Last updated: 9th August 2019
Content strategy mistakes can be daunting at the best of times. What if we’ve wasted all this time, for nothing?
Or the other half…. Oh, but our content strategy is top-notch, just you wait for those inboxes to start filling with questions and inquiries!
Nobody wants to admit when their content strategy might have a few blunders. But like all great plans, there’s bound to be a few little slips here and there.
Getting down to the nitty gritty of content marketing can be tricky!
Knowing your target market and producing matched content takes time and effort. In my post about the types of content marketing you will see each form is very different. B2B’s with a clear strategy (93% of top-performing B2Bs are committed to content marketing) end up with more leads and sales. It pays to think things through.
In this post I point out pivotal content marketing mistakes, but I give you tips on how to turn those mistakes into money!
1. Content Strategy Mistake: Your Content Isn’t Personalised for The Right Buyer
Your target buyers are no longer a small group of people, all fitting into the one persona. A varying group of people make different decisions along the buyer’s journey.
Up to 10 people are involved in making the decision. And all are armed with varying quantities of information.
Understanding what is needed where along your sales funnel is vital.
For example, millennial buyers might read blog posts at the beginning of the process, whereas further along the journey, older CIOs might want their hands on white papers for decision-making.
It’s no longer ok to throw out a 15 minute how-to video and base it all around your product. You need to mix up your content, keeping the hard-selling to a minimum.
Or to send a general email out to your many varied subscribers (I’m lookin’ at you, kid!).
What’s The Fix?
Get out there and chat with the different types of buyers. Understand their pain points and the value you can offer them immediately or further down the line.
It might seem tricky, and overly complicated when assessing the buyer’s journey. Almost as difficult as going into the latest cafe-on-the-block and deciding whether to have a strawberry and mango bubble tea or oat milk choco latte…
But here’s the thing.
Your readers, and hopefully future customers, don’t know what they are looking for either.
Think about it. When you are gathering information about that online course you need to invest in for work, or that dress you need to buy for your cousin’s wedding, you don’t quite know what you need to search for.
You type in a few terms related to the product, and see what comes up.
It’s the same for your content at the various buyer stages. They have a vague idea of what they need to be searching for. If you can provide a mad mix of content then it is going to suit their bundle of needs.
What works for one group might not work for another, so offering a variety of tailored content will work better.
Devise a basic buyer’s journey template centred on your customer base. Then map out content you think will work for each of these stages, but mix it up a bit. Instead of solely focusing on blog posts for the initial stage, perhaps add an interactive infographic to the array of choices.
Adding new kinds of content can help you stand out from the crowd, as research shows interactive content educates readers and buyers.
Segmenting your email list based on age or needs can further aid lead generation. If you are not providing succinct content, they will unsubscribe as you are in competition with hundreds other companies in their inbox!
2. Content Strategy Mistake: Your Strategy is Non-Complete
You’ve put a fantastic strategy in place; every week there are current and evergreen blog posts, e-books and infographics, as well as engaging Insta-stories.
But… there’s no follow up? Six months fly by and your “super-successful strategy” has almost flopped.
What gets measured gets managed.
How to Fix Your Strategy
In order to see any conversions; even changes in how your audience interacts with you, you need to have objectives.
Goals, people. It all comes back to your goals!
Setting out clear objectives and goals, along with a timeline can save you a hell of a lot of time.
After setting out goals and deadlines, the next step is to plan your content. As soon as you post your content, have a management system in place that tracks how well your content is doing; engagements, shares, website click-through-rates etc.
After the first month, you can then assess how each factor aligns with your goals. If you aren’t hitting the mark, then perhaps it is time to reassess your goals and/or content.
Setting a list of what you want to achieve by month six is crucial to a content strategy. If you aren’t hitting those targets and notice those mishaps early on, you can quickly revert back to the drawing board to make changes.
3. Content Strategy Mistake: Your Content isn’t Evergreen
Give your audience valuable and actionable content to keep them engaged.
If your audience are loyal readers and subscribe to your email list, but you don’t give them anything (e-books, calculators, quizzes, interactive webinars), they will stop listening to you.
Although it’s important to stay current through topical posts and videos, it’s important to give your customers researched information they can always act upon.
How To Go Evergreen?
You need to show some lovin’ and give give give! Give in the form of how-to guides, explain industry concepts or answer FAQs from your customers.
You might be thinking, but that content is suuuuurely going to drop down the SEO rankings eventually?
In order to keep it truly evergreen, you need to revise old content to ensure it stays up to date. Inject new links and update the words or phrases to stay current. Don’t be afraid to add in a new paragraph or take away an old, less-relevant line.
Ensure your SEO and keywords are up to scratch and still relevant to the times. You can compare your content to your competitor’s, using the skyscraper method to boost your content further.
Admitting to mistakes and then going back to the planning stage may not always be easy.
But it’s easier than continuing on a journey of zero fulfilment, zero leads and negative sales!
Devising a buyer persona, adding goals and introducing new content ideas could be the strategy boost your team needs to connect with old and new customers alike.
Comment below about any content strategy mistakes I should include, or if you have any questions!