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Content Marketing Dos And Don'ts

Ten content marketing mistakes to avoid

When it’s done well, content marketing can be one of the most effective ways to establish your brand and nurture lasting relationships with your customers.


When it’s done badly, you’ll have wasted time and money producing content that no one wants to read or share.


There are many common traps that businesses fall into when starting out in content marketing. Find out how you can avoid them with our guide to content marketing dos and don’ts.


1. Don’t make it all about you

The most common content marketing mistake is making your content too self-promotional. Whether it’s boasting about your achievements or relentlessly plugging your new product, self-serving content turns off readers and can even damage your existing customer relationships.


Quality content answers your users’ questions and helps to solve their problems. Sometimes this might involve your new product launch, but your customers’ needs should be the focus of the conversation, not yours.


2. Don’t guess what your audience wants

What are your customers’ needs? Assuming that you have the answer before you even know the question won’t get you very far if no one is searching for what you’re offering.


There’s no excuse for not knowing what your site visitors are looking for when you have the tools to tell you precisely that. Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner are great ways to find out what search terms are currently trending, and you can find out what search queries are bringing people to your site through your CMS.


3. Don’t ignore analytics

Delving deeper into what brings people to your site can offer invaluable insights into the type of content that’s most likely to engage your readers are convert them into leads and sales. Analytics is about more than counting page views, and by finding out what content is driving traffic to your site and what’s being shared on social media, you can refine your content marketing strategy.


4. Don’t be boring

If you only think about your content as a sales tool, you’re never going to resonate with customers. Content should be relevant to your target audience, covering topics they are interested in and actually want to read about. If you can keep on top of the latest developments in your field, you could even become a trusted source for news.


5. Don’t just rely on text and images

Business blogging is a powerful tool, but you shouldn’t limit your story to words and pictures. Facebook recently announced that more than 500 million users watch videos every day on that platform alone, so if your short blog post would work better as a video, it could enjoy more views and shares that way.


A step-by-step guide might be ideally suited to a slide presentation, while an in-depth discussion could be a better fit for a podcast. You can get more value out of existing content by retooling it for different media.


6. Don’t stuff keywords

When it comes to writing your content, don’t make the mistake of stuffing it with keywords to improve your search ranking. Google and other search engines have long been wise to this practice, and a high proportion of repetitive keywords is more likely to see your site penalised rather than benefit.


Keywords are still important for helping users find your content, as long as they are used sparingly for the greatest effect. For advice on how to choose keywords, see our content strategies for different search queries.


7. Don’t underestimate titles

The headline is the first thing people see when they look at your content. If it fails to grab their attention, it will also be the last. You should have an idea of what the title will be before you start writing a piece of content, and you should spend as long as you need tweaking it afterwards to make sure it’s just right.


8. Don’t forget calls to action

You don’t want your buyers’ journey to end at the first step. Including a call to action (CTA) encourages interested customers to read more and advance towards your goal, whether that’s making a purchase, giving your staff a call or signing up to your newsletter.


9. Don’t be irregular

Regular updates to your business blog can lead to a significant increase in traffic and leads, and losing that momentum will cost you. At the minimum, you should aim to publish fresh content at least once a month, but the more often you’re able to provide, the better. Read more about how often you should publish blog posts.


10. Don’t forget to share

You might be publishing impressive content on a regular basis, but if you don’t actively promote this content, it won’t reach its potential audience. On the other hand, over-saturation by sharing too broadly can also dilute the impact of your content, so it’s important to find out which social platforms are the best fit to make the most of your quality content.


If you’re still sceptical about the benefits of content marketing for your business, check out these five reasons to start a business blog.

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