In order to stand out with your content, you’re gonna want to avoid making these mistakes so you can captivate and retain your audience.
This blog article will go through the three biggest content marketing mistakes that brands make. Once you’ve finished reading, you’ll be able to spot these mistakes and avoid making them in the future.
In short, you’ll be a content master.
The first mistake is …
With a bit of self-insight, this big mistake is actually pretty easy to avoid. And yet, many brands continue to make content about themselves.
In some sense, this is fairly reasonable. Marketing is also about brand building, and how do you build and establish your brand without producing content that’s about… well, your brand?
But when it comes to content, there is a self-absorbed “me” tendency at the moment. And the dangers of this is that your customers can’t relate. Yes, you do this, yes, your services are not irrelevant, yes, you’re great and so is your product. But how do you or your product benefit your customer?
A simple rule of thumb is this: For the most part, your content shouldn't be about you. It should be about your customer's pain. Identify your customer's problems, their challenges, and their issues - and present them with a solution. How are you going to solve their problem? That is what they want to know.
Brands need to look at their content with a critical eye, both existing and content-to-come, and decide whether it’s too self-absorbed and not customer-centric enough.
Let’s say your content is something like, “Top Three Ways We Increase Productivity At Our Company,” “Top Three Ways That We Did This or That,” or perhaps you published a post on “The Three Best Things About Our Product.” This is fun and interesting for you and your brand internally, but ask yourself this: is it providing your customers any value?
Perhaps. But can you bring them even more value? The answer is yes. By producing video content, social media content, and written content that focuses solely on your customer's pains - that’s where you will get their undivided attention.
And how do you find out what their pains are? It's simple: just ask them. Ask other customers that you've previously done business with: What were their challenges and how did your solution solve those challenges?
Another way of finding out what your customer’s pains are is by looking at forums. Quora.com, for example, is an excellent Q&A forum, where people ask questions and get answers. They want to know how to do this, or where to find information about that. This is a place where you can easily find good topics for content, because you’ll discover what kind of questions people are asking of both brands and in general.
Quora, is a really good stop for brands that don't know where to start with their content.
The second biggest mistake many brands are making is that they’re not using data. And if your content isn’t rooted in what people are actually searching for, what good will it do? This second mistake is actually closely connected to the first mistake in this article, because the questions people are asking and the things that they are searching for are typically interchangeable.
So what you should definitely do as a brand is to look into actual data, because with that type of information, you can create a ton of different and successful content.
You could, for example, use the Google AdWords’ keyword tool to find out how many people are searching for a specific key phrase. If you want to know how many people are searching for specific issues in your industry, that’s where you’ll find your answer.
Google AdWords will also tell you how much traffic there is to that keyphrase, because if nobody’s searching for it, it makes no sense to build content for that audience.
You can also find inspiration on BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo.com is a platform that gives you ideas for articles. You can search for, for example, “video marketing” and BuzzSumo will give you a list of articles that have to do with video marketing, even telling you how well those articles performed on social media.
With BuzzSumo, you actually get a really competitive breakdown of how much traction an article is getting, so use that platform to get a good sense of what content you should build.
Another thing you should try to do is called the Skyscraper method. It was developed by Brian Dean at Backlinko.com, and what it entails is finding top articles in any space and any industry and then build on top of that by creating better content. If someone wrote an article on Top 10 Video Marketing Tips, you can beat them by writing your own article on Top 20 Video Marketing Tips. Build that skyscraper, reach for the skies.
And finally, AnswerThePublic.com is another great place to collect your data. AnswerThePublic will give you a taxonomy of a bunch of keywords and key phrases that people are using in relation to a topic, a product, or an industry. That will give you a clear idea on what to write your own article or create your content about.
So, in short, find out what your customer’s pains are by collecting data.
The third big mistake brands are making is that they’re not milking their content. This is a shame because they could be getting so much more out of their efforts than what they’re getting.
If you write, for example, a blog article, then turn it into a video script and produce a video. You could also produce small micro pieces of content for social media - maybe there's even some great data in that article that you can turn into an infographic?
Or maybe you recorded a podcast? Turn that podcast topic into an article or strip the audio out of the podcast and put it onto either an infographic video or another video of some type. And then take a step further and create GIFs or short animations out of those videos.
Many brands are actually making so much great content - it just needs to be unearthed, and that’s where they’re failing. They are immediately moving on to the next piece of content and sure, it makes sense, because consistency and frequency are also very beneficial for marketing. But brands could achieve so much from going back to what has already been built and asking themselves if they got enough out of their efforts.
So in conclusion, if you wanna scale-up your content marketing efforts, it’s crucial that you create short-form pieces of content from your long-form content.
To wrap it up: don’t be self-absorbed, show your customers that you care about their pains and that you want to ease them. Use data to gather your information, get ready to take your content to the next level, and then get out there and create microcontent out of your already-existing or awesome new content. Good luck!
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