You poured your heart and soul into your latest blog post. You conducted thorough research to ensure you'd strike every chord with your clients. You designed Pinterest-perfect graphics. After hours of work, you heard crickets...
When you take the time to create blog posts, videos, social media, email newsletters or podcasts, it’s important to ensure they're actually being effective! Ultimately, your content should lead to sales, but it can be a long-term strategy. Content marketing is about establishing relationships with your audience, educating your clients and developing your know, like and trust factor. It's about providing value before asking for the sale.
Therefore, it’s important to avoid making these 9 classic content mistakes!
1. You’re speaking to the wrong audience
Make sure you know your audience so you can speak directly to them! If they’re new to your industry, they’ll need much different content than those with years of experience. You may have thousands of readers/viewers each month, but if they’re not your ideal clients, you’re missing the mark!
Pro tip: Be careful when seeking content topics by asking in Facebook groups, “What is your biggest struggle with ____” or “What would you like to know about _____.” These are great questions to ask, but to your own audience!
2. You’re speaking to too broad of an audience
To go along with #1, if you’re speaking to a very broad audience — trying to reach everyone — you won’t have any one particular audience thinking, “She’s talking straight to ME!” or “This is exactly what I need.” You’ll just end up watering down your messaging, or leaving your audience wondering whether or not you can really meet their needs.
3. You’re teaching your craft to your buyers
Out of a lack of knowing what content to create, people often try to teach their craft to their audience. Unless you’re an infopreneur or in the training space, teaching your audience how to do what you do will only lead them away from a sale (or you'll be attracting the wrong people)! If you create custom logos, don’t write posts on how to design your own logo… share the importance of a custom brand so they’ll leave the designing to you!
4. You’re not tracking your analytics or conversions
Make sure to track your analytics and conversions so you know what type of content is actually working! Use Google Analytics, social media analytics, unique URLs, etc. so you can ensure that the content you’re creating is getting through to your audience and leading to sales. If your clients are too busy to read blog posts or they rarely watch videos, then creating that type of content is pointless.
Pro tip: Ask your current & past clients and customers what type of content they consume and what platforms they hang out on!
5. You’re not setting goals (or the right goals)
Obviously, your end goal is always sales, but there are other goals you should be setting for your content depending on the results you need/desire. High-priced 1:1 services require a lot more trust and connection with the business owner, so their content goals would look different than someone who is looking to sell thousands of $5 digital downloads. Think about what you really need to make sales... followers, authority status, awareness, trust? Then build your content plan accordingly.
6. You’re speaking at your audience instead of with your audience
Content marketing is all about building relationships with your audience. If you’re just talking at your clients, and not listening, replying and engaging with them, you’re missing out on key relationship-building.
Case Study: The first time Kendra and Kleniece of Humble & Whole attempted Twitter, they only posted promos for their content and services… and they didn’t see any results. It wasn’t until they started to engage with their audience and join Twitter chats that it started to be effective for them.
7. Your content has grammar and spelling mistakes
While some grammar and spelling mistakes may slip through here or there, having well-written content makes you sound professional. Spelling and grammar mistakes are a huge turn-off and position you as one who doesn’t care or pay attention to detail. Put your best foot forward, even if that means hiring an editor or asking friends to look over your content before publishing.
Pro tip: This applies to more than just your blogs & social content, it goes for your entire website! I was once seeking to hire a virtual assistant and only 1 of about 15 websites I visited had well-written and nicely edited copy… she was the only one I reached out to!
8. You don’t cross-promote your content
What’s the point in spending time writing blog posts or creating videos if no one sees them? I’ve heard that when it comes to content, you should spend just 20% of your time creating it and 80% promoting it. Pull quotes from your blog to post on social media. Dive deeper into a topic from your video in your email newsletter. Post a personal story related to your last podcast episode on your Facebook page. Make sure you’re leading people back to your content from multiple places!
9. You Don't Have any calls-to-action (or You Have too many)
Every piece of content should encourage your audience to do something: comment, share, subscribe, “like,” follow, read more, watch next, etc. You’re leaving lots of subscribers — and money — on the table by not asking people to take action. But just present ONE option for them so they’re more inclined to do it. Too many choices could lead to no action at all — hellooooo analysis paralysis!
BONUS: Your content isn’t intentionally leading towards sales
Having a plan for your content will ensure you’re directing your audience towards buying. Start with what you want to promote for the month/season, and create content that leads up to that. This will also help your content flow, rather than posting about different topics or themes every day/week. But remember to provide value first, then ask for the sale!
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