You’re posting new content on your blog on a regular basis. You add new blog posts to LinkedIn each week. You’ve even started posting content on Medium. If you’re doing all the things you’re supposed to do and yet you’re still seeing dismal results, it might be you are making critical content marketing mistakes without even knowing it. If you want to skyrocket your audience engagement rates and improve your sales potential at the same time, it might be time to take a long, hard look at your content creation process. Stop making the following content outreach mistakes and you’ll be astonished and just how powerful content marketing can be for your business.
NOT USING YOUR EXISTING DATA
One of the most common mistakes content marketers make is not digging into the data at their disposal. Everything from website analytics to customer support information can be used to drive your content creation strategy. Interactions with your business provide plenty of clues; your most popular web pages, commonly asked customer support queries, and social media responses can all give clear indications as to the type of content you should be creating. If you aren’t using a data-driven approach to content marketing, your audience engagement rates will suffer.
NOT UNDERSTANDING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE’S MOTIVATIONS
If you are creating content without a clear understanding of your target audience’s motivations, you are doing your business a great disservice. Understanding why a consumer is interacting with your brand is just as important as understanding when and how they are finding your company’s content. When you start digging into audience motivations, you will feel like you have had a content marketing epiphany. The opportunities to create content based on customer motivations are vast and virtually never-ending.
NOT UNDERSTANDING THAT CUSTOMER RETENTION IS AN ONGOING PROCESS
Keeping customers is an ongoing process that far too few content marketers realize. They seem to think that once they have attracted a consumer via quality content and SEO, that customer is theirs for life. Nothing could be further from the truth. Retaining customers in sales and content marketing is an ongoing endeavor. Just like a puppy will go to whoever is offering them treats, consumers will go to whoever is offering them the best treats (prices, superior content, shipping deals, etc.). If you don’t understand the influence of customer churn on your content strategy, you could be losing sales without knowing it.
NOT OPTIMIZING YOUR CONTENT FOR LONG-TERM DISCOVERY
If you publish a post, share it on social media, and then never revisit your content, you are making a huge content marketing mistake. Quality content needs to be optimized for discovery far into the future. Share your old posts on social media on an ongoing basis. Tweak keywords in your content to attract a new audience with each change. Share your content on new distribution networks you previously haven’t used (HackerNews, Reddit, etc.). Add an old post to your email signature to attract new eyeballs. Content marketing isn’t a ‘set it and forget it’ activity. You need to constantly be cognizant of the need to attract new consumers to your content for maximum content marketing ROI.
NOT ENGAGING AFTER PUBLISHING
If you are sharing your content on social media and not engaging with your audience afterward, you are greatly decreasing your customer engagement (and sales) opportunities. When is the last time you replied to comments on your LinkedIn posts? Do you reply to Facebook and Twitter comments? You wouldn’t stand on your sales floor and not reply to customers; the same theory applies to audience engagement post-publishing. If you want to build relationships and attract customers (reply comments are awesome for SEO too as they are considered fresh content), it is absolutely crucial you continue to engage with your audience after you have published a content marketing post.
If you are having less than stellar success with your content outreach efforts, it could be you are making critical mistakes without even knowing it. Acknowledging your content marketing mistakes and understanding their impact on your business are the first steps in altering your behavior. With attention to correcting your errors and a willingness to focus on improving your consumer outreach efforts, you can enjoy a significant increase in your content marketing return on investment.