Your content marketing strategy is most likely time-consuming. Blogs can take hours to write, and the rewards of performance seem to come at a snail's pace. Nevertheless, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) reports that 83 percent of B2B marketers have a content strategy in place; it's clearly important regardless of the brand.
While content marketing does take time, it's normal to worry that your efforts aren't paying off. In the meantime, check to see if your business is making any of these four common mistakes.
1. Not Creating "Unusual" Content
If you want to attract a following, your content needs to leap off the page to truly speak to it. Make sure you're setting yourself up as the expert in your field with interesting and imaginative content. What can you offer that no one else can?
The grandfather of good content practice, as reported by CNN Money, was set by Google in 2005 and is an industry staple today. That's the 70/20/10 ratio — 70 percent core content (which is less time-consuming to produce), 20 percent adjacent content and 10 percent innovative content. Strive to cover these bases with your content, but be sure to make room for differentiation along the way.
2. Not Focusing on Your Customers
Are you producing content that meets your readers where they are and addresses their concerns? Don't just pitch your product directly; pitch it as a solution to their problems. Include a call-to-action that prompts the right response. This ensures that each blog you create has a clear (and ultimately lucrative) purpose. And once you've proven yourself to be a helpful source to your reader, be consistent. If you stop producing compelling content, you stop being that go-to source.
CMI reports that Coca Cola is making the creation of compelling content its goal for 2020. Take a page from its playbook: Don't just publish content — make sure that content engages with your audience.
3. Taking Shortcuts
You need to optimize your content for search, of course, but don't fall into the trap of writing exclusively to perform well on each engine. Updating your content on a regular basis can make it attractive to Web spiders — which "crawl" your content and rank it accordingly — but it's better to focus on a wide array of phrases than create rushed content for the sake of fresh material.
Keyword-stuffing and arbitrary link-building is just as hazardous; believe it or not, they actually annoy Google algorithms, and often don't fool your audience either. Besides, genuine brand mentions and a responsive user experience (UX) for mobile benefit you more in the long run.
4. Not Measuring Your Results
With better metrics now available to measure ROI from your content marketing strategy, brand journalism is better positioned than ever to deliver sustainable results. Measuring your bounce rate along with social shares, in particular, can help you to identify issues of relevance and navigation. Engagement depends on both when building a following that leads to conversions over time.
Not every brand has the same readership, and for this reason, there's no single formula to ensure you can grow it. By creating authentic content that doesn't just perform, but resonates, you'll set yourself up for a host of positive metrics entering the next quarter.