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Hackernoon logo5 Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Content Marketing Campaign by@daniela-mcvicker

5 Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Content Marketing Campaign

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@daniela-mcvickerDaniela McVicker

Daniela McVicker is an experienced digital marketer and freelance writer.

Content marketing works. It’s much more effective than paid search and generates 3x times more leads compared to outbound marketing while costing 62 percent less.

That’s why so many online businesses use this strategy to reach their marketing goals and increase revenues while building their online presence.

However, making it work is not easy. Some businesses fail because of silly mistakes such as misconceptions about what content marketing really is and isn’t. For example, they think of content marketing as something that doesn’t require a lot of investments and ultimately fail because of boring, mediocre content.

Perhaps,this is one of the many reasons why only 6 percent of B2B marketers rate their organization’s use of content marketing as “very effective,” according to a recent research by Content Marketing Institute.

Source: B2B Content Marketing 2016: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America

Indeed, there are many known mistakes that could seriously undermine the effectiveness of a content marketing campaign.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at the most dangerous ones so you know how to avoid them and make sure that your content lives up to its potential.

Mistake #1: Failure to Produce Evergreen Content

Do you use evergreen content in your content marketing campaigns? If you just thought to yourself “What the heck is evergreen content?”, then you definitely should read this section. And even if you do know what it is, failing to take advantage of this effective content type is simply unforgivable.

First and foremost, evergreen content is a type of content that doesn’t lose its value over a long period of time.

A simple example of such a content would be an article titled “How to Lose Weight.” People want to lose weight in 2018 and will want to do the same many years later, therefore, this article will be relevant for users for years to come.

By failing to create such content, you’re losing an excellent opportunity to enhance your online presence.

For example, BuzzSumo recently analyzed 10 million articles shared on LinkedIn and found that “How to” was the most popular headline starting phase. As you can see in the image below, it greatly outperformed other phrases.

Source: How to Write Engaging B2B Headlines: Analysis of 10 Million Articles Shared on LinkedIn by BuzzSumo

So, to take advantage of evergreen content, follow these essential tips:

  • Most of evergreen content articles are “How-to” articles, so write for beginners
  • Be an expert. This means writing long-form content - 2,000+ word articles – to demonstrate your expertise by explaining a topic in detail
  • Use a lot of evidence. Experts don’t assume, they know information for a fact and can support their statements
  • Produce visual evergreen content such as infographics because people often prefer to consume visuals than written text.

Online businesses often use tools to increase the quality of their content, which is a good idea considering a long checklist of content goals. For example, the list of some of the best tools includes Canva (creation of visuals such as infographics to use in the content), Wolfram Alpha (search for evidence in a variety of subjects), and Trustmypaper (proofreading, idea flow, article structure advice etc.).

Mistake #2: Lacking a Documented Content Marketing Strategy

Most marketing professionals understand that having a documented marketing strategy is important but they still fail to achieve this goal. According to the aforementioned research by Content Marketing Institute, only 38 percent of B2C marketers have their strategy documented.

There could be many reasons why businesses don’t make their content marketing strategy documented:

  • Lack of a distinct marketing department that would implement the strategy
  • Developing a strategic approach to content marketing is not a priority
  • Lack of resources and time.

The facts, however, demonstrate that doing so could lead to negative consequences for your marketing. For example, Content Marketing Institute found that 62 percent of the most successful content marketers had a documented strategy vs. 16 percent of the least successful.

Mistake #3: Missing the Sweet Spot with Content

In order for your content to be popular, you have to hit that “sweet spot” where your content’s value and your readers’ interests and issues overlap. If you fail at doing that, your content will boring and mediocre.

Remember: producing such content is an excellent way to ruin your content marketing campaign, so doing so is not an option. If you don’t have a lot of experience with creating engaging and interesting content, that’s okay, because research and effort could do wonders here.

Here are some tips on producing great, engaging content for you to get started:

  • Master the headline to “hook” the attention of viewers and persuade them to read your content
  • Select only those topics that your target audience can find interesting or entertaining
  • Don’t be a salesperson. People are so tired with in-your-face-advertising, they find such content tiresome and annoying
  • Make your written content media-rich by including visuals because many readers find them useful to understand instructions and recommendations in how-to articles and other content types.

To increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your content production and audience engagement effort, the use of online tools is highly recommended. For example, to create appealing and enticing headlines, you could use Portent’s Content Idea Generator and Headline Analyzer from CoSchedule.

Tools like these automate repetitive tasks as well as some creative tasks, so you may find them very useful for improving your content production speed and quality.

Mistake #4: Not Producing Enough Content

How often do you publish new content on your blog or social media? Research has shown that bloggers and businesses that post a certain number of posts report better results than others, so checking out the best practices is certainly a must.

According to Lindsay Kolowich, a Hubspot contributor, businesses that post 16+ blog posts per day receive almost 3.5x more leads than businesses publishing 0-4 posts monthly.

Source: How Often Should You (or Your Company) Blog? by HubSpot

So does it mean that the more content you produce, the better?

Well, it seems that way. The 4th Annual Blogger Survey supports this. Accordingly, the research found the connection between publishing frequency and bloggers who reported “strong results.” For example, as you can see in the image below, 66.7 percent of bloggers who posted more than daily succeeded to generate “strong results.”

On the other hand, only 13.4 percent of those who posted less than monthly could say the same.

Source: How has Blogging Changed? 5 Years of Blogging Statistics, Data and Trends by Orbit Media Studios

So, lack of content could easily be the reason why your content marketing campaign may fail. The answer to this problem is simple: create more content. Of course, this requires a lot of time and resources, but it’s something you have to do to outperform your competition.

If you feel that your existing content production workforce and resources are insufficient to create enough content and proofread it, consider outsourcing your writing tasks (don't forget to check company's ratings before this) and use tools like Hemingway Editor to decrease editing time.

Mistake #5: You’re Not Tracking Results

Many online businesses make a mistake by failing to measure the performance of content they put out. So, they create and publish content just for the sake of it, which means they have no idea whether their campaigns are successful.

Tracking results is an absolute must because it shows you what content performs great and what needs some improvement. So, by tracking this, you have a way to constantly improve your campaigns.

There are many tools for tracking results of content marketing, with good old Google Analytics being one of the most popular and effective. Among the most useful metrics tracked by this tool are:

  • Users: this metric shows the total number of unique visitors to specific pages on your business’s website
  • Page Views: this metric keeps track of the total number of times a specific page on your business’s website is visited
  • Unique Page Views: this metric collects and combines page views by one specific user during one website visit so you can analyze their behavior.

Conclusion

Evidently, there are many mistakes that could easily undermine the effectiveness of your content marketing campaign. However, as you can see, all the mistakes we’ve reviewed in this article are fixable thanks to proper knowledge. Hopefully, the tips you’ve read here are helpful to you to avoid making these serious mistakes and improve the performance of your content marketing campaign.

About the author: Daniela McVicker is an experienced digital marketer. She's interested in everything related to SEO, social media, and blogging. Daniela works with online companies like Top Writers Review and local businesses to help them build long-term relations with the audience.

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