Five common pitfalls in content marketing

With more and more companies investing in content marketing, it might be tempting to jump on the bandwagon without considering all of the aspects. If you start your planning before taking any actions, however, you will be able to avoid the five

common pitfalls below and give your content marketing programme the best possible chance of success.

1. A lack of strategy

Not having a long-term strategy at the onset may well result in wasted effort later on. For example, how do you envisage content marketing fitting in with your larger marketing strategy? What are the goals you expect to achieve, and how will you evaluate the success of your efforts? Documenting these from the start will form a sound basis for the later stages.

It’s also important to establish the resources you need for your content marketing programme. For example, if you plan to publish a tailored news feed, do you have talented writers in house already? If not, will you recruit new staff, hire freelancers, or outsource content generation to a news writing service?

2. Trying to sell

It may be tempting to use content marketing as a direct form of promotion for your products or services, but content marketing is more about attracting an audience with valuable content. In other words, you’re playing the “long game” rather than chasing a quick score. You’ll have other opportunities to convert customers, but your provided content should meet its purpose in a relatively pure manner. Even a very short sales pitch can be off-putting to an audience.

3. Focusing on quantity rather than quality

Publishing a decent amount of content is certainly needed, but an abundance of substandard content will only harm your efforts in the long term. It takes time and resources to produce engaging and polished content, so don’t be tempted to published hastily written texts or sloppy graphics. You need to offer your readers something of tangible value.

All written content should be proofread to correct spelling and grammatical errors, because such errors can undermine your credibility. When using content agencies, such as professional news writing services, this will generally not be a problem because most employ editors to check the work of writers.

4. Not publishing content regularly

Many companies make the mistake of starting a blog or website news feed without committing the resources needed to frequently update it. If you write your own content in house, updating the company news feed may be put off when more pressing matters arise. Outsourcing to a freelancer or content generation service removes this obligation from your staff and assures a regular flow of content.

5. Looking for immediate results

Content marketing has clear potential benefits, but expecting short-term gains is certain to lead to disappointment. Like most things that are worthwhile, content marketing requires time and patience to build up momentum. This means having the fortitude to persevere with your efforts, even if you don’t see any immediate benefits. Stick to the strategic aims you wrote down on paper in step 1 and continue to provide your audience with interesting content.

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