Content marketing has earned a reputation as one of the most effective and least expensive ways to grow your business. Done correctly, a content marketing plan can improve your SEO rankings, establish industry authority, and help you attract new customers. However, if you’re spending countless hours on content marketing and aren’t seeing results, you’re not alone!
While most experts will tell you how important this is for your business, there’s often a disconnect between what marketers are doing and what actually works. The good news is, once you understand what you’re doing wrong, it’s fairly easy to fix.
Before you give up, make sure you’re not making one of these critical content marketing mistakes!
1. You Don’t Have a Content Calendar
Are you the type of blogger who fires off a post whenever the mood strikes? While there’s nothing wrong with writing the occasional inspired blog post, not having a solid plan for what you’re writing and why will almost always lead to sub-par performance.
Creating a content calendar will help you clarify your overall brand message. It will also allow you to think through the topics you want to cover, so you can make sure they’re both valuable and relevant to your target audience.
Planning out your calendar at least three months at a time will prevent you from scrambling for an idea at the last minute and makes it less likely you’ll skip a post just because you’re short on time.
It will also allow you to use your blog posts to support upcoming launches and promotions, so you can make the most out of your traffic and engagement.
Plus, when you get your content calendar under control, you can also get your social media marketing strategy under control at the same time. You can schedule Instagram posts, Pinterest Pins, or Facebook Stories to support your content or an upcoming promotion in advance. And it’s easier than ever with Tailwind, where you can create unique social media designs personalized to your brand in one click – and schedule to your accounts in one more!
2. You’re Not Taking Action
Having a content plan is important, but if you’re not following through, you’re missing the boat. Maybe you’ve found that you simply don’t have time to keep up with the plan you’ve designed.
Or, maybe you’re not quite confident in your writing or designing skills. This can cause you to have a mini panic attack every time you get ready to hit that “publish” button.
Once you’ve figured out what’s keeping you from taking action, you’re one step closer to fixing it. Sometimes, it’s as easy as setting aside a specific time each week to work on your content or finding the right program to help you streamline your process.
If this doesn’t help, you may want to consider hiring a professional to take care of your content creation for you!
3. You’re Not Being Consistent
A lack of consistency is another common problem among content creators. If you put out content sporadically, you’ll have a hard time building a loyal audience. Even if they love what you’re creating, if you frequently disappear, there’s a good chance they won’t be there waiting when you return.
The ideal number of times you should publish content each month depends on a number of factors. However, the most important thing you can do is stick to a schedule. Choose a frequency you’re comfortable with and commit to it. You can always adjust your frequency after a few months of figuring out whether it works for you!
4. You Haven’t Connected with Your Audience
If you’re consistently putting out great articles but you’re still not getting results, you may not be connecting with your audience. No matter how good your content is, if the audience doesn’t care, you’re just wasting your time.
There’s a good chance you’ve spent some time learning about basic demographics for your target audience. You may have even created a buyer persona. However, this isn’t quite enough. To truly connect with your audience, you’ll need to get inside their heads.
Consider sending out surveys and conducting interviews over the phone and in person. You can also use social media platforms to learn more about your audiences’ personal challenges and the problems they face. Once you have this information, begin crafting your content around providing solutions to these problems. This is the key to creating content that’s both valuable and sharable.
5. You’re Not Promoting Your Content
Many content creators forget that their job isn’t done after they click “publish.” If you’re not already spending the bulk of your time promoting the content you create, this could be the most effective change you make.
As a general rule, you should be spending about 20% of your time creating content and 80% promoting it. After all, it’s called content marketing, not content creating.
You can easily increase your audience by sending your content out to your email marketing list. Find creative ways to share your content multiple times on your social media platforms and consider reaching out to industry influencers who may be willing to share your content with their audiences as well.
Repurposing your content will save time and help you create more engagement. For example, you may be able to turn a podcast into a blog post, then break up the blog into multiple social media posts, infographics, and short video clips. Once you’ve done this, you can give your podcast new life by marketing each of the new pieces of content you’ve created!
6. You’ve Neglected Your SEO
Nobody likes content that’s awkwardly stuffed with keywords. However, if you’re not paying attention to SEO at all, there’s a good chance nobody will ever see your content.
Spend some time doing keyword research and use SEO best practices to help your content organically rank on search engines and algorithms. Not only does SEO help you get discovered on internet search engines like Google, but Pinterest SEO can help your content get discovered on Pinterest! Likewise, relevant hashtags on Instagram help you get your content seen by new audiences interested in seeing more!
7. Your Posts are Too Pushy
Nobody likes a hard sell! Make sure your content isn’t too pushy or you’ll turn your followers off.
Instead of worrying about over-selling your products or services, focus on creating content that will help people solve problems or enrich their lives. This is the best way to build trust and credibility while also ensuring your audience will keep coming back for more.
8. You’re Not Asking for What You Want
While you definitely don’t want to be too pushy, if you’re not asking for what you want, you’ll never get it. Valuable content goes a long way toward establishing trust and credibility. Adding a call-to-action (CTA) gives you a chance to give yourself a plug without the hard sale.
After consuming a piece of content, readers want to know what they should do next. If you don’t tell them, they’ll just click away and move on to the next site. These lost opportunities can turn a great content plan into a complete waste of time.
9. You’re Up Against a Huge Competitor
Depending on your industry, you may have entered an extremely competitive landscape. It’s not easy for a fairly new content creator to go up against a huge company with a major marketing budget. However, it’s not impossible.
One of the worst things you can do is give up just because you’re facing a challenge. Instead, keep producing content and focus your attention on building a small but loyal fan base. When it comes to your audience, size doesn’t always matter! It’s often better to have an engaged and devoted group of followers than a large audience that doesn’t really care. Keep cultivating your true fans, and you’ll start to see results.
You can also spend some time carefully examining your competitors’ content. The purpose here is not to copy them, but to find some gaps in what they’re providing. Look for any forms of content that are missing or topics they’re not covering well. You can then use these gaps as opportunities to make your own content shine.
10. Your Expectations are Too High
If you’re just getting started with your content marketing efforts, you may be expecting too much, too soon. Remember, content marketing isn’t a “get-rich-quick” scheme. Instead, it’s a long-term investment. It generally takes a minimum of three to six months before a content strategy starts to get traction. You can’t expect to put out a few pieces and suddenly see a huge increase in the number of subscribers and conversions.
When measuring the return-on-investment for your content strategy, it’s important not to expect overnight success. Instead, pay attention to gradual improvements that will continue to add up over time.
Step Up Your Content Marketing Today!
If your content marketing isn’t giving you the results you’re looking for, don’t give up! There are many reasons you could be having problems. However, paying attention to the ten critical mistakes listed above will significantly increase your chances of success.
Begin by making sure you have a solid plan, connecting with your audience, and staying consistent. Once you’ve got that down, make sure you’re marketing your content like crazy, paying attention to SEO, and providing clear calls-to-action. As long as you’re producing valuable content that your audience craves, your efforts will soon pay off.
And Tailwind can help! You can start from almost done with social media designs, selecting from hundreds of unique designs for your favorite platforms personalized to your brand with one click of a button. You can then schedule your social media designs, adding thoughtful captions, CTAs, hashtags and even links to your content. Finally, schedule your posts to go out at the best time on your chosen dates. It’s even easier than it sounds – try it out today!
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Beth Deyo of Fresh Content Designs is a freelance writer passionate about helping brands uncover their unique brand voice and grow their following online and on social media.