How to Fix These 6 Common Content Marketing Mistakes (Part 2)

By Kat Liendgens — Thursday, February 12th, 2015 at 9:00am
How to Fix These 6 Common Content Marketing Mistakes - Part 2

Check out Part 1 of this blog to learn the first 3 common content marketing mistakes.

#4 - Failing Too Slowly

One of the most critical mistakes you can make with your content marketing is not failing fast enough. This may sound strange, since ideally, you execute your strategy and everything goes according to plan, but the truth is that it likely won’t. Your goal is to progressively become better at your craft and more efficient in your efforts with every iteration. But if you don’t take chances and blindly follow a plan, you’re not setting yourself up for success. Oftentimes, marketers fear that by changing course frequently, they may be looked upon as incompetent by certain stakeholders, so they shy away from frequently checking their data to see if the current strategy is on a trajectory to success.

Remedies:
  • As an agile marketer, you want to know as quickly as possible whether you’re on the right track, or whether you’re chasing down a rabbit hole. Therefore, revisit your benchmarks and milestones on a regular basis, and discuss as a team what you should continue to do and what you should stop doing.
  • Educate your stakeholders on the concept of agile marketing and explain its benefits.
  • Use analytics data to test different hypotheses.
  • Experiment frequently (in your social posts and callouts) in order to A/B test and obtain actionable data with regard to what works and what doesn’t.

#5 - Tooting Your Own Horn in Every Piece of Content

We see this on a regular basis - companies or organizations who use their blog and their social media channels solely for the purpose of self-promotion. For instance, if every new blog post or social media post is primarily designed for the purpose of telling everyone how awesome you are, re-evaluate your approach and your values. Put yourself into your audience’s shoes. If you are a potential buyer and you come across a vendor whose number one focus is to publish content to advertise their products and services offerings, you know that they don’t know much about content marketing and providing value to begin with. Don’t let yourself get grouped into this category.

Remedies:
  • Identify the percentage of self-promotional content versus helpful content that you’re currently publishing. If more than 20% is self-promotional, commit to changing your priorities.
  • Spend time talking to your customers and prospects in order to learn more about what type of content matters to them. Which pieces of content have had the most positive impact on them?

#6 - Setting the Wrong Goals

Goal setting is a big responsibility, as it completely affects your marketing strategy. Therefore, it’s of utmost importance to set the right goals. However, sometimes marketers set their departmental goals without starting with their organization’s business goals, which can result in misalignment. Another common mistake is to focus on metrics rather than goals. Remember, x number of visitors is not a business goal. It’s merely one of many potential milestone metrics to gauge whether you’re on track to reaching your marketing objectives.

Remedies:
  • In order to create an actionable and effective content strategy, you have to start with your organization’s business goals. Next, you determine what your marketing goals need to be to support the business goals. Finally, identify the benchmarks and milestones that will help you determine if you’re on track.
  • Make your organizational goals, your marketing goals, and your metrics visible in order to keep them top of mind. If at all possible, create a simple dashboard (using a Google spreadsheet) that also includes your quarterly and annual actuals.
  • Ensure that all of your stakeholders understand the difference between metrics and goals. This will help you report on the right things. You don’t need to distract your VP or C-level managers with web metrics. Instead, let them focus on the big picture and demonstrate how your marketing efforts are contributing to the organizational goals.
  • Revisit your goals on a regular basis. Evaluate whether they need and can be adjusted.

What are some other common marketing mistakes you’ve encountered? How have you remedied them?

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