with your company. Anything less comes across as rude.
Content marketing is a very exciting and fresh way to bring in new clients, just be sure that you aren’t leveraging outdated tactics. Has this post help shed the light on something you can do differently from now on? If so I would love to hear about it. Feel free to leave a comment here or DM me @Content_Money.
This post was written by Amie Marse, founder of ContentEqualsMoney.com.
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