Spring is a great time to clean out those content marketing mistakes that are holding you back from reaching your target audience (and growing your business). The digital content ecosystem will likely become more crowded as we head into the summer months (in the Northern Hemisphere). Leisure months mean more time on social media channels, translating into “let’s publish lots of content.”
But, if you don’t have a content strategy, your brand will never reach your consumers.
What are the most common content marketing mistakes?
- No content strategy
- No target audience
- Publishing too much content
- Not testing and measuring performance
- Relying on staff who lack digital marketing skills
- Placing unrealistic deadlines on your content marketing team
- Poor design quality
- No company policies regarding content creation and posting
Let’s dive deeper into these common content marketing mistakes.
#1 No Content Strategy
The number one content marketing mistake is not having a strategy. Your content strategy is like the foundation and pillars of a building. Whatever you build will collapse if you don’t first lay a foundation and then support posts. Of course, you could start publishing content across all the social channels, but it will be a hit-and-miss endeavor. You could fail to reach your target audience and will have wasted considerable time and money.
Your content strategy begins with establishing your marketing goals. However, before you can write your marketing goals, you need to have business goals. Business goals should drive every aspect of your branding strategy.
With your business goals in mind, define what you want to accomplish with your content marketing campaign. For instance, the most typical content marketing goals are:
- Brand awareness
- Drive traffic to your website
- Bring customers to your physical store
- Sell products or services
- Launch a new product or service
- Attract partners, investors, or influencers
- Build brand ambassadors
- Create a brand community
In addition to providing direction for your content marketing efforts, your strategy also provides you with measurable goals. If you’re not meeting your marketing goals, then you’ll know where you need to pivot and how.
#2 No Target Audience
Following closely behind not having a content marketing strategy is not identifying your target audience. There’s a lot of digital information on the internet today. And there are potentially tens of thousands of consumers who might be interested in your products or services. The most recent statistics say there are more than 1 billion active users across the top seven social media channels. So, you want to take advantage of this treasure of potential buyers.
But, without first identifying your target audience, you won’t be able to create content that resonates with them. Nor will you know which social media channels are more likely to bring you the results you want.
For example, is your target audience on
Why is this important?
Suppose your target audience is primarily families, for instance. In that case, you’ll most likely want to concentrate your content marketing efforts on Facebook, Instagram, and maybe Pinterest. On the other hand, if your consumers are Gen Zers, you’ll want to skip Facebook and focus on TikTok and YouTube. Finally, if you’re selling to executives, you might want to focus on LinkedIn, and this is true whether you’re B2C or B2B.
If you publish engaging, valuable, informative content on the wrong social media channels, you might improve brand awareness, but you won’t increase sales.
And remember, the number of followers is not your end goal—you want customers.
Beyond understanding the demographics, such as age, location, gender, and income level, you also want to know your consumers’ pain points.
- What are their needs, concerns, interests, worries?
- What types of content do they find engaging, and what turns them off?
Before you launch your content marketing campaign, get to know your audience.
#3 Publishing Too Much Content
Content marketing includes many types of digital assets.
- Social media posts
- Paid ads (PPC)
Depending on your content marketing goals and your target audience, you’ll probably publish a few different types of content.
One of the advantages of today’s digital world is that you can access your consumers through the internet. However, at the same time, consumers report that they feel overwhelmed by the amount of digital content on the internet. Therefore, it’s important not to make the content marketing mistake of spamming your consumers.
Too much content will result in a loss of trust. As a result, you’ll accomplish the opposite of what you want to do and fail to meet your content marketing objective.
#4 Not Testing And Measuring Performance
Failing to test and measure is one of the most costly content marketing mistakes. At the very least, you want to know:
- Is the type of content you’re posting resonating with your target audience?
- Is your target audience well-defined?
- Are your consumers hanging out on the digital channels you’ve selected?
- Are you posting at the correct times and days?
- Are people clicking on your links?
- Is your content being shared?
If your budget is limited, you can easily access this data by utilizing the analytics platform built into each social media channel you use. In addition, Google Analytics also provides you with a comprehensive overview of your website performance and which digital channels are driving visitors to your site.
Hootsuite, Sprout Social, HubSpot, and BuzzSumo are analytics tools to help you better target your content marketing campaigns. Each one offers a range of subscription prices.
#5 Relying On Staff Who Lack Digital Marketing Skills
There are pros and cons to keeping your content marketing in-house or hiring a digital marketing agency.
Marketing specialists keep their finger on the pulse of digital trends, which are constantly shifting. They also have a realistic sense of your industry, competition, and consumer demand.
On the other hand, consultants or freelance digital marketers are not privy to internal discussions that could impact the direction your content marketing should take. Therefore, you’ll need to put in the effort to ensure there is a seamless partnership between your in-house staff and outside marketers.
One of the content marketing mistakes many small businesses make is to assign content marketing to a random person on staff who lacks the skills to execute a marketing campaign. So if you decide to keep your digital marketing in-house, you’ll want to be sure that you place it into the hands of skilled staff.
#6 Placing Unrealistic Deadlines On Your Content Marketing Team
There are many stages in a successful content marketing campaign, from setting goals to creating and testing content types and styles to analyzing outcomes.
Creating a monthly content calendar helps you or your team focus on the themes and objectives for each month.
However, there is still quite a bit of work involved, and it can take time to see the results you want. You need to set realistic objectives and deadlines for your content marketing team to avoid burnout or the mass production of content that doesn’t engage your consumer audience.
#7 Poor Design Quality
There’s no shortcut to content design—one size does not fit all. Your consumers visit each social channel for a unique experience. One type or format of content may work on Facebook but fall flat on Twitter. Likewise, what works on TikTok won’t work on LinkedIn.
An additional content marketing mistake is poor design quality. For example, you might read that it’s good to have white space, so you fill your social media post with many white areas. Content like this will not engage with your audience.
You might have designed an engaging video social media post that looks great on a tablet or desktop but doesn’t work on a mobile device. Or your great graphics are cut-off because you ignored the dimension restrictions of the social channel.
In addition, your posts might have typos or poor grammar, which doesn’t lend credibility to your professionalism. If you market globally and decide to publish for the local market, ensure that your translations are correct.
Take advantage of social media creation apps such as Canva to make your designs stand out and meet the requirements of social media channels.
#8 No Company Policies Regarding Content Creation And Posting
Last on our list of content marketing mistakes to kick out with your spring cleaning is ensuring that you have content creation and posting policies. This is particularly critical if you’re working with outside agencies or freelancers.
- What are your company ethics?
- Are there social channels you prefer to avoid?
- What kinds of images or videos might turn off your existing customers?
- Are there holidays or other occasions when you want to be offline?
- Who has the authority to post content?
- Who is responsible for consumer feedback, negative comments, or posts that present a PR disaster?
A final thought is that you should also have a policy regarding the type of content your team posts on their feeds. Your brand’s reputation is impacted by your social media posts and your team’s.
Content marketing mistakes can quickly cost you time and money. But, these common mistakes are easily repaired. The digital space is highly competitive. There are billions of users and trillions of content crossing digital channels every minute. So, you need a content strategy and a defined audience to stand out from the competition and ensure that your brand reaches your consumers.
Be careful not to overpublish and be sure that what goes out is informative, engaging, accurate, and conforms to the social channel you’re using.