Much like an onion, content marketing has many layers.

Each layer contributes to why content marketing adds such a great flavor to any industry it meets. It’s versatile, flexible, and applicable to small and large businesses alike. Content marketing is also an amazing tool when successfully executed and maintained. However, because there are multiple aspects to creating, planning, and promoting content, marketers can easily become distracted and lose sight of their unique business goals and strategies. Missteps made throughout the process can seriously damage your brand in the long run. To help your business on its path to success, here are some ways to overcome 10 of the most common content marketing mistakes businesses make.

1: Exceed Your Own Standards

Pressures, deadlines and time constraints contribute to a common mistake many businesses make: settling. Settling can take place in many shapes and forms. There’s settling for less interesting content, wanting to revise copy but instead leaving it as is, using cheats found on the internet to drive traffic, etc. Don’t settle for content that doesn’t meet or exceed your personal business standards, even when put under pressure!

2: Set Short- and Long-Term Goals

Without a doubt, your content is for your audience.

Your content strategy is for your team.

A huge part of planning ahead is setting short- and long-term goals. Where do you want to be at the end of each month? Where do you want to be at the end of the year? Sometimes marketers get so wrapped up in serving an audience that they forget to service themselves first. Putting these goals in place early on gives your team something to work towards as they incrementally reach the bigger picture.

3: Do the Research

You want your team to become experts in your field. In order for that to happen, you must inform them and yourself of the facts. The downfall of many businesses comes when they don’t do their research and instead rely on weak sources. Double-check where your facts are coming from and who is supporting that data first.

Uncover what other authorities in your industry are discussing. What are their opinions? How are they portraying them? Look at their content marketing examples and identify why they’re making those statements. What statistics are they using? Where are the figures that support their argument? Knowledge is power, and research makes your content marketing plan stronger.

4: Create Content for a Purpose

One of the most common mistakes creators make with content is not having a purpose behind it. Content should not only relate to current content marketing trends in 2017, it should be informative and educational as well. Neil Patel, co-founder of KISSmetrics, suggests the skyscraper technique: “Find great existing content and make it better.” By doing this, you can take a peek at what the leaders in your niche are writing about and then add new useful ideas and insights to the conversation!

5: Use Sustainable Content

Always think about your content’s shelf life. Will users be able to look at your content in 5 months and still find it helpful? A year? Two years? Make predictions based on facts and give users the foresight they’re looking for. Your content shouldn’t be the latest fashion trend that goes out after a couple of months, think of your content as your brand’s style that will transcend years.

6: Know Your Audience

This may seem obvious and you may be questioning why this is here in the first place, but it’s true! One of the many mistakes marketers make is not knowing their audience. This goes hand in hand with research. Like Nike, just do it. Take the time to understand what your audience is looking for and what they’re attracted to. You can do this is through influencers. John Hall of Forbes says, “identification of natural influencers is the foundation.” Who is your audience naturally attracted to? Where are they spending the majority of their time and why? One of the best ways to set your brand up for success is to understand whom you’re speaking to.


7: Optimize! Optimize! Optimize!

Believe it or not, there are still websites out there inaccessible on mobile devices. Don’t let your business fall in this category. This is a mistake that can hinder your content marketing success because if people can’t get to your content, how can they read it? The number of mobile users exceeds those of desktop users globally. If your content is not optimized for mobile, your business could be missing out on hundreds, maybe even thousands, of opportunities to connect with your target audience.
Advertising with Virtual Reality

8: Combine Content with an SEO Strategy

SEO and your content marketing plan are two parts of a whole and should support each other. Another mistake marketers commonly make is to treat them as separate entities. KISSmetrics put it best when they said that these two “overlap, cohere, blend.” One of the biggest mistakes your business can make is to think of these two as Romeo and Juliet, because if you do, you run the risk of a tragic ending as well.

9: Say Hi on Social Media

Don’t think that what you publish on your blog will yield the same attention on social! You want your content to be native to the platform. Create a look that suites the social scene you’ve selected and adapt to the rules of the game. You can even consider looking into digital design services. On top of visuals, you must interact and engage! 68% of Instagram users engage with brands regularly. You want to show you audience appreciation and consideration on these platforms because that’s what social media is about. So say hi!

Social Media

10: Include Visual Content

Corey Wainwright of Hubspot notes that, “Visual content plays a big role in the success of a content marketing strategy.” This is because 40% of people respond better to visual content than written text. A mistake that your business could be making without even realizing it is not including an image every now and then. Your writing could be stellar but help users digest the information better with informative pictures!

Don’t Hinder Your Marketing Success

Follow these tips and you’ll be well prepared against some of the common mistakes marketers tend to make. Actually, check out this blog post discussing overarching digital marketing trends of 2017 for added support. As a quick reminder of what we covered today, here are the main points:

  1. Exceed Your Own Standards
  2. Set Short- and Long-Term Goals
  3. Do the Research
  4. Create Content for a Purpose
  5. Use Sustainable Content
  6. Know Your Audience
  7. Optimize! Optimize! Optimize!
  8. Combine Content with an SEO Strategy
  9. Say Hi on Social Media
  10. Include Visual Content