Avoid these five mistakes to ensure your content sends the right message next year.
Some mistakes lead directly to painful consequences — eat a slice of boiling hot pizza and your tongue is burned. Sometimes, though, we don’t notice our mistakes nor do we experience the consequences. Unlike consuming a slice of hot pizza, content marketing mistakes can be left online for all to see. Think of 2015 as a fresh, new start for your content marketing strategy, leaving 2014’s mistakes behind.
1. Keyword Stuffing
Good content captures attention and engages your readers, moving them to share, comment and convert. Content that is stuffed with keywords doesn’t read naturally – plus, readers can always tell it’s for Google’s eyes. After all, ranking number one is meaningless if readers leave your site within seconds. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep SEO in mind when creating content for content marketing, it means you need to create quality and relevant content that the reader will see as valuable.
Takeaway: Keywords are like water; a little is great, but too much and your readers risk drowning. Sprinkle two or three uses per keyword per post. Make sure your keywords sound natural, use tall terms and spend time researching the proper keywords.
2. Neglecting the Editing Process
A personal blog can be forgiven for grammar and punctuation mistakes, but businesses seeking to create a professional image won’t always find that forgiveness. One way to ensure your content is free of grammar mistakes and spelling errors is by establishing a concrete editing process. It’s easy for the human eye to glance over an error which is why a second set of eyes is always helpful. If you don’t have a copy editor in-house, ask a co-worker. Another helpful editing tip is to read your article backwards.
Takeaway: Bad grammar and spelling errors can be prevented. Make sure each piece of content goes through an editing process before publishing.
3. Creating Content Your Audience Doesn’t Care About
Generic content that your audience isn’t excited to consume doesn’t benefit either party involved. Creating a buyer persona will help you focus your content to posts your readers appreciate. A buyer persona is essentially a definition of your ideal customer, which includes needs, wants, income and other demographic information. You can have multiple buyer personas, but each piece of content should speak to one of them.
Takeaway: Buyer personas help you learn essential details about your customer. Check out our guide to creating buyer personas to get started.
4. Omitting a Call-to-Action
When your reader reaches the end of your content, remember to include a call-to-action (CTA). A few examples are:
• Click here to download our report
• Subscribe to our email newsletter
• Share or comment
Every piece of content needs one. You’re doing your content a great disservice if you aren’t including one.
Takeaway: Users need direction. Don’t leave them hanging; always try and keep them engaged.
5. Selling at Every Turn
You run a business. You need content that helps you make money, but it should also solve a problem for your potential customer. Readers will tune you out if you attempt too many overt sales pitches. There’s nothing wrong with selling, but give your readers a reason to read first. It also shouldn’t be the main driver of every piece of content you publish.
Takeaway: Readers know you need to sell products to continue providing good content. But they might be turned off if you make a sales pitch before they’re ready.
It’s easy to continue business-as usual, but taking a break to question your methods is incredibly important. Keep these mistakes in mind when you’re outlining your 2015 strategy.
What mistakes do you think marketers were guilty of this year that should be left in 2014? Share your thoughts with us below.