Five common content marketing mistakes

Do you know your audience? You would probably answer that with a YES. But I ask again, do you really know your audience? Do you know their behaviours, spending habits, interests and media consumption?

Marketers need to answer these questions in greater detail than even before. If you can’t provide deep analysis on your audience and customers then you are in real trouble.

From time to time I hear marketers comment that content marketing doesn’t work. They will say, “We tried it once but we didn’t get any results.” A decision is then made not to invest in content marketing and to continue with their traditional marketing approaches, which I find amazing and think, “Well good luck with that.”

However, when I dig deeper into why it didn’t work I find these common mistakes that are made:

1. Lack a clear understanding of your audience

Don’t try to reach as many people as you can without looking at a clearly defined audience and creating very specific and targeted content based on the audience need.

Beth Comstock, chief marketing officer of GE, summed this up perfectly: “Sometimes you might want to connect with 4 million people. But sometimes maybe you really only want 4000… or 400. It’s about getting it right with the right audience.”

2. Ill-defined user journeys

You may have audience profiles, but have you mapped out their user journey? A user journey goes beyond someone visiting your website and contacting you or purchasing.

You need to map out the information and research they are conducting before they even consider your product or brand. Google refers to this as the Zero Moment of Truth, or simply ZMOT. This allows you to create relevant content during the discovery phase. You also need to map out the experience after they have become a customer. Understanding this will help you to build trust and credibility with your customers so you can turn them into brand advocates.

3. Weak content amplification

You invest and create content, then sit back and magically hope your audience will come to you. You then see the lack of traffic to your content and assume content marketing doesn’t work. This can be all too common.

For every piece of content you create you need to plan out how it will be amplified and ensure the content is repurposed for the channels it is to be amplified to. This can be difficult especially for large organisations that have several marketing divisions, as you need to work closely with each of them to make sure your content is amplified correctly.

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