Content marketing is something of a balancing act. Do it right and you can cultivate real authority and relatability for your company—driving traffic to your website and ultimately boosting your sales, in the process. Do it wrong and you’re essentially spending your valuable time and money creating online content that does little, if anything, to serve your business needs. Obviously, it is paramount for companies to avoid this kind of waste and excess.
But how? Start by alerting yourself to some of the most common content marketing mistakes that are out there. There are three, in particular, that many companies make without realizing it, but which can ultimately prove quite costly.
Curating Too Much Content
One of the key components of any content marketing campaign is content curation. Via a company Facebook page, Twitter account, or blog, content curators will share useful, industry-related information from other sources. For example, if you own a financial planning firm, and a New York Times article comes out heralding the importance of independent financial planners, you might want to share that article with your social media followers and fans. The article is informative and helpful to your clients, and it also offers third-party validation for your business—which makes it a homerun, right?
Well, yes—unless that’s the only thing you’re doing. Content curation is ideal for building prestige for your brand. It’s not so great for driving traffic to your website. Sharing curated content is necessary and prudent, then, but it’s critical to make certain that you’re also sharing original content, like blog entries, that drive some traffic directly to your business website.
Putting Things Behind a Gate
A common practice in content marketing is to create a lengthy article or white paper—something that offers immediate benefit to readers—and then to lock it behind a gate, offering it to users only when they submit their name and contact information. As lead generation, this is smart; as marketing, it leaves something to be desired.
Simply put, putting great content behind a gate means you’re not getting the most out of it. By offering a preview of the article—making the first couple of points free, and requiring users to submit their information for the conclusion of the article—you can better entice people to read your content. Additionally, repurposing some of the content, breaking it down and using pieces of it as blog entries, can help you maximize your bang for buck.
Mistiming Your Updates
Posting three tweets and two Facebook updates daily is ideal, right? Not necessarily; if all of your posting takes place at 6:00 AM—long before most people are checking their social media accounts—then you may not be getting much visibility or user traction. It is generally advised to spread out posts throughout the day, rather than unleashing them all in one fell swoop.
As for the best times of day to post, that’s something that’s difficult to pin down. It depends on the user, on the social network in question, and even on the time zone you’re in. Using your social media analytics to determine which times of day seem to generate the most activity is a good starting point, however.
The bottom line is that just doing content marketing is not enough. You also need to make sure you’re doing it right.
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