Content marketing is the process whereby you identify and deliver information on your product and/or service to specific target audiences in an entertaining manner. It is meant to give consumers something valuable for their time spent on your website. It is not meant to be one long, drawn-out sales pitch. Instead, it is meant to make the target audience feel valued—so valued that they are getting usable information or services for just stopping by your website.
Because this term is so overused these days, many companies take the easy way out and do the minimum they can to manipulate people into visiting their websites. But if you want to use true content marketing strategies, these are some things you should avoid doing:
Avoid creating your website without a goal in mind. What is your website supposed to accomplish? What do you want your customers to think of your website? Are you interested in return visits or just interested in immediate sales? The goal is the basis for your website design, so knowing ahead of time will help.
Avoid creating a website just to create a website if you have nothing to ultimately offer the potential consumer. Presumably your website will eventually convince your site visitors that they need what you have to offer. Have something to offer.
Avoid posting content on article directories in order to get backlinks. Google updates have blacklisted many article directories; therefore, obtaining backlinks from article directories that publish almost any kind of content can prove to be harmful. Instead, try to find highly ranked blogs that are in your niche. Contact blog owners and ask if they accept guest blog posts, then write engaging blog posts or hire a professional freelance writer to do it for you. This way you will gain relevant backlinks.
Avoid blogging to sell. Potential customers can see these types of blog posts from a mile away. If you are going to blog and expect people to read it, write actual content that is valuable. Give links that your readers will be able to use. Encourage discussion.
Avoid being solely facts-based. Facts alone bore people, even people who love facts! It is human nature to want to know how those facts fit into their everyday lives. Therefore, it is important to tell a story.
Don’t use “untargeted retargeting”—random secondary targeting of website audiences through other websites. Random targeting is a waste of money, time and resources. All of your marketing, including retargeting, should be targeted.
Don’t give up on new technology because you can’t do it. It turns out that infographics, video, audio and other extras added to a website can dramatically increase your hits and your success. Instead, if you do not know how to deal with a new technology, hire someone, ask someone to show you, or take a class. Your customers will be more at ease if they know you can move with the times and new customers will be drawn to your site.
Avoid only posting and marketing content on your website or blog. Involve other social marketing platforms as well, such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and similar sites. Posting content on these platforms will bring organic traffic and, naturally, more potential customers. Make sure to have share buttons under each of your posts so your readers and visitors can easily spread them virally.
Avoid overusing SEO. Optimizing your content for search engines is important for attracting the right kind of audience. However, overusing keywords in your content and over-optimizing will prove harmful to both search engine marketing and content marketing, as your readers can tell the difference between well-written and engaging content and content written solely for the search engines.
Avoid reusing published content. Thinking you’ll attract a wider audience with content written by someone else, or content you have already published yourself, will only make you look bad. Each of your posts needs to be original, fresh and enticing.
The Bottom Line
Content marketing strategies are dynamic, changing over time, because technology and needs change over time. It is very important, for your sake and for the sake of your customers, that you keep up with and adapt to the changes. Blog posting is passé. People feel they have too much to read already, so unless you are succinct in what you say and offer great content, they will not even bother with your blog. Find other, newer ways to capture the attention of your audience.