Content is powerful. Content can bring you free traffic. Content can create prospects. Content can convert prospects into customers, and content can take a customer and create a life-long fan.
As long as it’s done the right way.
While many companies spend a lot of time and resources creating content, they often make these 5 mistakes.
1) They only talk about themselves. This is probably the content mistake I see most often. There are many companies out there that use their content machine to pump out information about their products, new hires, new offices, competitive advantage, etc. Now all of this certainly has its place, but a lot of it really ends up getting lost in the noise. Companies that are doing content right put themselves at the back of the line. They use their Buyer Personas to identify their prospects’ pain points and then craft their content to attract their attention – regardless of whether or not their product or service can fulfill an immediate need.
For example – a t-shirt printer may develop content that helps their prospects with tips about organizing fundraising events, or rallying volunteers for a charitable walk. This business understands that when they offer up content that addresses the pain points of their prospects (in this case, optimizing an organizations fundraising efforts) they begin to develop a relationship with that prospect – a prospect that will see them as a partner and will come to them when it’s time to order the t-shirts for their event.
2) They don’t promote. “If a writer hits Post on their Blog and no one is around to read it, does it exist?” The answer to this question for the ages is basically… “NO”. When you write your content it’s up to you to promote it. Share it on your social media channels, hit up industry thought leaders, nurture a list of reporters (they’re hungry for content too). If you want your content to work for you, you need to promote it. Things don’t “go viral” on their own.
3) They don’t target. If you’re a lawyer, don’t create content about the latest fashion trends in Miami Beach. Sure, that might be fun to write about – and a personal interest of yours – but you need to take the time to create content that will attract, convert and delight your target audience. Sure, those fashion posts may get tons of engagement, but if they aren’t bringing you clients, then save the fashion blogs for your side hustle.
4) They don’t have a plan. EVERY successful content strategy starts with a Content Plan. When you don’t have a plan it’s very easy to get sloppy with content creation – missed deadlines, poor targeting, repeating topics, etc. – all of these things can derail your efforts. Plus, having a plan helps get you over the hump of writer’s block – which we all hit eventually, even with the best content team.
5) They don’t measure and analyze results. If you don’t measure engagement (shares, likes, re-tweets, comments – pick your platform) then how will you know what to keeping doing? By identifying your goals and putting the systems in place to measure and analyze, you’ll be able to use your resources more efficiently and effectively. Once you know what works you can expand – whether it’s a topic (a popular blog post about “best dogs for families” could be expanded into an infographic, YouTube video, Cartoons and Quizzes) or a format (if you’re the master of Infographics and no matter the topic they get shared like crazy – by all means, keep it up!) – once you find out what works by analyzing your data (this is NOT about “it just feels like it works”) then it’s easier to expect similar results when you do more of what works.
So take these “warnings” to heart. Don’t just jump into the Content Jungle without a clear plan of action. Click & Tweet! With over 83,000 blog posts A DAY being generated, there’s a lot of noise – but if you take the time to do the upfront work, you will find that you can make yourself heard, and your content will become the powerful tool is should be – bringing you free traffic, targeted prospects and life-long customers.